Sunday 17 November 2019

We paint world green, but only have two UNESCO sites - TD

Edinburgh Castle is lit up green for St Patrick’s Day
Edinburgh Castle is lit up green for St Patrick’s Day
The statue of Christ the Redeemer is lit up in green to celebrate St Patrick's Day, atop Corcovado hill in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Getty
John Downing

John Downing

A Government TD has said Ireland's efforts to "green" global historic sites for St Patrick's Day is in marked contrast to its poor efforts to win recognition for historic sites at home.

Clare Labour TD Michael McNamara (inset) welcomed successful Irish efforts to gain recognition abroad. "But I'm concerned that Ireland has only two historic sites (Skellig Michael and Newgrange) given the world heritage recognition - that is the same number as Afghanistan, which has been at war for decades," he told the Irish Independent.

Mr McNamara said that in 2010, Ireland submitted a draft monument list to UNESCO. This list included the Burren, early monastic sites and western stone forts.

He said UNESCO recognition increased visitor numbers by 30pc and the Government should be more active in securing this status.

"The Burren, largely due to the activities of Clare County Council, is slowly advancing through the process. However, many of the other sites appear to be going nowhere," said Mr McNamara.

"It would appear the Department of the Arts has little interest in advancing these projects and is allowing other local authorities to stall their progression," he added.

The TD said Arts Minister Heather Humphreys informed him that Offaly County Council had shown little interest in progressing Clonmacnoise as a UNESCO recognised monument.

He said this had implications for Inis Cealtra, the iconic site on Lough Derg in Clare, which is also part of the Early Medieval Monastic Sites group application.

Mr McNamara also said the local authority in Kerry has shown little interest in developing the Western Stone Forts, which includes Cahercommaun, Co Clare. John Downing

Irish Independent

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