The objective of the IHHA is the promotion and fostering of the immediate and long-term future of Irish privately owned historic properties, together with their associated parks, gardens, estates, contents and archives, and other privately owned places of historic interest and heritage value in Ireland, in the general interests of Irish and European culture, for the benefit of the Irish nation and the public at large.
The Association will seek to further this objective by:
- Aiding and advising the owners and guardians of Heritage Properties in their efforts to maintain and conserve their houses' fabric, contents and surroundings; so that they comply with the relevant legislation, adhere to best conservation practise and to safeguard their architectural integrity and heritage value for the benefit of this and future generations and of the public generally.
- Providing advice in the public presentation of heritage properties and historic houses, the management of historic houses and the maintenance of historic houses and assisting private owners with the provision of public access to these properties, as and when appropriate. This will include promoting, with due regard for best conservation practice, additions or alterations to facilities at heritage properties in order to enable the public to enjoy and appreciate their attractions and for other purposes that may foster future sustainability.
- Engaging with national and local Government and the European Commission to promote adequate fiscal and legislative provisions which relate to heritage properties so as to protect their long-term future, reflecting those policies which have proved most beneficial and cost-effective elsewhere in Europe and further afield and are fair and equitable, both to the owners and guardians of such properties, and to the populace as a whole.
- Promoting contact and dialogue between the owners and guardians of heritage properties and those bodies both within and outside the State which have an interest in this aspect of Ireland's heritage, including but not limited to, national and local Government, schools and universities, national and local museums, art galleries, societies and associations concerned with education, the arts, architecture, culture or national or local history, in order to ensure that best use is made of this valuable resource in education, the arts, tourism and recreation while at the same time respecting the legitimate interests of the owners and their families, and the architectural integrity and heritage value of heritage properties.
- To create and maintain a database of heritage properties in private hands.
- To identify areas where further professional services would be useful for the conservation, protection, maintenance or management of historic houses, and to provide assistance in the establishment of such services to assist with the upkeep of historic properties into the future on behalf of the IHHA and its members, and the public at large.
- To carry out any other activities that may yet be identified that will further the achievement of the objective above.