South Kildare Fine Gael TD and Minister Martin Heydon has confirmed that the Dún Ailinne site in Old Kilcullen has been placed on the new World Heritage Tentative List. Dún Ailinne has been considered to demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value and has been recognised as suitable for nomination to the World Heritage List.

Minister Heydon said “This is a hugely significant development for South Kildare. Spread throughout the island, the Royal Sites of Ireland are the six principal areas of royal inauguration and spiritual gatherings in ancient Ireland- and we are lucky to have the renowned Dún Aillinne right here in Kilcullen. It is a space of real historical significance and immense natural beauty, while recognising that the land is in private ownership and visits must be arranged in advance agreement with the landowners. I also want to acknowledge the work done by Kildare County Council to ensure that this site is recognised globally.

“By assigning places as World Heritage Sites, we work to ensure that places of remarkable cultural heritage, such as Dún Ailinne, are preserved for generations of Kildare people to come. Once listed, a site can gain international identification, and new funding to facilitate this conservation effort.

“It is a pre-condition for nomination that a site must be on the Tentative List for at least one year before work can formally begin moving forward in adding a nominee to the World Heritage List, however much preparatory work will need to continue to be done to prepare for that next phase. This is an exhaustive process to build the necessary documentation so that Dún Ailinne may take its place amongst the pantheon of globally important World Heritage Sites.

“Acknowledgement of the rich legacy held in Dún Ailinne as an ancient centre of communication, spirituality and commerce is a foundational step in the full realisation of the potential that the site holds. Together with my local colleagues Cllrs Ivan Keatley and Tracey O’Dwyer, we look forward to supporting Kildare County Council, in conjunction with the Thompson family, to build further on this very exciting progress in the coming years.