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About Us

The role of National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is:

  • To secure the conservation of a representative range of ecosystems and maintain and enhance populations of flora and fauna in Ireland
  • To implement the EU Habitats and Birds Directives
  • To designate and advise on the protection of Natural Heritage Areas (NHA) having particular regard to the need to consult with interested parties
  • To make the necessary arrangements for the implementation of National and EU legislation and policies and for the ratification and implementation of the range of international Conventions and Agreements relating to the natural heritageTo manage, maintain and develop State-owned National Parks and Nature Reserves.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is headed by the Directors, Conor O Raghallaigh, John FitzGerald and Ciaran O'Keeffe reporting to Feargal O'Coigligh (Assistant Secretary).

  • Conor O Raghallaigh oversees conservation site designation and protection, and nature conservation legislation
  • John FitzGerald oversees Regional Management, including National Parks and Reserves, and financial management of NPWS
  • Ciaran O'Keeffe oversees Science, Species and Biodiversity issues and Licencing

Regional Management are responsible for:

  • Implementation and enforcement of the Wildlife Acts 1976-2000, the Whale Fisheries Acts and the Regulations which bring the Habitats and Birds Directives into force
  • Management of the state-owned Nature Reserves and National Parks
  • Advice to planning authorities on the impacts of development applications
  • Participation in research and survey projects by collecting data within their areas
  • Provision of an education and advisory service to the public

For further information or to contact your local NPWS Conservation Ranger, please see the Regional Management Contact Information

The Finance & Organisation Unit is responsible for:

  • Financial monitoring for National Parks & Wildlife Service, co-ordination of business plans/reports, internal communication/information, administrative support and provision of management information
  • Co-ordination of training, accommodation and the supply of equipment for National Parks & Wildlife Service conservation staff
  • Managing the sporting rights for former Land Commission properties

The Biodiversity Unit is responsible for:

The Parks & Reserves Unit is responsible for: 

  • administration of lands acquired by the State for nature conservation purposes (i.e. National Parks & Nature Reserves) and other, as yet undesignated, properties acquired for nature conservation purposes. This involves:
  • The designation of Nature Reserves under the Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2000, by preparing Statutory Instruments and supporting documentation.
  • Developing proposals for the provision of visitor facilities in co-operation with the Education & Visitor Service Unit of the Office of Public Works (OPW).
  • Managing and monitoring expenditure of approved ERDF/ Structural Fund and NDP funded projects.
  • Arranging contracts for works, supplies and services in NPWS properties.
  • Administration, control and regulation of concessions/licenses including restaurants, boating, pony trekking, filming etc. in NPWS properties.
  • Handling of personal injury and other claims made by the public.
  • Dealing with NPWS property issues relating to boundary disputes, trespass on State property, etc

The Research & Conservation Science staff:

  • Implement the research programme of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), with the objective of providing specialist scientific information and advice, and a scientific basis to the interpretation and implementation of legislation and policies.
  • Undertake scientific surveys and research to provide baseline and monitoring data to underpin policy, designations, protection and management of wildlife habitats and species.
  • The research programme covers species and habitats, in particular their status, distribution, extent, ecology and threats, ecological processes and functions, restoration ecology and the requirements of management/action plans in the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Current research projects are listed here.

The Site Designation & Plans Unit is responsible for:

Site designation and notification of stakeholders for:

  • Acquisition of lands
  • Administration of Site Protection for Sites formally proposed for designation, including legal proceedings
  • Examination of forestry proposals relating to designated areas (NHA, SAC and SPA) 

The Unit also co-ordinates access to information on all designated areas, via e-mail 


and attends to personal callers to the office at 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2

The Site Protection Unit is responsible for:

  • Compensation for losses incurred due to restrictions put in place as a result of nature conservation designation (including the Cessation of Turf-cutting Scheme)
  • Implementation of Arbitration scheme arising from notifiable actions.

The Regulations Unit is responsible for:

  • Development of policy, legal texts and guidance notes.

The Species Protection Unit is responsible for:

Organisation Chart

Click here to view the Organisation ChartPDF_icon [25KB].