The Royal Sites of Ireland are a group of six unique collectives of largely prehistoric monuments and sites associated with early medieval and medieval texts as the principal ancient sites of royal inauguration in Ireland. The collective group of prehistoric monuments and sites are currently on the World Heritage Tentative list for world heritage sites, which is up for renewal and the respective local authorities, including Kildare County Council are working to secure the place of Royal Sites of Ireland on the renewed list, and progress further towards world heritage site status.
Spread throughout the island, four of the sites represent the ancient Kingdoms of Ireland and its current provinces of North (Emain Macha), South (Rock of Cashel), East (Dún Ailline) and West (Rathcroghan). Tara was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland situated in the ancient ‘fifth’ province of Meath (Midhe) while the Hill of Uisneach the ‘omphalos’ or centre was where the 5 kingdoms met.
The respective Local Authorities of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Roscommon and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, with Tipperary as lead authority, have been working together during the lifetime of the last World Heritage Tentative List to develop the Royal Sites of Ireland case for ‘outstanding universal value’ the key attribute for world heritage sites.
“As the current list is up for renewal, the Royal Sites of Ireland has to reapply to remain on the Tentative List and progress further. A new website www.royalsites.ie has been launched to offer further information and insight into these incredible monuments and sites, and we are encouraging people to get involved and be part of the exciting and important process. A survey will be conducted via the website during the month of May and we hope people will take part and help to support the status of the Royal Sites of Ireland on the World Heritage Tentative list and to progress their status further.” Said Bridget Loughlin, Heritage Officer, Kildare County Council.
Please be aware that Dun Ailinne is a private site and permission must be obtained from the owners, the Thompson family before accessing the site.
Image courtesy of Transport Infrastructure Ireland