TaraWatch is calling on the public, around the world, to make submissions to an advisory group that has been set up by the Irish Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, to review the current list of potential UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ireland, known as the Tentative List (of potential nominees as World Heritage Sites).
The Irish Government is currently building the M3 motorway through the heart of the archaeological complex associated with the Hill of Tara, in County Meath, at the same time that it is proposing to nominate Tara to Ireland’s Tentative List. We are asking members of the public to sign our petition and to make submissions, before Friday, January 30th, 2009.
Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our position is that:
– The Hill of Tara complex qualifies for World Heritage status as a natural and cultural landscape of outstanding universal value, due to its unique cultural significance, and the extent of the surviving remains. Tara covers a much larger area than that the 100 acres of State-owned land on the summit of the Hill, which currently delimits the ‘national monument’. The M3 passes through the middle of the area to be protected.
– The entire Tara archaeological complex and cultural/natural landscape should be declared a World Heritage site. Expert bodies such as the World Monuments Fund, the Heritage Council, have recognised Tara consists of the entire Hill of Tara along with the Tara / Skryne valley, as well as the defensive forts that encircle the hill, including national monuments such as the defensive forts of Rath Lugh (to the east), Rath Miles (to the north) and Ringlestown Rath (to the west), and have called for the re-routing of the M3.
-The M3 motorway, due to open in 2010, should be re-routed outside of the Tara complex, before the site is given UNESCO World Heritage Protection. It would be a breach of the World Heritage Convention for UNESCO to inscribe the site, with the M3 passing through it. This is confirmed by the fact that Tara was placed on the World Monuments Fund, 2008-2010 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites
For more information please visit http://www.tarawatch.org/?p=780
Background on why Tara is so special.
The Hill of Tara (Irish Teamhair na Rí, “Hill of the Kings”), located near the River Boyne, is an archaeological complex that runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin in County Meath, Leinster, Ireland. It contains a number of ancient monuments, and, according to tradition, was the seat of Árd Rí na hÉireann, or the High King of Ireland. Current scholarship based on the research conducted by the Discovery Programme, indicates that Tara was not a true seat of Kingship, but a sacral site associated with Indo-European Kingship rituals.
In Irish mythology it is said to be the sacred place of the Gods and a door way to other worlds. From atop Tara one can see half of the counties in Ireland and other sacred sites like Newgrange and further north the Hill of Slane where Saint Patrick lit his Pascal fire just prior to coming to Tara to confront the ancient pagan religions at their most powerful spot. There are many, many monuments and earthen structures on Tara dating as far back as 2500B.C. along with over 30 visible monuments and even more that have not been discovered.
A grave was found near the hill that is supposedly that of King Lóegaire, who was said to be the last pagan king of Ireland. During the rebellion of 1798, United Irishmen formed a camp on the hill but were attacked and defeated by British troops on 26 May 1798 and the Lia Fáil was moved to mark the graves of the 400 rebels who died on the hill that day. In 1843, the Irish Member of Parliament Daniel O’Connell hosted a peaceful political demonstration on Hill of Tara in favour of repeal of the Act of Union which drew over 750,000 people, which indicates the enduring importance of the Hill of Tara.
It is also under attack to be ripped and torn in a most sacrilegious manner by those who have no respect for such things and are blinded by greed with tainted hearts filled will corruption. A privately funded toll road is planned to run right through the Tara Hill Valley desecrating the bones of our ancient ancestors and forever scaring the heart of Tara.
This road is needed to be sure, but an alternate route could easily be instigated around the valley saving Tara and protecting it for future generations. However, the National Road Authorities will have nothing to do with this alternate route and plan to go ahead with the original destructive route.