THE reasons why Clare lost out on inclusion of two heritage sites on a list of internationally significant locations has been outlined, on foot of a question from Deputy Michael McNamara.
The Scariff-based TD asked the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the reason why Inis Cealtra Holy Island and the Burren were not included in the UNESCO tentative list when they had been deemed to meet the criteria for inclusion on the previous tentative list.
Responding, the Minister outlined that his Department initiated a review of Ireland’s Tentative List in 2019, following UNESCO advice to do so at least every ten years. Among the six sites included were Inis Cealtra and the Cultural Landscape of the Burren Uplands
“In July 2021 I appointed an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to evaluate each application on their ability to demonstrate potential Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and evidence of local stakeholder support, both of which are essential for inscription on the World Heritage List,” he outlined.
Following an assessment process the advisory group found that the application in respect of the Burren needed further development.
“The EAG acknowledged that the Burren has the potential to fill a gap on the World Heritage List, however, it recommended that the potential OUV needed to be demonstrated by focusing on the criteria for assessment of OUV, authenticity/integrity, and the protection and management aspects of a potential World Heritage property,” he said.
“Also, as the original application was submitted by Clare County Council, a revised application needs to be drafted to incorporate aspects of the Galway Burren to ensure a coherent mutually balanced approach.
“My Department is committed to supporting Clare and Galway County Councils to develop this application further and looks forward to receiving a revised joint application to the Tentative List.
The Burren is therefore not precluded from being on the Tentative List in the future.”
The response in relation to Inis Cealtra’s exclusion was also outlined.
“In relation to Iniscealtra the EAG recommended that it could be included on the Tentative List if the potential OUV was clearly demonstrated,” the Minister said.
“However, although it demonstrated that it was nationally significant, the Technical Group process concluded that a robust narrative for OUV was not sufficiently demonstrated, and that any future proposal to submit Iniscealtra to the Tentative List should be based on a strong comparative analysis, supported by more detailed research, and possibly its consideration as part of a coherent and credible serial site application.
“It is worth noting, he added, “that previously Iniscealtra was not on the TL [Tentative List] by itself, but was part of a serial application site, the Early Monastic Sites.”
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 The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at email@example.com or telephone 065 6864146.