Royal Sites of Ireland Tentative List Announcement
The Steering Group of the Royal Sites of Ireland welcome the news this morning that the Royal Sites are one of three successful bids to be included on Ireland’s Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Status.
The Royal Sites of Ireland are a group of six unique collectives of largely prehistoric monuments and sites associated in early medieval and medieval texts as the principal ancient sites of royal inauguration in Ireland.
Spread throughout the island, four of the sites represent the ancient Kingdoms of Ireland and its current provinces of North (Emain Macha), South (Rock of Cashel), East (Dún Ailline) and West (Rathcroghan). Tara was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland situated in the ancient ‘fifth’ province of Meath (Midhe) while the Hill of Uisneach the ‘omphalos’ or centre was where the five kingdoms met.
The respective Local Authorities of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Tipperary, Kildare, Roscommon Meath and Westmeath, have been working together for many years to develop the Royal Sites of Ireland case for ‘outstanding universal value’ the key attribute for world heritage sites.
In June 2021 an application was made for inclusion on the new Tentative List. In line with UNESCO guidelines, a site must first be on its State’s Tentative List before it can be considered eligible to move forward with a bid for World Heritage Status. Being on the Tentative List is the first step in a long process.
The Royal Sites Steering Group is very much looking forward to starting the journey towards nomination. A critical element of this will be partnership, working with landowners, local and national stakeholders, and the Department.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Aengus O’Rourke said: “Today’s announcement is good news for Westmeath and for each of the counties within which the Royal Sites are situated. Inclusion on the Tentative List is an important and encouraging first step towards what we hope will ultimately lead to achieving UNESCO World Heritage Status”.
Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council Pat Gallagher said: “We welcome today’s news, which is the result of many months of work and collaboration between the relevant local authorities, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the World Heritage Expert Advisory Group. We look forward to working with landowners, with the Department and with all the relevant stakeholders in the coming months as we work towards nomination for UNESCO World Heritage Status.”
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 21/07/2022