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Old Posted: 24-04-2010 , 02:09 PM #1
snowdaisy
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Default Metal detecting is illegal in Ireland

Hi,
following a post in the Wanted section for a metal detector i wrote this reply and want to post it here for everyone, every explanation may help people understand (i hope):

Please take this in the spirit it is offered - helpful information, These messages can be read many ways.

I just want to let you know that its illegal to use a metal detector in Ireland without a licence and you must be a professional archaeologist to apply for a licence in the first place.

Also any 'treasure' is technically the property and heritage of all Irish people and is held in safe keeping for them by the state, all accidental finds must be reported within hours to a garda, museum etc. Use of a metal detector, failure to report finds can attract 3 years in jail and / or up to 100,000 fine...

Sorry but I am an archaeologist and illegal detecting damages sites and loses precious information, it is something we are working to stamp out. The laws here are totally different to those in England.
Snowdaisy
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Old Posted: 24-04-2010 , 02:47 PM #2
gillo
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Well, I have to say that's complete news to me!
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Old Posted: 24-04-2010 , 03:54 PM #3
Chris P
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Default from Admin

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowdaisy
Hi,
following a post in the Wanted section for a metal detector i wrote this reply and want to post it here for everyone, every explanation may help people understand (i hope):

Please take this in the spirit it is offered - helpful information, These messages can be read many ways.

I just want to let you know that its illegal to use a metal detector in Ireland without a licence and you must be a professional archaeologist to apply for a licence in the first place.

Also any 'treasure' is technically the property and heritage of all Irish people and is held in safe keeping for them by the state, all accidental finds must be reported within hours to a garda, museum etc. Use of a metal detector, failure to report finds can attract 3 years in jail and / or up to 100,000 fine...

Sorry but I am an archaeologist and illegal detecting damages sites and loses precious information, it is something we are working to stamp out. The laws here are totally different to those in England.
Snowdaisy
Hi Snowdaisy,

Thanks for the feedback. I've removed the ad in question. Too many references to "sharing treasure" etc!

Anyway, I've been through the JumbleTown archives and found the following post made by JumbleTowner CMM a while back. It supports all that you say above but does seem to give some leeway to "hobby detectorists" mooching around beaches etc ... even though, as you say, only archaeologists may apply for a license. Does this mean that professional archaeologists are also the "hobby detectorists"? Does the membership of the Metal Detecting Society of Ireland consist solely of professional archaeologists? A bit confusing, no? Any more thoughts on the matter?

Regards
Chris P
Admin
--------------
Hi,

You should be aware of the following which I copied from the website boards.ie:

Nobody is allowed to search for archaeological artifacts with a metal detector, unless they have a license from the relevant State body. In practice, only qualified archaeologists are granted such a license. Due to the amount of heritage material which is reputed to have been illegally excavated and sold for profit, sanctions against those who break the Republic's laws are severe: a maximum of five years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding 50,000 on indictment.

Detectorists' Obligations
Government spokespersons have always assured the Metal Detecting Society of Ireland that it is not the intention of Government to be unreasonable in the treatment of detector hobbyists, provided they do not break the law. This assurance is reflected, to some extent, in the fact that a Garda may seize, without warrant, any detection device being used on or near archaeologically listed areas, but may not do so in any other area. This does not mean, however, that detectors may be used indiscriminately in all areas other than those listed as archaeologically significant; there are many undiscovered archaeological sites, and a detectorist who comes across such a site should report it within the statutory four days, and do nothing to interfere with it. The same requirement of reporting within four days also applies to any individual archaeological object found in the State.

Advice to Detectorists
Put simply, archaeology is best left to archaeologists. Hobby detectorists will always have plenty of beaches, parks, swimming areas, and other non-sensitive places to go 'coinshooting'. A responsible attitude must also be taken to the prohibition of detecting 'on', 'near', or 'in the vicinity of' prohibited areas. These terms are not defined in Law, and at a meeting with the Department of Art, Culture and the Gaeltacht, MDSI committee members suggested a 'safety limit' of one half kilometer from the outer boundary of any prohibited area. Department officials stated that they could not accept this as a voluntary code, as the terms 'at, near, or in the vicinity of' could only be properly interpreted in a legal context and on an individual basis.

The best advice we can give to Irish metal detector users is:

Do not detect anywhere near archaeological sites.
Do not detect on anyone's land without permission
Observe the basic courtesies of the countryside by closing gates and not damaging crops.

