Dún Aonghusa and the Burren nominated for UNESCO World Heritage List

Dun Aonghusa

Dun Aonghusa

Dun Aonghusa and the Burren are among seven sites proposed by the Government for nomination as potential UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Dun Aonghusa is one of five ringforts proposed for inclusion on the World Heritage List as part of a Western Stone Forts complex, along with Cahercommaun in Co Clare and Caherconree, Benagh, and Staigue in Co Kerry.

Dun Aonghusa, which comprises four concentric dry stone walls protected by an extensive chevaux de frise — an area of sharp stone slabs surrounding the fort, designed to thwart any attempts to attack it — is widely regarded as one of the best examples of an early medieval stone fort in Ireland, not least because of its location.

“The setting of Dún Aonghasa (on the Atlantic rim of Europe and at, what was at the time of its construction, the western tip of the known world ), and the sheer scale of the monument, are imaginative and breathtaking,” a submission on the complex states.

The karst landscape of the Burren, which stretches through north Clare and southeast Galway, has also been proposed for inclusion on the World Heritage List. The Burren submission outlines its ecological and heritage importance — the site contains more than 70 per cent of Ireland’s native flora, has hosted continuous human settlement for some 6,000 years, boasts more than 2,700 recorded monuments, and supports a rich tradition of music and folklore.

Other Irish sites proposed for inclusion on the World Heritage List include the Céide Fields and Mayo Boglands, the monastic city of Clonmacnoise, Georgian Dublin and its literary tradition, early medieval monastic sites like Durrow, Glendalough, Kells, and Monasterboice, and royal sites Cashel and Tara.

Environment Minister John Gormley made his recommendations following advice from an expert advisory group. He said that stakeholders here would be consulted before anything is finalised.

A meeting will be held in Brazil in July to decide on nominations to the World Heritage List.


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