The news that Dowth Hall demesne has been purchased by the State and as Boyne Valley (Brú na Bóinne) National Park will become the North East’s only national park, has been greeted warmly at a local level.
Cllr Wayne Harding confirmed that Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) will lead the educational aspect of the project, calling it ‘a great day for the area, for the Boyne Valley and for the country’.
“I have been a member of LMETB since 2009 when it was then Meath VEC and under the current Chief Executive Martin O’Brien, the strides the organization has made in the northeast are absolutely breath taking.
“But this represents new territory in sustainability and is a massive endorsement of the groundbreaking research of the Devenish team at Dowth,” he said. “Their research into the mixing of different types of grass species has been proven to increase the filtration of water running off the land and entering our water courses. This announcement primarily puts this research at the centre of the Government’s actions to tackle climate change and with it, puts the lands at Dowth centre stage as well. “I’ve been promoting the idea of the purchase by the State of this historically and archeologically rich site, comprising 30% of the Brú na Bóinne site for some time. Louth TD Ged Nash said the Dowth Hall acquisition was a momentous day for the locality.
“It is a magical place in every sense of the word with outstanding universal value and the possibilities for responsible tourism, sustainable job creation, restoration and conservation and education are endless,” said Deputy Nash. “I look forward to seeing the evolution of the plan for the site and we are privileged now, in Drogheda, to have land in public ownership spanning Drogheda through Oldbridge beyond to Dowth.”
Meanwhile, Brian Hanratty, Director of the The Battle for the Boyne campaign said this was an ideal opportunity for part of the nearby extensive Battle of the Boyne site to be ‘re-purposed’ to include an All-Island Museum of Military History.
“This acquisition by the State can be described as a veritable treasure trove of architecture, history and archaeological remains including a Neolitihic passage tomb and henge and other significant elements. Coupled with Newgrange, Knowth and more recently discovered sites, this area is truly of global significance.” said Mr Hanratty.
“Since the Irish Government acquired the battle site in the millennium year, a modest interpretative centre was developed, but most of the site is simply leased for farming. So there is huge potential to expand further on the story of the largest and most famous land battle fought in Britain and Ireland, as well as establishing a National Museum of Ireland – Military History detailing Ireland’s military history and legends from throughout the ages – and do it in a sensitive manner.”