Naming and Commemorative Memorial Policy

Naming of Infrastructure & Installation of Commemorative Monuments or Plaques

Download Naming and Commemorative Memorial Policy Kilkenny.pdf (size 303 KB)

Download Application to erect Civic Memorial Monument or Plaque.pdf (size 178.1 KB)

The commemoration of significant historical events, anniversaries or people associated with or who have made important social, cultural or economic contributions to Kilkenny is supported by Kilkenny County Council. This document sets out a framework for the evaluation and approval of the process for naming of certain types of public infrastructure to honour or celebrate individuals, groups or events of significance in Kilkenny. The current Policy should be read in conjunction with the Civic Memorial Policy adopted by Council in June 2015 which details proposals for the installation of commemorative plaques, memorials or monuments in public places and buildings. The Civic Memorial Policy is included in its entirety as an appendix in Section 6 and will be combined into a single policy subject to adoption.

The Civic Memorial Policy sets out the composition for a Civic Memorial Committee, the adoption of the Naming and Memorial Policy will revise the composition of the Committee to that recommended in Section 1 of this policy.

Kilkenny County Council has developed a Naming and Commemorative Memorial Policy in order to:
- Establish an agreed process across all Departments for the naming of all new public infrastructure within the ownership or control of Kilkenny County Council;
- Provide clear direction on the policy and procedures for the consideration of proposals from individuals and interest groups for the remembrance of key people, significant historic places or events in the history or development of Kilkenny;
- Ensure that the plaques and memorials erected in public places and on buildings or the naming of public infrastructure relate to events or persons that made a significant or outstanding contribution to Kilkenny and have an association with the chosen location;
- Safeguard the amenity and enjoyment of public spaces, buildings and areas by managing the number of memorials and plaques within these public places.
This Policy takes effect from its date of adoption by Kilkenny County Council. There are plaques or memorials that predate this Policy and so were not subject to the framework that has now been established. These existing earlier memorials or plaques will not be taken as a precedent for future approvals but the direction provided within this document should be followed and adhered to. 

- Section 1
Naming and Commemorative Memorial Assessment Committee 3

- Section 2
Criteria for Naming Infrastructure 5

- Section 3
Naming of Public Infrastructure 6

- Section 4
Types of Commemorative Memorials 7

- Section 5:
- Dedication of Trees and Benches in Kilkenny Parks and Open Spaces 8
- Section 6:
Appendix - Kilkenny County Council Civic Memorial Policy 9


The Council will establish a Naming and Commemorative Memorial Assessment Committee to make recommendations regarding any proposals for the naming of infrastructure within Kilkenny County Council's ownership or control and for the installation of commemoratives plaques or memorials.
The Committee will consider all valid applications and may request additional information on any proposal.

Committee Composition
The Naming and Commemorative Memorial Assessment Committee will consist of:
Five Councillors - one representative from each Municipal District of Piltown and Castlecomer and two from Kilkenny plus a Chair to be elected by full Council for the Council term.
The committee shall be assisted by Council officials including the Architectural Conservation Officer, Heritage Officer, Arts Officer and Directors of Service representing Council Departments as appropriate.
Where it is deemed necessary the Committee may call on the advice of additional Council officials and external parties in the evaluation of proposals.

Terms of Office
The Councillor members will be nominated and approved by Council and shall reflect the proportionality and distribution of elected representation on the Council. Councillor members will serve for a term consistent with the term of the Council. Any vacancy arising will be filled by nomination and approval by Kilkenny County Council.

The Chair will be elected by the Councillors on the Committee from amongst those serving on it. The elected chair will serve for the full term the Council.

Three Councillors will constitute a quorum.

Public Consultation
The Committee may advertise seeking public comment on proposals as they see fit.

Committee Meetings
The Committee will meet as required but, no more frequently than once a quarter.

The Committee will through consensus make a recommendation on a proposed name or memorial and this will be brought before full Council for final approval. In the event that no consensus is forthcoming and a vote is required only the Councillors present may cast a vote. The Chair will have a casting vote.


The naming of infrastructure needs to be appropriate to its function and location and must reflect the historic/context of the area concerned i.e. history of the area, former uses, etc.

