The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht was established on the 1st of June 2011 on foot of the reorganisation of Government Departments announced by the Taoiseach in March 2011, bringing together functions from the former Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The Department oversees the conservation, preservation, protection and presentation of Ireland's heritage and cultural assets. The Department also seeks to promote the Irish language and to support the Gaeltacht. The key functions under its remit include:
• Arts, Culture, Film and Music, as well as oversight of Ireland's cultural institutions;
• Ireland's Built and Natural Heritage;
• The Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands; and
• North/South Co-operation insofar as it relates to Waterways Ireland, An Foras Teanga and the wider functions of the Department.
A number of State bodies and agencies with responsibilities relating to various aspects of the Department's remit are funded from within the Department's Vote Group. The Department works with these bodies and agencies to ensure a co-ordinated approach to fulfilling the Department's mandate.