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Meetings And Excursions For 1904.

The following is proposed for the Meetings and Excursions in the year 1904:—

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• Railway Excursion Tickets will be obtainable for these Meetings. + Members of the Society's Dinner Club will dine at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, at 6 p.m. on the above dates.

Stacker Excursion, 1904.

It will be observed that Tuam, County Galway, is suggested as the place for the Summer Meeting and Excursion for the coming year. According to rotation that meeting should be held in the Province of Connaught; and after consultation with Fellows and Members in that Province, Tuam has been selected; and the Council are pleased to be able to state that a strong Local Committee is in process of formation under the auspices of His Grace the Most Bev. Dr. Healy, Archbishop of Tuam, Vice-President for Connaught, and President of the Galway Historical and Archteological Society; Richard J. Kelly, Esq., J.p., B.l., Hon. Local Secretary, North Galway, and Vice-President of the Galway Historical and Archaeological Society; the Very Rev. Jerome Fahy, v.o., p.p., Hon. Local Secretary, South Galway; Thomas B. Costello, Esq., M.d.; and Joseph A. Glynn, Esq., Solicitor, Chairman of the Galway County Council.

The Meeting is to be held during the last week in July or first week in August, as may best suit local circumstances. Tuam and its immediate neighbourhood are rich in antiquarian remains; and a very pleasant and successful meeting may be anticipated.

Proposed Sea Excursion.

Owing to the solicitation of numerous members of the Society, it is in contemplation to have another cruise about the middle of June, 1904. The first sea excursion organised by the Society was in connexion •with the Connaught Meeting in 1895, when a large party proceeded by the S.S. Calorie from Belfast to Galway, calling at several of the islands possessing remains of antiquarian interest, including the Aran Islands. In 1897 a more extended cruise was made in the same steamer, covering the whole of the sea-coast from Belfast to Kingstown, calling at Waterford for the Munster Meeting, which was held that year at Lismore. In 1899 a still more extended cruise was undertaken to the Scottish Coast and "Western Islands, in which the Cambrian Archaeological Association took part, and was the largest and most successful yet undertaken. After that it was hoped that arrangements could have been made for a tour to Brittany, as large numbers expressed a desire to participate in such an excursion. The Brittany cruise was, however, found to bo surrounded by so many difficulties, that an excursion around the Irish coast has been suggested instead, calling at places not visited on former occasions, such as Kathlin Island, the Barony of Erris on the west coast of Mayo, which abounds in unexplored antiquities, Inishglory and the Davillaun Islands in the same county, the Maharees and the Blasquets off the Kerry coast, Cape Clear in County Cork, the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County Wexford, and Bag-in-bun in the same county, where the Norman Invaders first landed. In addition, places visited before, such as Inismurray, Aran Islands, Clare Island, the Skelligs, &c, would be worth seeing again; and probably the Killeries, Berehaven, and Bantry Bay may be visited.

The details of this tour have not been settled; but it is expected that a trip of nine days can be arranged for, going round from Belfast and ending at Kingstown, at a cost of ten to twelve guineas.

It would be desirable for members who propose to join to send in their names at once to the Hon. Sec, 6, St. Stephen's-green, or to S. F. Milligan, Esq., M.R.i.A.,Hon. Prov. Sec, at Belfast. Full particulars would be furnished as soon as matured; and it would help greatly if the probable number for whom accommodation would be required were known early. An application for particulars is all that is necessary to be made at present, as a list is now opened; and those whose names have been received by the 26th of January would have priority in case there are more applicants than the number for which accommodation could be provided. It is also necessary to know the probable number to judge of the capacity of the steamer to be chartered.

The Opehations Of The Local Goveenment (ihkland) Act, 1898, And The Iejsh Land Act, 1903.

In our last Keport we were enabled to give a resume of the Society's connexion -with the Preservation of Ancient Monuments in this country, and the successful efforts made to secure legislation on the subject; and, in continuation, the Council are gratified to be able to say that, through the exertions of several friends of Archaeology, a most salutary clause has been inserted in the recent Purchase Act intended to protect monuments on lands which may be sold to tenants under the Act. A great deal will depend on the manner in which the clause is worked; but, from the sympathetic attitude adopted by the Estates Commissioners appointed under the Act, the Council have great hopes that it will be successful. A Committee was appointed by the Council, consisting of the President, Hon. Gen. Secretary, Mr. George Coffey, B.a., M.e.i.a.; Mr. W. Grove White, Ll.b.; Mr. Richard Langrishe, J.p., and Mr. T. J. Westropp, C.e., M.e.i.a., Convener, whose Report on the subject, as adopted by the Council, is subjoined:—

Repoet Of Committee.

The first legislation for the vesting and preservation of Ancient Monuments appears to have been in the Irish Church Act, 1869 (32 & 33 Vict, c. 42, s. 25), by which the Irish Church Commissioners were authorized to vest in the Board of Works any ruined ecclesiastical building to be a "National Monument," if of artistic or historic interest. A sum of £50,000 was set apart for the conservation of such buildings; and 137 ecclesiastical structures were eventually vested.

The Act of 1882, best known as Sir John Lubbock's Act (45 & 46 Vict. cap. 73), provided for the preservation of certain other Ancient Monuments by an annual parliamentary grant.

The Act of 1892 (55 & 56 Vict. c. 46) amended its predecessor. It also provided for vesting of monuments by the owner if the Commissioners consented to become guardians.