In relation to the erection of a lasting tribute to a person, group or event it is imperrative that the subject matter of the memorial is of sufficient importance and significance to Kilkenny to merit its installation.

The following criteria will be applied for all proposals:
- For commemorative monuments or plaques or the commemorative naming of public buildings or facilities, the individual to be commemorated must have been born or lived in Kilkenny or have had strong and/or enduring connections with the Kilkenny area and its history or have made an important social, cultural or economic contributions to society in Kilkenny
- Proposals to commemorate living persons will not be considered (unless in exceptional circumstances). Nominees will have to have died at least 10 years previously or have passed the centenary of their birth whichever is earlier. A lesser period may be considered by the Council in exceptional cases.
- For an event to be commemorated by a monument, plaque or naming of a public building it must have occurred in Kilkenny and must mark a significant anniversary of an event of importance in the history and development of Kilkenny.
- An event will have to have occurred at least 10 years previously unless it is of extraordinary and long-lasting consequence to Kilkenny.

Public Infrastructure relates to the physical networks, structures and facilities that serve the county and the local community. Only structures that are in the remit/ownership of Kilkenny County Council can be considered as the local authority would not have the right to name infrastructure not in its own control.

Public Roads and Streets
- In general only new public streets or roads or existing ones where a name isn't in usage will be dealt with by the Naming and Commemorative Memorial Committee. The changing of existing names can lead to confusion and so will not be considered.
- Roundabouts will be named in relation to their geographical location to provide directional information for road users and will not be named after individuals or events as they are not necessarily a permanent road feature. Deviations from this may be considered in very exceptional circumstances.
- Any proposals being evaluated must have regard for any adopted Strategy for the area.

Public Buildings & Facilities (Parks, Arts & Community Centres, Civic Buildings, Sports Facilities, large Infrastructural facilities)
- Public buildings and facilities may be suitable for commemorative naming. This should be considered as part of the planning process for the project.
- In general, only new structures or facilities will be considered for commemorative naming as existing buildings and structures will already have a name associated with them.
- Public/Social Housing is excluded from this policy as the name for these development will be decided by the Housing Department

The types of Commemorative Memorials that should be considered to mark significant historical events, anniversaries or people are as follows:
Plaque - A flat tablet of metal, stone or other material which includes text or images and is fixed to a wall or other surface. Plaques are generally erected to commemorate the residence of an important individual or the location of a significant event.
Monuments or Statues - A three-dimensional structure or object of architectural or sculptural design erected in memory of a person, association, anniversary or event.
Or, any other appropriate memorial in line with the criteria.
Permission for plaques, monuments or memorials infers no responsibility on Kilkenny County Council for future maintenance and repair.


Subject to compliance with the general requirements set out in Kilkenny County Council Civic Memorial Policy, Kilkenny County Council will allow memorial trees or benches within its parks and open spaces (to include areas under the control and/or maintenance of the Council) subject to the availability of suitable locations
- The location of the tree or bench shall be at the discretion of Kilkenny County Council.
- In the case of a tree the Council will be responsible for the selection of tree species, planting and maintenance works required and in the case of a bench the Council will select the type and be responsible for its installation.
- In relation to the dedication of a tree the method for marking or identifying this will be dependent on the sensitivity of the setting i.e. whether the location is within a historic designed landscape, public park or open space. The Council will provide the details of the relevant method permitted and location for it to be placed when an application is being made.
- A small commemorative plaque/plate (conforming with a specification to be provided) will be permitted on the backrest of a bench.
- Other than the plaque/plate conforming with the Council's requirements no other items will be permitted in the vicinity of or on a tree or bench.
- A fee will be charged as a contribution to the cost of associated works including administration.
- In the event of vandalism or failure of a tree (within 18 months of planting), the Council will arrange on a one-off basis for a replacement. Vandalised benches will not be replaced.
- The Council reserves the right to remove or relocate a bench or tree at any time should it be considered necessary.

Kilkenny County Council Civic Memorial Policy

Kilkenny County Council recognises that public commemoration and memorials offer opportunities to honour, celebrate or remember a person, groups of people or events of significance. This policy sets out the criteria and processes by which Kilkenny County Council will consider the commemoration of people, events and landmarks by the installation of memorials in the public realm.

