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Announcing Ireland’s first Marine National Park!

I'm so proud today to officially announce the establishment of Ireland’s first Marine National Park - Páírc Náisiúnta na Mara, Ciarraí. With the Conor Pass as its gateway, and centred around the Corca Dhuibhne / Dingle Peninsula in Co. Kerry, this new Páirc is a celebration of Ireland’s built and natural heritage, bringing together some of the most ecologically valuable and archeologically significant landscapes in Europe across more than 70,000 acres of lands and seas.

The establishment of this Park not only fulfils an important Programme for Government commitment, it delivers on a key action in the National Biodiversity Action Plan while responding to the almost 20,000-strong public petition calling on the state to buy the Conor Pass.


Today’s news signals a new era for the protection and restoration of nature on the Dingle Peninsula, and also for the people of Ireland, who will be able to enjoy the wonders of this incredible place for generations to come. As a Green Party Minister for Nature and Heritage, I’m proud to have delivered two new national parks for the Irish people, with Páírc Náisiúnta na Mara, Ciarraí as the eighth and largest. A place of global significance and majestic beauty, this Páirc will be dedicated to the protection and restoration of its biodiversity and archaeological heritage, both of which are of international importance.


Bringing the Conor Pass and the lands at Inch into public ownership has enabled the creation of this, the first marine National Park in Ireland’s history. Encompassing mountains, blanket bog, heaths, rivers, coastal dunes, limestone reefs, sea cliffs and some of the wildest and most biodiverse land and seascapes in the country, our new National Park is nothing less than a celebration of nature and Irish wildlife - a fitting legacy for a government that put the protection of nature firmly on the political agenda.


The Conor Pass hosts some of Ireland's most stunning scenery and wildlife, and some of the peninsula's most iconic locations will be included in this new National Park. Designating these spaces for nature and actively restoring the landscape will benefit eagles, ospreys, sea birds, the natterjack toad, and many more species. This is a win for nature, a win for biodiversity, and a win for tourism in this spectacular region.


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