There are six National Parks in Ireland. Please click on the map below to view more information on a National Park.
In 1969, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recommended that all governments agree to reserve the term 'National Park' to areas sharing the following characteristics:
- Where one or several ecosystems are not materially altered by human exploitation and occupation; where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats are of special scientific, educational and recreational interest or which contain a natural landscape of great beauty;
- Where the highest competent authority of the country has taken steps to prevent or eliminate as soon as possible exploitation or occupation in the whole area and to enforce effectively the respect of ecological, geomorphological or aesthetic features which have led to its establishment;
- Where visitors are allowed to enter, under special conditions, for inspirational, educational, cultural and recreational purposes.
It is the policy of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, endorsed by successive governments, to abide by the criteria and standards for National Parks as set by the IUCN.