Local Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has welcomed the fact that the application for UNESCO World Heritage Site status for the ancient royal site in Rathcroghan, County Roscommon is moving a step nearer reality as a further plenary meeting is scheduled for Rathcroghan this June.
Deputy Murphy received the assurance from the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys when he raised the matter through a parliamentary question. Commenting on the issue he said “It is a very slow and painstaking process to achieve UNESCO World Heritage Site status and Minister Humphreys has indicated that the Rathcroghan complex in County Roscommon is one of six sites featured on a Tentative List.”
“I understand that technical evaluations have been produced for each of the six component sites and the Department is engaged in on-going discussions with stakeholders from all six locations to review progress and to chart the next steps. In that context, it has been agreed that the technical evaluations will be sent for international peer review following which work will begin on developing draft management plans for each site, including designation of core and buffer zones in each case.
As part of the process, the Steering Group representative of stakeholders from each area will be visiting each of the six sites. The next such site visit, and further plenary meeting, is planned for Rathcroghan this June.
The culmination of these steps, which will also have to be adopted with each of the other tentative list nominations, would be the creation of the full nomination documents for submission to UNESCO. It is obviously a very slow and painstaking process and it is vital and local communities and key stakeholders are involved at every stage. Securing World Heritage Site status for Rathcroghan would bring unparalleled tourism benefits for the local community and indeed wider afield and it would clearly single out Rathcroghan as one of the jewels in the crown of County Roscommon tourism and secure its place on the international tourist map,” concluded Deputy Murphy.