The Law on Metal Detecting in IrelandAdvice to the Public from the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the National Museum of Ireland on Use of Metal Detection Devices in Ireland
The unauthorised use of metal detectors to look for archaeological objects is against the law.
Such usage is subject to severe penalties, including imprisonment and/or fines. The categories of objects that are most commonly located by metal detectorists in Ireland, such as coins, tokens, buttons, clothes fasteners, thimbles, keys, seals, weights, strap ends and belt mounts, all fulfil the definition of ‘archaeological objects’ which may only be searched for under license. It is advised therefore that persons do not engage in general searches for lost or buried objects as to do so may place them at risk of prosecution and endanger the archaeological heritage.