New National Park established in Boyne Valley
A new national park will be established in the Boyne Valley, the Green Party announced today (September 29th). Over 500 acres will be purchased in Dowth, County Meath, in an area that is an UNESCO World Heritage Site located next to the Newgrange neolithic tombs. The Boyne Valley (Brú na Bóinne) National Park will be a cultural and natural heritage site of national and international importance and Ireland’s seventh national park.
Malcolm Noonan, Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, announced the decision;
“It’s an honour to announce the Boyne Valley as Ireland’s seventh National Park, and the first new one for 25 years. This incredible site tells the story of Irish heritage over millennia, layering prehistoric archaeology, 18th Century architecture and rich natural heritage into one unique visitor experience. Through the stewardship of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and its partners, the future conservation and presentation of this special place will be ensured for generations to come. I’m also looking forward to the development of the research farm on site, which will enable us to demonstrate nature-friendly agricultural practices to a wide audience and innovation for biodiversity in a farming landscape. I have no doubt that Dowth will soon become a shining example of our rich heritage that people from near and far will come to admire and enjoy.”
The national park will cover over 500 acres of land and include two buildings, Dowth Hall, an eighteenth-century country house, and Netterville Manor, a Victorian manor house. The lands cover approximately one third of the total area of the UNESCO World Heritage Property of Brú na Bóinne
Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Green Party EU candidate for Midlands North-West, said;
“Our National Parks protect our biodiversity and heritage, they promote education, research and recreation, and Boyne Valley is a welcome addition. The area hosts a wide range of habitats and is home to dozens of bird and animal species, including endangered species. With its diverse, world-renowned nature, Dowth will be a landmark of conservation and restoration.”
Anthony Murphy, Green Party local area representative for Drogheda said;
“I am delighted with today’s announcement, and I would like to congratulate the Minister for his work securing and protecting this site for generations to come. Having Ireland’s newest National Park located here in the Boyne Valley is fantastic news for Drogheda and South Louth. The Boyne River and its biodiversity are a precious resource and need to be protected. The creation of this park will go a long way to help restore and protect biodiversity in the area.
The monuments of Dowth, Knowth, and Newgrange, are real attractions for visitors to the Boyne Valley and the addition of a National Park will boost and enhance the tourism potential of the area. What was announced today will help to deliver sustainable jobs to the town of Drogheda and to South Louth. In short, it’s good for nature, our heritage, and for building sustainable tourism in the area. The positive impact on businesses in Drogheda, Tullyallen, Slane, and the wider Boyne Valley region will be transformative.”
Cathal Mac Réamoinn, Green Party local area representative for Laytown-Bettystown said;
"The new Dowth national park will have a huge impact on the area. Not only is it a recognition of the outstanding biodiversity, but also historical significance of the area. The additional protections offered by the park's creation will significantly help the endangered animals in the area. It will also help improve the water quality downstream helping the ecosystem as well for human use."