Valentia Island needs national help to secure UNESCO accreditation

Valentia Island needs national help to secure UNESCO accreditation, according to the local committee.

Councillors in the South and West Kerry Municipal District received a deputation from the Valentia Island Committee, who are calling for joined up thinking between heritage and tourism in the county.

Ireland currently has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Skellig Michael and the Boyne Complex.

Anthony O’Connell, a member of Valentia Island Committee, says the area has a storied history in global communications, and recent developments–such as the opening of the tourist office– has attracted thousands to the locality.

He believes Valentia Island currently has a number of qualifications which would make it eligible for UNESCO accreditation.

Mr O’Connell says Hearts Content, the location where the first transatlantic cable reached land on the North American side, is currently seeking designation as a World Heritage Site.

Kerry County Council says it’s fully committed to supporting any drive to secure accreditation, and a local area plan which will include Valentia Island is due in draft form later this year.