About the NPWS

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

  • To secure the conservation of a representative range of ecosystems to maintain and enhance populations of flora and fauna in Ireland.
  • To designate and advise on the protection of habitats and species identified for nature conservation (Natural Heritage Areas (NHA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA) 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 for nature conservation and biodiversity including the EU Habitats and Birds Directives, and for the ratification and implementation of the range of international Conventions and Agreements relating to the natural heritage.
  • To manage, maintain and develop State-owned National Parks and Nature Reserves.
  • To promote awareness of natural heritage and biodiversity issues through education, outreach to schools and engaging with stakeholders.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the Heritage Division of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, headed by Niall Ó Donnchú (Assistant Secretary) supported by four Principal Officers, Trevor Donnelly, John FitzGerald, Brian Lucas and Ciaran O'Keeffe respectively overseeing the areas of:

  • Policy and management of National Parks and Reserves, Nature Services strategy, Finance and Regional operational procedures (including enforcement and health and safety).
  • The Wildlife Acts and EU Directive transposition, NATURA Policy, Licensing provisions under the Wildlife Acts, Modernisation of property management, Policy on residential properties in national parks and the Departments Development Applications Unit.
  • Peatland Policy, Turf compensation and relocation schemes, Land Designation, Land restoration/cross compliance.
  • Scientific Support, Biodiversity policy and international issues, CITES and exotic species, Agri-Environment policy and schemes, Marine and aquaculture issues, Education Service and Data management.


Please note: If your interest relates to a nature conservation or biodiversity issue not covered by the above please direct your query to nature.conservation@chg.gov.ie and it will be routed correctly within the NPWS.