Sharks, murder and a neolithic ‘spaceship’: the mysteries of Ireland’s new national parks

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The ecological jewel of Kerry Marine national park and the archaeological splendour of Brú na Bóinne in the east are the latest additions to the country’s portfolio of protected areas

Ireland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has had a busy time in recent months, adding another two sites to its portfolio of six national parks since last September. First, it announced the state purchase of 223 hectares (551 acres) of land on the Dowth Hall estate in County Meath. Then, on Earth Day in April, it unveiled its first marine park – 566 hectares centering on Corca Dhuibhne – the Dingle Peninsula – and including Conor Pass, a vertiginous narrow laneway that whips around the contours of Mount Brandon in County Kerry.

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