Well Tara has finally arrived on the Unesco Tentative List site alongside other royal sites of Ireland; (Cashel, Drin Ailinne, Hill of Uisneach, Rathcroghan Complex and Tara Complex): The Royal Sites represent unique expressions of lrish society as places of royal inauguration, ceremony and assembly, representing each of the five provinces of Ancient Ireland.
It is of course all a bit late in the day, the landscape has been severely damaged by the impact of the motorway that is almost built; the Green Minister Mr. Gormley having inherited the poisoned chalice of ‘growth at all costs’ sold his ‘green’ values down the road for political expediency and then, surprise, surprise, the so called ‘celtic tiger’ economy unfortunately lost its roar.
There is a long and well thought out presentation on Tarawatch in response to this news, a proposal and citing of the archaeological and historical importance of Tara and its surrounding landscape…
A common misunderstanding exists that Tara simply consists of the ridge known as the Hill of Tara. Recent research, following the most modern theories of archaeological landscape and surveying techniques, shows that the central ceremonial complex on the hill was surrounded by settlements, religious monuments, ceremonial entrances and route-ways and strategically-placed fortifications. Extended ritual and settlement complexes, or landscapes, are a recognised archaeological phenomenon known elsewhere in Ireland. Other examples include Navan Fort (Emain Macha), Co. Armagh and Rathcroghan (Ráith Crúachain), Co. Roscommon. In the medieval period (7th to 12th century), the prehistoric landscape of Tara translated into a royal demesne defended by the local kings.
Whether or not the Hill of Tara and its surrounding monuments will make it as a World Heritage Site remains to be seen but the proposed Tentative List for Ireland – 2009 can be found here.