NO definitive plans have been progressed to have the Rock of Cashel marked as a United Nations World Heritate Site, despited repeated attempts by Cashel and South Tipp County Council.
For years, Cashel Councillors have sought to have the iconic Co Tipperary heritage site put forward as part of Ireland’s bid to UNESCO, the body which oversees which of the world’s marvels can be regarded as having World Heritage Status.
Cllr PJ Quinlan called on the Council to update the members on what steps have been taken to advance the Rock’s application to achieve UNESCO World Heritage Status, “and in particular what actions Council have taken to achieve this goal. UNESCO World Heritage Status is of vital importance to Cashel Town’s future.”
Town Clerk Marie McGivern responded: “In December 2008, Mr John Gormley TD, then Minister for the Environment, gave public notice indicating that he had established an Expert Advisory Group to review Ireland’s Tentative List of potential nominees as World Heritage Sites and charged them with the task of drawing up a new Draft Tentative List for submission to him in the Spring of 2009.
“It should be noted that nominations for the World Heritage List are not considered unless the nominated property has been included on the State Party’s Tentative List for at least a year. A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties considered suitable on cultural and/or natural heritage criteria of outstanding universal value. Following an extensive public consultation process and meetings with both Cashel Town Council, South Tipperary County Council, and members of the public, the Department of the Environment announced in November 2009 the publication of Ireland’s new Draft Tentative List of potential nominees to the World Heritage List on the basis of the work of the Expert Advisory Group.” This list included Cashel in a joint bid with the other Royal sites of Ireland, such as Tara and the Dun Ailinne Hill of Uisneach.
“The draft list was considered by the Members of Cashel town Council in December 2009 at which the members were supportive of the draft list, and accepted the view of the Department’s Expert Group that the inclusion of Cashel in a serial nomination would give it the best opportunity of achieving World Heritage Status.
“In April 2010, then Minister Gormley annnounced Ireland’s new Tentative List which was similar to the draft, with one exception, the entry - ‘Dublin - A Georgian City and its Literary Tradition’, was replaced with ‘The Historic City of Dublin’. This new Tentative List was presented to the World Heritage Committee meeting which took place in Brasilia in August 2010. At that meeting the Committee accepted Ireland’s new Tentative List.”
Ms McGivern concluded: “Despite intermediate contacts with the various bodies involved, we have not been advised of any definitive plans to proceed with the Rock of Cashel nomination. It is therefore proposed to write formally to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to ascertain (a) the current status in progressing Cashel for nomination to World Heritage List, and (b) proposed schedule and timeframes for future action.”