Discussions are to take place “shortly” on the question of whether the Hill of Uisneach, along with other royal sites in Ireland, should be nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Deputy Willie Penrose raised the subject for discussion at Dáil Éireann level recently, when he asked what the situation was.
The response from the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Deputy Jimmy Deenihan, was that the process involves initially drawing up a “Tentative List” of sites they consider worthy of inclusion.
Ireland’s Tentative List was submitted to UNESCO in March 2010, and it included the Hill of Uisneach.
The next stage is, however, “a significant undertaking”, said Minister Deenihan, explaining that it requires the development of “comprehensive nomination documentation”, including a management plan for the property.
Affter the nomination is made, three international bodies evaluate the submission, and once they have done so, the intergovernmental World Heritage Committee makes the final decision.
Minister Deenihan revealed that in September 2013, a seminar was hosted here to establish the extent of local interest in going for World Heritage status.
“My department has been in ongoing contact with relevant local authorities and community representatives since the seminar to further clarify the significant research and other requirements involved in preparing nomination documentation,” he stated.
The minister then went on to state that as part of this process, a further meeting will take place shortly with representatives from the areas included as Royal Sites on the tentative list, including the Hill of Uisneach.
The other royal sites included were: Cashel, Dún Ailinne, the Rathcroghan Complex, the Tara Complex, and consideration is being given at this stage, in consultation with Armagh City and District Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, to the possibility of adding Eamhain Mhacha/Navan Fort in Armagh to the list.