In a week in which we’ve been assured that “Free Stonehenge” and access at anytime by anyone carries no risk – especially from “blokes with hammers” (“You are constructing an argument based upon absolutely no evidence”) – comes news that Irish police are hunting vandals who viciously attacked the Lia Fail standing stone, Ireland’s Stone of Destiny on the Hill of Tara in Co Meath with a hammer!
Damage has been caused in 11 places on all four faces of the stone. Archaeologist Tom Condit said the damage was visible on the stone’s surface but a search of the area did not reveal any of the fragments, which may indicate that they were taken away.
He added that such “obviously wanton” damage was rare. We’d agree with that. But he also said “It is disturbing that someone would select a site as well known and as vulnerable as that.” Disturbing, yes. But entirely predictable for vulnerable and well known are the two most appealing qualities for would-be attackers. So what more impressive illustration could there be of the folly of listening to the “access to Stonehenge at anytime by anyone as it belongs to everyone” brigade?
It’s hard to quantify a risk but it’s a scientific fact that the greater the opportunity the greater the risk – something that will no doubt make English Heritage nervous in the next few days – as it should until they finally take proper action on behalf of all stakeholders to avoid all avoidable risks.