Full information on these Acts, and a list of the monuments vested before 1892, may be found in the Journal of the Society for the year 1892, vol. xxii., p. 411, in a Paper by Mr. Robert Cochrane, P.s.a. The text of the Acts of 1882 and 1892 is there fully given. The earlier Act provided that the owner of any ancient monument might by a deed vest it in the Commissioners of Public Works. The Commissioners could purchase a monument, and an owner could bequeath one to them; inspectors could be appointed; penalties could be inflicted on any ono injuring such a monument; and monuments similar to those vested could be added. A list of eighteen "monuments to which the Act applies" was included for Ireland, but these, though scheduled, were not, as supposed by many, actually vested thereby.

The Local Government Act for Ireland, 1898 (61 & 62 Vict. c. 37, e. 19), provides that " where any ancient monuments or remains within the meaning of this section are being dilapidated, injured, or endangered, the county surveyor of any county shall report the same to the county council," and a county council may prosecute for any penalty under sect. 6 of the Ancient Monuments Protection Act, 1882 (45 & 46 Vict. c. 73). The provisions of sect. 11 of the said Act (defining "ancient monuments to which this Act applies"), and sect. 1 of the Ancient Monuments Protection (Ireland) Act, 1892, shall have effect as if they were therein re-enacted, with the substitution of "county council" for "Commissioners of "Works"; "but this enactment shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the existing provisions of the said sections as respects the Commissioners of Works."

The Irish Land Act of 1903 (3 Ed. VII., c. 37, s. 14) added a very important clause in the matter of monuments, by which those on any lands vested under the Land Purchase Acts could be reserved from the purchaser to vest in the Commissioners of Works, subject to their consent, and come under protection of the Act of 1882.

Where the Commissioners refuse to take charge, the monument may be vested in the local County Council under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898. The Act of 1903 defines the monuments as "any ancient or mediaeval structure, erection, or monument, or any remains thereof."

Lastly, in the supplement to the Dublin Gazette of October 23, 1903, the Rules under the Act referred to by the Estates Commissioners, as approved by the Lords Justices, were published. Rule No. 9 provides for maps to be lodged with every originating notice, and an affidavit to he made by a competent surveyor as to the lands and their correct record on the map. Rule No 35 provides that "where any land proposed to be sold under the Land Purchase Act contains any Ancient Monument, application to the Commissioners, with a view to having the same dealt with under the provisions of sect. 14 of the Irish Land Act, 1903, may be made by the Vendor or Purchaser, or by any public body or association interested in the preservation of the same."

It will be noted that, under the last Rule quoted, the Royal Society of Antiquaries gains a legal position for making suggestions for vesting any of the countless remains likely to change hands under the operation of this far-reaching Act.

Tour Committee suggest that, with a view of furthering the vesting of Ancient Monuments for their preservation, the Estates Commissioners should be approached and asked to give effect to the following suggestions:—

(A.) That under the Land Act of 1903 (Rule 35), as already quoted, the Surveyor appointed to revise the map of the land about to be sold, be instructed to report as to the existence of Ancient Monuments, whether marked on the Ordnance Survey maps or not, the monuments to he roughly classed as—1. Pillar-stones and stones with carvings, ancient markings, or inscriptions. 2. Cromlechs and stone circles. 3. Forts of earth or stone and artificial caves. 4. Ecclesiastical ruins, such as churches, monasteries, round towers, crosses, and tombs. 5. Castles and ancient residential buildings. 6. Any other ancient structure or carving of importance. And (B.) that in cases where, after application made by the Estates Commissioners to the Board of Works, or the County Council, those bodies decline to accept the vesting of any monument, a clause should be inserted in the deeds of sale reserving such monuments and protecting same from injury by the purchaser or others, subject, however, to the right of investigation at any such monument with the approval of a recognized authority.

The following is the text in full of sect. 14 of the Irish Land Act, 1903, relating to Ancient Monuments:—

"Irish Land Act, 1903, 3 Edward VII., Cn. 37, Sect. 14.

"(1) Where any land, which is vested under the Land Purchase Acts in a purchaser, contains any ancient monument which, in the opinion of the Land Commission, is a matter of public interest, by reason of the historic, traditional, or artistic interest attaching thereto, they may, with the consent of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, by order declare that the property in the monument sball not pass to the purchaser, and make an order vesting the monument in those Commissioners.

"(2) Where any such order is made, the provisions of the Ancient Monuments Protection Act, 1882, with respect to the maintenance of, and access and penalties for injury to, ancient monuments, shall apply as if the monument were a monument under the guardianship of those Commissiouers in pursuance of that Act.

"(3) Wbere those Commissioners refuse to consent to the vesting of any such monuments in them, the Land Commission may, with the consent of the council of the county within which the monument is situate, make an order vesting the monument in that council, and subsection two of section nineteen of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, shall thereupon apply.

"(4) In this section the expression 'ancient monument' means any ancient or mediaeval structure, erection, or monument, or any remains thereof."

Rule No. 35, before referred to, is as follows:—

"Ancient Monuments.

"35. Where any land proposed to be sold under the Land Purchase Acts contains any Ancient Monument, application to the Commissioners with a view to having the same dealt with under the provisions of section 14 of the Irish Land Act, 1903, may be made by the Vendor or Purchaser, or by any public body or association interested in the preservation of same."

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