It is important for Kilkenny County Council to establish a policy on this matter because of the
- need to have clarity regarding the policy and procedures for the consideration of proposals
- Decade of Commemorations is likely to encourage a high level of demand for the erection of memorials
- need to ensure that a proliferation of memorials and plaques does not detract from the public realm and enjoyment of public spaces

The Heritage Office is currently undertaking an audit of civic memorials and plaques in the county. Memorials and plaques are an often overlooked part of our cultural heritage. The audit will provide information on the number, type, design and location of memorials around the county. The information gathered will be useful as baseline data/register of memorials and will compliment the proposed policy on civic memorials.

Kilkenny County Council Civic Memorial Policy

1. The Council will establish a Civic Memorial Committee comprising 3 elected members (Chair plus 2 others) from Strategic Policy Committee 3 (Planning & Development, Heritage, Community, Arts & Culture) and the following Council officials (Senior Executive Officer, Heritage Officer, Arts Officer, Conservation Officer, Parks Dept, Planner) to recommend to Council suitable Civic Memorials. The composition of the committee will be reviewed annually.

2. Proposals for memorials should be submitted in writing to the Civic Memorial Committee, Corporate Services, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, Johns Street, Kilkenny.

3. Civic memorials represent significant civic acknowledgement of a subject. It is therefore necessary for the Civic Memorial Committee to use clear criteria to evaluate any proposal. The following criteria will be considered when assessing an application for a civic memorial, monument or plaque:

- The proposal should support the policies and objectives in the City and County Development Plans and Local Area Plans.
- The proposal should demonstrate that the subject for a memorial has made a unique and outstanding contribution to the life or history of County Kilkenny through outstanding achievement, distinctive service or significant community contribution
- The proposal should establish that County Kilkenny is the appropriate geographic location for the memorial, monument or plaque (i.e. there is a strong association with county by virtue of birth, death, contribution to the county etc) and/or that there is a strong association between the site and the event or person being commemorated)
- The proposal should supply written consent from the owner/lease holder of the site
- The proposal should supply evidence of consent from members of the family, estate or group connected with the individual(s) or event to be commemorated
- The proposal will have to comply with planning regulations.
o The erection of a memorial on a Protected Structure requires Planning Permission. Any proposal to erect a plaque on a building that is not a Protected Structure but which is located within an Architectural Conservation Area will be referred for consultation to the Conservation Officer.
o The erection of a memorial on a Recorded Monument or National Monument may require permission from the National Monuments Section of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and will be referred to them as appropriate.
- The proposal should provide evidence that the text for the memorial is factually correct (supporting material such as publications, texts and photographs).
- The proposal must demonstrate high design quality, appropriate aesthetic and artistic merit.
- The memorial must be in-keeping with the proposed location (i.e in terms of design and materials)
- The proposal should provide the following technical information
o site location map, text on memorial, drawings and/or photographs, details of design, details of fixing
- The proposal must provide details of how the memorial will be maintained and cared for in perpetuity. Kilkenny County Council will not be responsible for future maintenance and upkeep of memorials approved under this policy.
- Kilkenny County Council retains the option to remove the memorial at a future date, in consultation with the memorial applicant, if deemed necessary due to planning or health and safety considerations.

4. Other matters relating to the assessment of proposals for memorials:
- Only complete and valid proposals will be considered by the Civic Memorial Committee
- To assist in evaluating any proposal Kilkenny County Council may, at its discretion, require public consultation to be carried out
- To assist in evaluating any proposal Kilkenny County Council may, at its discretion, seek expert advice
- Kilkenny County Council supports diversity and equality, and will consider proposals for civic memorials supporting all 9 grounds of equality legislation (gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community).
- Kilkenny County Council will support the use of bilingual wording on memorials (Irish and English), and other languages, as appropriate
- Generally Kilkenny County Council will have a preference for commemoration of an individual or event on only one memorial
- Financial support for memorials will not normally be made available by Kilkenny County Council, except through existing appropriate County Council grant schemes.
- This policy will be reviewed every five years by the Strategic Policy Committee and adopted by the Council.
- Details of the erection of memorials will be entered onto a register of memorials.

5. The Civic Memorial Committee will refer any approved memorial to the full Council.


Application to erect Civic Memorial Monument or Plaque.pdf (size 132.2 KB)

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