Tuesday 21 August 2007

Gormley extends Skellig Michael consultation

Mr John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, has announced an extension to the public consultation process regarding the Draft Management Plan for Skellig Michael World Heritage Site.

In 1996, Skellig Michael was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO - the body which selects World Heritage Sites as representing the best international examples of cultural and natural heritage. The Draft Management Plan sets out the measures required to ensure the protection, conservation and management of this important heritage site for the next ten years, to 2017.

This draft plan is a comprehensive document which gives detailed information on the history of Skellig Michael, a description of the features of the site, the natural heritage elements of the island and the statutory protection measures which relate to the site.

The Minister outlined that the draft plan documents the conservation works carried out to-date by the Office of Public Works in accordance with best international practice to protect and conserve this World Heritage Site. It also details proposed future works - including ongoing maintenance works - confirms current arrangements regarding visitor access and addresses other important management issues.

In order to facilitate the most inclusive consultation process possible, the Minister has extended the deadline for receipt of submissions on the draft management plan to 28 September, 2007.

The Minister stated that he was been pleased with the high level of interest in the draft plan and he would encourage all community interest groups, professional and technical personnel and the wider public to actively engage in this worthwhile public consultation process.

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