The Hill of Tara is among a number of locations which have been nominated for inclusion on a list of possible UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Campaigners against the route of the M3 motorway in Co Meath have joined heritage groups in submitting proposals to an advisory group, set up by Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley, to review the list of Irish sites.
The existing tentative nomination list for world heritage sites dates back to 1992 and includes Killarney National Park, the Burren and Clonmacnoise. Deadlines for submissions for inclusion on the revised list closed yesterday.
Tarawatch and the Campaign to Save Tara group have claimed that the Hill of Tara complex qualifies for world heritage status as a natural and cultural landscape of outstanding universal value, due to its unique cultural significance and the extent of the surviving remains. Campaigners believe that if the site is shortlisted as a heritage site, then changes would have to be made to the route of the controversial motorway, which runs close to the hill.
“We’d love it if the whole area was chosen to be a world heritage site, but because of the destruction that has been caused by the work on the M3, there is a worry that it might be refused,” Dr Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, of the Campaign to Save Tara group, said.
Mr Gormley has said previously that he supported the plan to have the Hill of Tara considered as a world heritage site as a means of preventing future development in the vicinity of the site.