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Inis Cealtra is the subject of an exhibition taking place currently at Scariff Library Gallery.

Holy Island and Burren in running for World Heritage listing

TWO of Clare’s most renowned heritage sites are to be considered for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List for Ireland.

The Cultural Landscape of the Burren Uplands and Inis Cealtra are among six sites nationally being considered by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for inclusion on the list.

The sites on the highly prestigious list are updated every ten years. Following a public call and a deadline of June 30, six entries were received by the Department. In addition to the two Clare sites, the entries include the Trans-Atlantic Cable Ensemble going from Valentia, County Kerry to Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; the Royal Sites of Ireland located in Counties Kildare, Westmeath, Tipperary, Roscommon and Meath; the Passage Tomb Landscape of County Sligo; and Glendalough Valley in County Wicklow.

An independent advisory group will now consider the applications

to determine which may be included in the next list of World Heritage sites in Ireland.

“It’s a huge credit to all involved in both the Burren uplands and Inis Cealtra to see them reach this stage in attempting to achieve this prestigious status,” said Deputy Cathal Crowe, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on aviation and tourism. “In 2019, during my mayoral term, I was involved in a number of events relating to UNESCO accreditation for the Burren Geopark.

The karst landscape of the Burren and the amazing flora and fauna that thrives on it is very unique. It would be great to see an extension of this to include World Heritage status for the Burren’s lunar landscape uplands.

“Holy Island, meanwhile, is the jewel in the crown of East Clare. Its full potential is only now being realised as Clare County Council, with government support, seek to develop it into a world class tourism site. Tourists these days are very discerning and spend weeks researching online and trawling through social media threads before deciding where to base themselves on holiday. UNESCO status serves to entice tourists in their droves but it also ensures that sites are protected and sustainably managed.”

Deputy Crowe pledged to work closely with Minister Darragh O’Brien on the matter and play any part that he can in furthering the status of both of the Clare sites.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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