State Care for the Knock Iveagh Neolithic Burial Cairn

State Care for the Knock Iveagh Neolithic Burial Cairn

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Petition to
Department for Communities

Why this petition matters

Started by Save Knock Iveagh

Knock Iveagh (Cnoc Uí Echach) in South Down is home to a large Neolithic burial cairn and other ancient monuments. The hill was the location for the ritual inaugurations of local kings and a place of governance for the ancient Uí Echach Cobo tribe. They were one of the original tribes (túatha) making up the ancient kingdom of Ulaid, and they later became known as the Magennis Lords of Iveagh.

In common with other inauguration sites around Ireland, Knock Iveagh boasts very impressive views in all directions. The cairn dominates a 'ritual landscape' and is one of the earliest of its type in the North of Ireland. Human activity there has been dated back to approximately 3,600 BC and we know the area was used as an inauguration place until the 17th century. During the centuries which followed the hilltop cairn was regularly visited by the community for recreation and it is a very an important part of the cultural heritage of our region.

In 2017 an unlawful wind turbine development was erected on Knock Iveagh, following a deeply flawed planning process during which State Archaeologists were not consulted. As a result of this and other failures by Statutory bodies, the hilltop and summit cairn have been repeatedly damaged in recent years by developers who are now attempting to prevent the public from accessing this ancient heritage site.

The community has been asking the Department for Communities to take the Knock Iveagh burial cairn into State Care for years now, both for its ongoing protection and so that local people can continue to safely access the summit of Knock Iveagh as they have done for millennia.

Due entirely to the work of the Friends of Knock Iveagh, Knock Iveagh cairn is now amongst the best known historic landmarks in Northern Ireland. Our research has greatly enhanced the public's understanding of the monument and the surrounding landscape. 

The Department for Communities have responsibility for heritage in Northern Ireland/ the North of Ireland and they are responsible for the protection and promotion of our heritage under law. 

The Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 states that: 

'the Department may do all such things as may be necessary or expedient for the maintenance of the monument and for the exercise by it of proper control and management with respect to the monument.' Under this law, which also states that '“protection” includes preservation;', the Department can also 'acquire any historic monument for the purpose of securing its protection.'

It is now past time that free access to this incredibly important place in our heritage was restored and the site given the fullest possible protection under the law. The Department for Communities have the power to do this.

Please support our campaign to bring this very important place in our Ulster, Irish, and European heritage into State Care by signing and sharing our petition.  


Your comments are welcome - we will ensure these are all passed on anonymously! 


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