In line with UNESCO guidance, in January 2019 the Department sought applications to a new Tentative List for Ireland, to replace the list dating to 2010. All 31 Local Authorities were requested to make applications to the Department with respect to any properties within their jurisdiction, including properties on the 2010 Tentative List.
The Department, in conjunction with ICOMOS Ireland, organised two workshops and roundtable discussions with stakeholders to Ireland’s World Heritage Tentative List in February and June 2020. Furthermore, the Department arranged expert guidance on the completion of the Tentative List applications for interested stakeholders in December 2020.
Six valid applications were received by the 30 June 2021 deadline:
- The Cultural Landscape of the Burren Uplands, County Clare;
- Iniscealtra (Inis Cealtra / Inishcaltra / Holy Island), County Clare;
- Trans-Atlantic Cable Ensemble: Valentia, County Kerry-Heart’s Content, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada;
- Royal Sites of Ireland, Counties Kildare, Westmeath, Tipperary, Roscommon, and Meath*;
- The Passage Tomb Landscape of County Sligo; and
- Glendalough Valley, County Wicklow (subsequently withdrawn).
*the application envisages the inclusion of Navan Fort (Eamhain Macha), County Armagh as part of a transboundary nomination.
An Expert Advisory Group (EAG), appointed by the Minister, independently assessed the applications and issued their recommendations to the Minister and applicants in November 2021.
The EAG members were:
- Dr Carol Westrik – Chair and World Heritage Expert (Heritage Consultant at Westrik Consultancy)
- Jane Jackson – Industrial Heritage Expert (Principal Adviser and Lead Specialist at Historic England)
- Dr Alison Sheridan – International Archaeological Expert (Research Associate, National Museums Scotland, Honorary Fellow, School of Classics, History and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh and Corresponding Fellow, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut)
- Dr Will Megarry – Irish Archaeological Expert (Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast)
- Dr Claire Cave – Natural Heritage Expert (Lecturer of World Heritage Management, School of Archaeology, University College Dublin)
The Department re-established the EAG as a Technical Group including a representative from ICOMOS Ireland to undertake a Technical Evaluation of the applications and assist the applicants address the EAG recommendations. This Technical Evaluation informed the final composition of the Tentative List.
The 2022 Tentative List consists of:
- The Passage Tomb Landscape of County Sligo;
- Transatlantic Cable Ensemble: Valentia, County Kerry – Heart’s Content, Newfoundland and Labrador (a serial transnational nomination with Canada); and
- Royal Sites of Ireland: Dún Ailinne, County Kildare; Hill of Uisneach, County Westmeath; Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary; Rathcroghan, County Roscommon; and Tara, County Meath (a serial transboundary nomination to include Emain Macha/Navan Fort, County Armagh).