If you find an archaeological object - or site - report it immediately to your local Garda station or to the National Museum of Ireland. Phone 1890 MUSEUM (1890 - 687386)

If you are uncertain of the area you want to detect, contact your local Garda station for advice.

For More Information...
Relevant literature on the subject is the National Monuments Act of 1930, and the amendments to it in 1954, 1987, and 1994. Copies of these documents are available from the Government Publications Office in Molesworth St, Dublin 2.

- CMM
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Old Posted: 27-04-2010 , 08:31 PM #4
Chris P
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Default New Addition to the Prohibited Item List

Hi Everyone,

As the posts above show, the whole area of metal-detecting in Ireland is a bit "grey" so just to be on the safe side we intend to add metal-detectors to our Prohibited Item List (though this might change if we get further clarification). The update to the list should happen shortly but till then, Members should regard the Giving and Taking of metal-detectors on JumbleTown as prohibited.

Regards
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Old Posted: 27-04-2010 , 11:16 PM #5
Gormal
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The irony (pardon the pun) of it, good thread but what made me giggle was the sponsor link for New England metal detectors in the middle of all the bans.....lol ;o) Well when my page loaded anyway!
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Old Posted: 27-04-2010 , 11:48 PM #6
Chris P
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Default Full Metal Packet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gormal
The irony (pardon the pun) of it, good thread but what made me giggle was the sponsor link for New England metal detectors in the middle of all the bans.....lol ;o) Well when my page loaded anyway!
That's right, Gormal -- "Google Ads" detects (pardon the pun) keywords on the forum and then automatically loads what it considers to be relevant ads.

Regards
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Old Posted: 28-04-2010 , 01:13 PM #7
paprika
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http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...255768813.html

I quite liked this as a summary for the situation. :)
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Old Posted: 30-04-2010 , 07:58 AM #8
Mickey
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And yet they sell them in shops here for kids to play with - granted they're not the most powerful thing you've ever seen....

It's like when the government said around Christmas to shop at home to improve our economy and the ad after the news report was for 10.00 day tickets to go shopping up north - the irony
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Old Posted: 26-08-2010 , 12:14 PM #9
snowdaisy
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Default what a reaction!

Hi all,
I must say i didnt realise the post would have such a reaction.
Its great that a few more people are aware of it at least.

Unfortunately I think Lundubh misunderstood Eamon Kelly's gist in the Irish Times article as he was arguing AGAINST metal detecting without a licence. Walking the fields never did any harm though and the museum is always interested in what turns up on the surface.

Also I suspect the quote attributed to mr Kelly in the article about important finds only turning up in excavation was incorrect as anyone who reads the papers and looks at the news sees treasures of our national heritage from bronze age gold lunulae stolen from a safe to early christian books popping up in bogs with no archaeologists in view.

Anyway Chris, i am glad to see, agrees that detecting and digging should be left to the archaeologists.
To answer your questions archaeologists are not hobby metal detectorists, there may be an odd one but i personally know no professional who does it outside of work without a licence.
Neither are they members of the society that i know of - we dont need to be as we can apply for a licence if detecting is necessary as part of a considered research or development project.
Metal detecting as a hobby is purely to find objects but archaeologists are more interested in structures, burials etc and finds, metal or otherwise, just add to the overall picture.
Hope this helps
Snowdaisy
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Old Posted: 21-09-2010 , 05:17 PM #10
castlereagirl
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this is news to me lol, i can understand it, but could really have used one to find hubbys wedding ring that was lost somewhere in our very large garden last year.... sob
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Old Posted: 27-09-2010 , 01:27 PM #11
Lundubh
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"Also I suspect the quote attributed to mr Kelly in the article about important finds only turning up in excavation was incorrect as anyone who reads the papers and looks at the news sees treasures of our national heritage from bronze age gold lunulae stolen from a safe to early christian books popping up in bogs with no archaeologists in view."

Snowdaisy[/quote]

I cannot let this statement in its entirety go unchallenged, "early christian books popping up in bogs with no archaeologists in view." The people who uncovered this item were involved in turf cutting, a legitimate occupation. They acted in a timely and prudent manner to inform authorities and preserve the artifact. The state owe these people a great debt of gratitude. Get off your high horse Snowdaisy, before you fall off.
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