Monday, March 23, 2009
PRESS RELEASE - TARAWATCH.org - 23 March 2009
'Meath County Council Fails to Nominate the Hill of Tara as a UNESCO Site'
Meath County Council has failed to nominated the Hill of Tara as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of Minister Gormley's public consultation, a recently released Department of Environment document shows. This could prove fatal to the nomination of the Hill of Tara made by third parties, including the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society and TaraWatch.
TaraWatch alleges this omission is a breach of the Meath County Development Plan, which contains a "mandatory obligation on the Council" regarding the "conservation and protection of the environment, including, in particular, the archaeological and natural heritage" as well as "the preservation of the character of the landscape." However, Meath County Council, which already manages the Bend of the Boyne World Heritage Site, did nominate 'Monastic Kells' to be a UNESCO site, as part of the public consultation.
The Hill of Tara received 6 out of the total of 31 nominations received by the Expert Advisory Panel, Chaired by Lord Hankey, which was set up by Minister Gormley to review Ireland's Tentative List of UNESCO sites and conduct the consultation between Dec 1 and Jan 31. The second phase of the public consultation is due to begin shortly, after the Minister publishes the proposed Tentative List, to be presented to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Meeting in Seville this summer. The implications of Meath County Council's failure to nominate the Hill of Tara will be discussed at a round table event in Trinity College Dublin tomorrow, entitled "The Hill of Tara, UNESCO and the human right to culture." It will be held in the Jonathan Swift Theatre at 7.30. Admission free.
Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch said:
"Meath County Council's refusal to nominate the Hill of Tara as a World Heritage Site is a clear failure in their duty to protect Ireland's heritage, and a breach of their own County Development Plan. This failure by Meath is a clear breach of the human rights of all Irish people to enjoy their culture. It is absurd that Lough Gur is being nominated by Limerick, while Tara is not being nominated by Meath, which claims to be the Heritage Capital of Ireland. This month Smithsonian Magazine placed Tara on a list of 10 must-see sites before they disappear, which highlights the continued bad faith on the part of Meath County Council.
Contact - Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365 / Laura Grealish 087-972-8603
Other nominations included:
- The Burren & Cliffs of Moher: Clare County Council
- Cork harbour: Cork County Council
- Tory island: Donegal County Council
- St Brendan's Cathedral and Aran Islands: Galway County Council
- Lough Gur: Limerick County Council
- Clonmacnoise: Longford County Council
- Ceide Fields and NW Mayo Bogs: Mayo County Council
- Rathcroghan Archaeological Complex: Roscommon County Council
- Glendalough Monastic Settlement: Wicklow County
DOE Index of proposals
DOE World Heritage Review
Meath County Development Plan (2007-2013) Chapter 8 'Cultural, Heritage and Landscape Protection
Details of Hill of Tara Round Table - TCD - 24 March