New website on the proposal for UNESCO status for the Royal Sites of Ireland

A new website and a public survey has been launched as part of the initiative to promote the designation of World Heritage Site on a group of six sites (including Dún Ailline in County Kildare) associated with early medieval historical and mythological texts and prehistoric archaeology.

The following invite is from Bridget Loughlin, Kildare County Council’s Heritage Officer:

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 5 kingdoms met.

The respective Local Authorities of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Roscommon and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, with Tipperary as lead authority, have been working together during the lifetime of the last World Heritage Tentative List to develop the Royal Sites of Ireland case for ‘outstanding universal value’ the key attribute for world heritage sites. As the current list is up for renewal, the Royal Sites of Ireland has to reapply to remain on the Tentative List and progress further. To engage with communities in the 6 counties in this challenging time of Covid, a website has been launched, to update people as we progress but also to allow people feed into the process. I am encouraging everyone to take part in the survey.

Bridget Loughlin, Heritage Officer, Kildare County Council.