Under Planning and Development legislation in the Republic of Ireland, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is a statutory consultee in relation to potential impacts of any proposed development on the archaeological heritage. This allows the Minister to recommend that archaeological conditions be attached to grants of planning permission, or recommend refusal of planning permission by the planning authority to ensure the protection of the archaeological heritage. National Monuments Service provides expert advice from an archaeological perspective to planning and other relevant authorities in respect of individual planning, development applications and other projects and plans. While carrying out its role in the planning process National Monuments Service, on behalf of the Minister, makes every effort to ensure that developmental impacts on the archaeological heritage are mitigated.

All archaeological monuments are protected under the National Monuments Acts 1930 – 2004. The National Monuments Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government keeps a record of all known monuments and sites. These form the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP). When the owner or occupier of a property, or any other person proposes to carry out, or to cause, or to permit the carrying out of any work at, or in relation to, a Recorded Monument, they are required to give notice in writing to the Minister 2 months before commencing that work. This time will allow the National Monuments Service to advise on how the work may proceed in tandem with the protection of the monuments in question.

In recent years the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in consultation with the National Museum of Ireland, have put in place CODES OF PRACTICE with agencies involved in the large-scale infrastructural projects which of their nature have significant archaeological implications eg. ESB, Irish Concrete Foundation, NRA, RPA, Coillte, Bord Gais, Iarnrod Eireann.

The Director of the National Museum of Ireland has a consultative role with the Department of Environment in the licensing of archaeological excavation and in relation to consents for the use of detection devices. The Museum is responsible for processing of licences for export and alteration of archaeological objects.

In Northern Ireland, the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 provides the statutory remit for the acquisition, protection and management of historic monuments. See also The Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 and Planning Policy Statement 6.

In 2007 a major review or archaeological policy and practice in Ireland was initiated. A guide to the proposals to consolidate, revise and extend the National Monuments Act, 1930 to 2004 can be downloaded below.