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Cork TD: Ireland 'long overdue' a marine national park

Ireland is "long overdue" a marine national park, according to a Cork TD.

Holly Cairns of the Social Democrats believes a marine national park would recognise natural and cultural heritage in coastal areas.

She says a marine national park is something that has been done well previously in other countries.

"They recognise the spectacular, natural and cultural heritage of coastal areas and the importance of their preservation and their role in sustainable tourist location," she says.

"There is one in South Wales which is a great example. It was established in 1952 based on a variety of beaches, cliffs, islands, wildlife all things found along there."

This week a new book published by Dr Connie Kelleher, an underwater archaeologist, based in Killarney, who works for the National Monuments Service highlighted the historical significance of some of Ireland's coastal areas as well.

The book examines how pirates based in West Cork made millions from plundering shipping and almost destroyed trade between Europe and the Americas — but were beloved by locals as they gave them three times the going price for supplies.