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Rock of Cashel included in new World Heritage Tentative List for Ireland

Published 4 weeks ago 23rd July 2022 by Jamie O’Flaherty

The Steering Group of the Royal Sites of Ireland welcomed the news this morning that they were announced as one of three successful bids to get on Irelands Tentative List for World Heritage.

The Royal Sites of Ireland are a group of six unique collectives, including the Rock of Cashel which consist of largely prehistoric monuments and sites associated in early medieval and medieval texts as the principal ancient sites of royal inauguration in Ireland.

The respective Local Authorities of Tipperary, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Roscommon and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, have been working together for many years to develop the Royal Sites of Ireland case for ‘outstanding universal value’ which is the key attribute for World Heritage Sites. The Royal Sites of Ireland bid was led by Tipperary County Council and the steering group was chaired by Brian Beck, Director of Services. An application to be put on the new Tentative List was made by the Royal Sites of Ireland team in June 2021. UNESCO guidelines state that in order to be considered eligible to move forward with a bid for World Heritage Status, a site must be on its States Tentative List. The announcement that the Royal Sites of Ireland bid to get on the tentative list was successful is very welcome news. It is the first and essential step in the process to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ireland currently has two existing World Heritage sites, Brú na Bóinne and Sceilg Mhichíl and these hold pride of place in Ireland’s heritage estate.

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 5 kingdoms met.

The Royal Sites Steering Group will now continue with their journey towards nomination. A critical element of this will be partnership, working with landowners, local and national stakeholders and the World Heritage Unit and the Department and work on this process will commence immediately.

Joe MacGrath Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council stated, “We are very happy with today’s announcement, Tipperary County Council has been very committed to the Royal Sites bid and a tremendous amount of work has taken place over the last 12 months to get to this stage. As the lead authority in the Steering Group we look forward to progressing this project with the other five local authorities, landowners, stakeholders and the Department over the coming years in our efforts to get these sites designated as World Heritage Sites”.

Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council Cllr Roger Kennedy said, “The Rock of Cashel has long been an iconic site within our county, I welcome the news that it along with the other five Royal Sites have been placed on Irelands Tentative List and that work can now begin on moving forward with the process”.

Cathaoirleach of Tipperary Cahir Cashel Municipal District, Cllr Michéal Anglim said “I welcome the news that the Rock of Cashel as part of the Royal Sites of Ireland bid has been added to the Irish Tentative List. We in the District appreciate the significance of this site and we are delighted that the Department has seen the potential in the Royal Sites bid”.

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