The royal sites of Ireland are 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. These sites of ceremony and assembly were also strongly linked to myth and legend.
Spread throughout the island, four of the sites represent the ancient Kingdoms of Ireland and its current provinces; Emain Macha/Navan Fort (Co. Armagh) in the north, Dun Ailline (Co. Kildare) in the east, Rathcroghan (Co. Roscommon) in the west, The Rock of Cashel (Co. Tipperary) in the south. Tara (Co Meath) in the Ancient fifth province of Midhe was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. The Hill of Uisneach, here in Co. Westmeath, was the centre or ‘omphalos’ where the five kingdoms met.
The Royal Sites of Ireland were on the Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2010. The Tentative List is being reviewed and the respective Local Authorities of Kildare, Roscommon, Tipperary, Meath, Westmeath and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon are currently in the process of making an application to be included on the revised list. Securing a place on the Tentative List is the first step in the process of consideration for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A new dedicated website www.royalsites.ie has been launched with information about the Tentative List application. The website will be updated as the process progresses and people are being asked to feed into the process via a survey, which is hosted on the website. ‘We are encouraging local communities and anyone interested in the process to have their say by completing the online survey by the end of May’, said Melanie McQuade, Heritage Officer, Westmeath County Council.
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 10/05/2021