Preliminary figures for the number of archaeological excavation licenses issued by the National Monuments Service indicate that the number of annual licenses issued in Ireland has risen for the first year since 2006.
472 licenses have been issued to date, a rise of 4% from the 454 issued in the whole of 2012. This indicates that the decline in archaeological activity in Ireland, which saw a collapse of an enormous 78% from peak to trough, has ended, and activity is beginning to increase again. Irish archaeological activity is closely correlated with activity in the construction industry (see here). Confirmation for the return to growth of the Irish construction industry comes from the Ulster Bank Construction Purchase Managers Index (see here) which recorded that construction industry activity grew in the third quarter of 2013 for the first time in six years, with October seeing the fastest pace of new orders seen since 2006.
It is no surprise that growth is returning to the Irish archaeology and construction sectors as confidence has begun to return to the economy with the stabilisation of the national finances and debt burden, the return of the economy to growth, the reduction in unemployment, and Ireland’s successful exit from the IMF-EU Bailout Programme. As a range of analysts including the Department of Finance, the ESRI, IBEC and the European Commission are forecasting that the Irish economy will continue to grow in 2014 the recovery in archaeological activity should continue.
I’d like to wish everyone who reads my blog a happy and peaceful Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year!
Cite this post as:
Mount, C. 2013. Irish archaeology turns the corner in 2013. Charles Mount’s Blog, 19 December 2013. http://charles-mount.ie/wp/?p=1330