Call for UNESCO World Heritage Status for Aran!

The Irish government is preparing to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status for a number of threatened monuments and sites - but not it seems for the Aran Islands. Why?
The only Irish sites on on UNESCO's World Heritage List are Bru na Boinne in County Meath and Skellig Michael in County Kerry.
There are only two Irish World Heritage sites because of a historically small minded approach by the Department of Environment which protests a "lack of resources" - for looking after important monuments. But as countries around the world realised a long time ago the grant of  World Heritage status can bring enormous benefits and provide the resources to protect the threatened sites. Its what the Americans call a "no brainer."
Now Ireland's Department of the Environment wants more Irish sites included in the UNESCO list. But inexplicably the government is not looking to have the Aran islands added, though arguably they are far more deserving. The natural environment is unsurpassed and threatened by inappropriate development, the cultural heritage is extraordinary and there is a case for UNESCO involvement on purely linguistic grounds.

For now the most likely candidate for World Heritage status is the Rock of Cashel, already one of the most visited sights of Ireland. Several other places up for consideration include Killarney National Park in County Kerry, the North-West Mayo Boglands, the Clara Bog in County Offaly, Clonmacnoise (also in County Offaly), the Burren in County Clare, the Ceide Fields in County Mayo and several stone forts in the west of Ireland.
Northern Ireland features another World Heritage Site,  the stunning Giant's Causeway with the Causeway Coast. And Mount Steward near Strangford Lough is pursuing an application.
But why not Aran? Please comment and give your views.
Shamefully UNESCO had to send an inspector to examine Ireland's world heritage site at Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast late last year. The United Nations organisation, which works to ensure protection of natural and cultural heritage, got involved following controversy within archaeological circles over the ham-fisted was the Office of Public Works (OPW) was handling conservation of the sixth- to eighth-century monastic location.Its probably time for the Minister for the Environment John Gormley to take a closer look.


Recent Entries

Celebrating Tim Robinson
By Richard MarshI've always loved maps.  I can't think about travelling or a new place without a map, not always…
Cottage
"The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. . . ."
Photo: Leonard DoyleExtract: JOHN JEREMIAH SULLIVAN New York Times Published: February 10, 2012 He was blind in one eye and…
Separated at Birth, the Burren and the Aran Islands
The Burren, a rocky wilderness in western Ireland, is a region of ancient magic and infinite strangeness The cliffs…
Stones of Aran, a NY Review of books "masterpiece"
Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage (New York Review Books Classics) by Tim Robinson">Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage (New York Review Books…
Inis Meáin, through the peephole, 1973
Inis Meáin, Aran Islands, Ireland. 1973 from Brendan F. on Vimeo.A short film on life in Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) in…
Inis Meáin, Aran Islands, Ireland 1973
Aileen's is the perfect wave
LORNA SIGGINS, Marine Correspondent The Irish TimesIT IS a magnet for surfers, a nightmare for rescue agencies, and now it…
At last the west awakes to broadband
Dún Aonghasa on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands. The islands have already been covered by the National Broadband Scheme,…
Turning Green With Literacy...Why should we celebrate the Irish?
Op-Ed Contributor"Well, the heart's a wonder," says Pegeen Mike in John Millington Synge's comedy "The Playboy of the Western World."…
How Many "Greats" in Obama's Irish Grandfather?
President Barack Obama walks with Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., after a…
St. Patrick's Day With the Irish and the Jews
Above, Mick Maloney's new album recreates music from the nearly forgotten era of collaboration between Jewish and Irish songwriters in pre-World War…