Mairead McGuinness MEP and first Vice-President of the European Parliament recently visited the early medieval ecclesiastical site at Monasterboice, Co. Louth where she met some of the Monasterboice Tour Guides, local volunteers who help visitors access the ancient site, which dates back to the 6th century.
She discussed with the group the protection and preservation of the site in line with the 2008 Conservation Study undertaken.
In that study the preservation of the crosses was deemed to be the most pressing issue but it also identified issues around the conservation of the entire monument complex.
The MEP told the group that she would be writing to Minister for Culture, Heather Humphreys, to highlight the recommendations in the study with a view to progressing them and preventing any further deterioration of the site.
Ms McGuinness commended the group on what she said was “tremendous work in keeping our history alive. Our community owes them a debt of gratitude.”
The monument includes a round tower, two stone churches, a series of cross-slabs and high crosses, set in a graveyard. The High Crosses are an outstanding example of medieval structures – these Crosses alone lend international significance to the site.