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Tag Archives: Inis Cealtra

East Clare exhibition celebrates Inis Cealtra

A MAJOR exhibition focusing on Inis Cealtra is under way at the Scariff Library Gallery, to celebrate the fact that the island is in the running for inclusion on Ireland’s tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Lough Derg’s Holy Island is widely recognised as one of the most important early ecclesiastical sites in Ireland. The island, which is now in the ownership of Clare County Council who are developing a visitor experience centre in Mountshannon, is closely associated with St Caiman. The seventh century saint created a major centre of learning at the monastic site. Organised in conjunction with Mountshannon Community Council, the main exhibition’s main centrepiece comes from the excavations carried out by the Office of Public Works (OPW) in the 1970s. These works unearthed a range of important artefacts and revealed the different phases of activity and occupation on the island. The island’s archaeological remains include the iconic Round Tower, the ruins of several churches, an ancient …

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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 …

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Community Consultation on Interpretive Ambitions for Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience

FOLLOWING workshop held online in April, Tandem Partners Ltd, working on behalf of Clare County Council, is appealing to interested communities and businesses to register for a second Online ‘Zoom’ update so that Tandem can share their interpretive ambitions for Inis Cealtra and concepts for the Old Rectory building in Mountshannon. The Online Zoom update takes place on Tuesday, June 15 from 12 noon to 1pm, and registration is essential. Please contact Sheila@tandemdesign.co.uk by 10am on Monday,June 14if you wish to register. Tandem Partners will send a link that enables you to connect to the Zoom update. Only one person may register per form. This update will focus only on the interpretive elements of the project. Separately, Tandem is also interested to know more about the history and heritage of Mountshannon and would be delighted to talk with people who have memories of living and growing up in the area. For people who have stories and memories to contribute, there …

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TD alleges cabinet interference as Inis Cealtra misses heritage listing

A CLARE TD has alleged Cabinet interference in the selection of sites for potential inclusion on a highly prestigious World Heritage listing. Deputy Michael McNamara made his remarks on receiving written confirmation that The Burren is the only Clare site likely to be put forward for inclusion on a Tentative List of Unesco World Heritage Sites. Currently, Ireland has just two sites recognised for their universal value – Brú na Boinne and Sceilig Mhicíl. Inis Cealtra had been included in a grouping of six early medieval monastic sites, alongside Glendalough and Clonmacnoise, for the 2010 Tentative List. Designation did not progress, Deputy McNamara told the Dáil this Wednesday over a lack of interest from Offaly County Council. The likely applications, ahead of a June 30 deadline, for inclusion on the updated list were outlined this week by Minister Peter Burke and include The Burren, Glendalough Monastic Site, the Passage Tomb Landscapes of Sligo, The Royal Sites, and Valentia Transatlantic Cable …

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Major East Clare tourism project takes step forward

AN AMBITIOUS plan to create the Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience has been given the green light, following a Part 8 planning application by Clare County Council. The signing-off on plans to redevelop The Old Rectory in Mountshannon was described at the May meeting of the authority as “a major step forward for tourism in East Clare”. Councillor Pat Burke said he was delighted to proposed the adoption of the Part 8 plan after a successful public consultation period. “There are exciting times ahead now for the area,” he said. “We recently had RTÉ’s Nationwide and Channel 5 putting a spotlight on Inis Cealtra and had a workshops with consultants appointed to the Holy Island project. “My compliments to all involved from the Tourism section of the council for the ongoing work and for advancing the Holy Island plans. This is another major step forward for tourism in East Clare and we’re getting there slowly but surely.” The motion was seconded …

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Inis Cealtra plan animated by rich medieval characters

EARLY medieval characters linked to Inis Cealtra will be given a new lease on life at the interpretive centre being developed in Mountshannon, to illuminate the role of the island as a pilgrimage destination and place of religious devotion. Consultants working on the Inis Cealtra project have been outlining what they believe are relatable themes and stories that will engage a wide variety of visitors with the history of the island. They have also promised that the exhibition space will promote the entire East Clare area. Earlier this month, Tandem Partners held a workshop on Zoom, which was attended by over 25 people including politicians, community leaders, tourism and hospitality providers. Those taking part heard how characters, including The Queen of Munster, Gormlaith, will form part of the narrative used to tell the story of Inis Cealtra and its significance in early medieval Europe. According to records, Gormlaith was a powerful woman whose marriage alliances included Brían Ború (976-1014) High …

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Anger over lack of action on Inis Cealtra heritage designation

THE Burren will be the only Clare site proposed by the local authority for inclusion on a global list of outstanding heritage locations. The council confirmed to The Champion that an application is currently being made to keep The Burren on Ireland’s Tentative List. This means it could eventually go forward for potential future nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List, joining the likes of Brú na Bóinne and Skellig Micheal. “Neither Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) nor Cahercommaun Ringfort are at present under consideration by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in this round of nominations,” a council statement said. It added that the council is committed to “keeping this under review”. The news has met an angry response from Deputy Michael McNamara who previously called for the three Clare sites to be put forward, as well as Scattery Island (Inis Cathaigh) and Mooghaun Hillfort. “It beggars belief that the council would purchase Holy Island and a venue …

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Global status bid for Clare heritage sites branded ‘lacklustre’

GLOBAL status for a number of Clare heritage sites has the potential to bolster tourism in the wake of the pandemic, according to Clare’s Independent TD. Deputy Michael McNamara is urging the council to get behind efforts to secure UNESCO world heritage status for a number of Clare sites including Inis Cealtra. In a strongly-worded statement, the Scariff native contrasted the efforts to light global tourism sites in green for St Patrick’s Day with what he sees as a lack of action on securing longer international heritage status. Deputy McNamara described Ireland’s efforts to green global historic sites such as the Sydney Opera House, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Pyramids of Giza for St Patrick’s Day as in marked contrast to “lacklustre efforts to win recognition for historic sites in our own country”. Nationally, a review is taking place of a tentative list for consideration by UNESCO, which has the power to award a permanent international designation to selected heritage sites. The closing date for councils to make their …

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