More than two-thirds of taxpayers are willing to pay an average €47 extra per year to protect national heritage sites and amenities, while 92 per cent of people believe it is important to protect our heritage, according to research published yesterday.
However, the number who said heritage protection should not interfere with the provision of necessary public infrastructure rose from 52 per cent in 2005 to 58 per cent in this year's survey.
Overall, the Heritage Council study reveals that safeguarding and improving access to the nation's heritage ranks fifth in the public's list of priorities for additional Government funding.
This places it ahead of considerations such as improvements to the road network and increased support for the visual and performance arts, but far behind spending on improving services in hospital A&E departments.
Some 82 per cent of respondents identified the latter as their main priority for any additional Government spending, followed by spending on refurbishing primary schools (4per cent). Some 2.5 per cent said safeguarding and improving the national heritage should be a priority.