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On Wednesday the last court case of the protestors who campaigned against the motorway driven across the archaeologically rich landscape that surrounds the Hill of Tara will be heard. It is well to remember the long and bitter fight that has gone on to save this sacred landscape, and of course the political machinations that surrounded the whole affair.
Time has shown in the form of a global recession that this undertaking by the Irish government of the construction of this expensive motorway that short term, ill judged decisions, have grave consequences on our historic landscapes.
Tara and its associated landscape has now made it onto the UNESCO List of Tentative Sites, though it has been grouped with six Royal Irish sites.

Press Release from Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin

The remaining court cases of those arrested protesting at Tara will take place on Wednesday, 13th May 2009. They will begin at 10.30am in Trim Court. This will be the second, and the last day for court hearings of these cases.
These arrests began at Soldier’s Hill, Blundelstown, Tara, 19 July 2007 and many others afterwards. As a reminder, this is the Indymedia thread from that time:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83495 

It is worth noting that the two minister held responsible for the €60m wasted money on voting machines, Dempsey and Cullen, are also the ministers most closely associated with the planning of the M3 on its present route. The estimated cost is anything between €700m – €1bn and the road will be twice-tolled. Meath has one of the highest numbers of unemployed due to the recession, the road is already a white elephant. What is Blundelstown Interchange for? Any passing commuter can now see how it climbs the slopes of the Hill of Tara and how invasive it is on the landscape never mind the catastrophe at Rath Lugh.

It has emerged over the past two years that the Government/Gardaí had implemented “Operation Bedrock” to deal with protests at Tara.

To British eyes the prospect of a country the size of Ireland persisting with spending  €700m – €1bn on a road that now seems to be unnecessary is particularly distasteful. The British government baulked at spending a similar sum to relieve congestion at Stonehenge – despite the fact the effects of the global economic downturn were not fully apparent at that time and the fact that millions of Olympic visitors were anticipated. If Britain said no at Stonehenge what possible excuse does the Irish government have for persisting at Tara? Precious little we suggest.

 

hilloftara1
The Hill of Tara. Image credit www.mythicalireland.com
 
 

The harp that once through Tara’s halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls
As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory’s thrill is o’er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise
Now feel that praise no more.

No more to chiefs and ladies bright,
The harp of Tara swells;
The chord alone, that breaks at night,
Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks,
To show that still she lives.

Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

See also – http://www.smithsonianmag.com/[…]-The-Hill-of-Tara-Ireland.html

M3 Motorway“The Tara landscape has been nominated by the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS) for inclusion in UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites (WHS) currently being drawn up by the Department of the Environment.”

The controversial motorway that has been driven through the landscape around the Hill of Tara has provoked much anger and sorrow for this act of vandalism by the Irish government. In an effort to stop further development,  a proposal was made by Tara Campaigners  to put Tara on a tentative list of proposed World Heritage sites…

The Meath Archaeological and Historical Society have now put foward their submissions as well,

“…the landscape is a unique archaeological, historical, ceremonial, political and cultural landscape focused around the Hill of Tara complex, which served as a necropolis, sanctuary, ritual and royal centre for successive peoples over thousands of years.

“Apart from the dense and varied collection of archaeological sites on the Hill of Tara itself, the Tara landscape comprises a rich and diverse collection of archaeological sites and complexes from the prehistoric to the early historic and medieval periods, including burial monuments, habitation sites, ritual and religious sites and complexes, hillforts, enclosures, souterrains and linear embankments, all testifying to continuous settlement and ceremonial use by different cultures over the millennia…”

See press report here

Whatever the outcome, nothing can be done to retrieve the despoiled landscape round the Hill of Tara from the intrusion of the new motorway, but at this late stage at least a recognition of its importance to world heritage can be recorded, and further development stopped.

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