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Tara Temple destrction already ordered by Roche

category meath | history and heritage | other press author Thursday May 03, 2007 08:44author by TaraWatchauthor email info at tarawatch dot org Report this post to the editors

In today's Irish Times, Dick Roche refuses to deny charges he has ordered the Tara Temple demolition

On Wednesday, 2 May, TaraWatch learned that Minister Dick Roche has already drafted 'directions' under the National Monuments Act 2004 - section 14 A, that order the 'preservation by record' and demolition of the massive prehistoric temple enclosure or henge recently reported to have been found in the valley between the Hill of Tara and the Hill of Skryne, in County Meath.
Dick Roche "knew for weeks" about temple
Dick Roche "knew for weeks" about temple

These draft directions have already been sent to the National Museum, as part of 'consultation', required under the Act. Today's papers reveal that the Minister has already known for weeks about the site, since it was reported to him by the National Roads Authority. He only stopped the works on Tuesday because TaraWatch alerted the media on Tuesday morning, and threatened legal action.

This is the statment made to the media yesterday by TaraWatch:

PRESS RELEASE

TaraWatch.org

2 May 2007

'Minister Has Already Made Directions to Demolish National Monument at Tara'

TaraWatch has learned that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dick Roche, has already made his decision to demolish the 'newly discovered' national monument in Lismullen, near Tara.

According to well-placed sources within the National Museum of Ireland, the Minister sent a set of draft 'directions' to the Director of the
National Museum as part of the statutory consultation process, required under section 14 A of the National Monuments Act 2004 when a national monument is discovered during ther course of roadbuilding.

In these directions Minister Roche directs that the national monument be preserved 'by record'. In other words, excavations will resume in a matter of days, and the massive enclosure will then be demolished.

Under the Act, the Director has no veto power over any decision the Minister makes. Consultation is simply a formality, to give the
appearance of checks and balances where they do not actually exist.

The Minister does have the power to preserve the monument 'in situ', and force a reroute of the motorway, as he did in Woodstown in 2005. However, the Minister has clearly decided against this option, which Dr Wallace preferred when previously consulted by the Minister about Tara, also in 2005.

Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch said:

"How could a responsible decision on whether or not to demolish a complex national monument like this be made within 24 hours of its
discoverY? As he admits himself, archaeologists have not yet even uncovered much of the site.

"This decision will once again raise the legal issue of whether or not the National Monuments Act 2004 is constitutional. Although High Court Justice Mary Laffoy has recognised the existence of a constitutional duty on the Minister to protect the national heritage, the matter has not yet been fully addressed by the Supreme Court. This case may present that opportunity.

"There are many inconsistencies in the story so far. Yesterday the NRA admitted to Richard Dowling of RTE that they have known about the site for weeks. Why wasn't it mentioned by Minister Cullen at the M3 sod-turning ceremony on Monday? Why wasn't it reported to the Minister earlier? Or was it?

"We are continuing to take legal advice on the matter.

ENDS

Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365

Siobhan Rice 086-319-9833

In today's Irish Times, Dick Roche refuses to deny that he sent draft directions for the demolition of the Tara temple to the National Museum for comment, as part of 'consultation'.

Tara ‘henge’ will be destroyed - claim
The Irish Times - Thursday, May 3, 2007

Minister for the Environment Dick Roche has already issued draft directions that would allow for the destruction of the recently discovered “henge” along the route of the M3 in Co Meath, it was claimed yesterday.

The environmental group TaraWatch said Mr Roche had sent draft directions to the National Museum to preserve the henge “by record”, a process that would facilitate photographs and written records being made before the henge is removed. Under Section 14A of the National Monuments Act 2004, if a national monument is discovered, the Minister is required to consult the director of the National Museum before deciding on what action to take.

Mr Roche told The Irish Times yesterday that he was in consultation with the National Museum, but he declined to elaborate on the nature of that consultation. Asked if he had sent draft directions to the museum to preserve the monument by record, as claimed by TaraWatch, Mr Roche repeated that he was “in consultation with the National Museum” and referred to his department’s previously issued comments on the discovery. On Tuesday the department said: “The Minister has consulted with the director of the museum on the directions that would be most appropriate in this instance from the point of view of best archaeological practice. Directions will issue as soon as possible after the Minister receives the director’s response. “The Minister is advised that the surviving elements of the monument are extremely fragile, underlining the need for an early decision on how to proceed.”

TaraWatch spokesman Vincent Salafia said the group had “well-placed sources within the National Museum” who were aware of draft directions that had been sent, which instructed that the monument be preserved by record. Dr Mark Clinton, chairman of An Taisce’s national monuments and antiquities committee, said: “The discovery of what could be called a temple, after the fashion of a comparable discovery at Emain Macha, seat of the kings of Ulster, is of obvious major significance. Such sites are extremely rare.” He called for full scientific excavation to be followed by reconstruction.

Labour Party environment spokesman Éamon Gilmore said the issue could have been avoided if the Government had accepted a November 2004 proposal that the M3 be developed immediately in three sections, “and that the controversial section, running through the Skryne Valley, be rerouted”. Fine Gael transport spokeswoman Olivia Mitchell has said she was “stunned” to learn that “more than 500 archaeologists, hired at a cost of €30 million, managed to miss a four-acre historical site while excavating for the new M3 motorway”.

Tim O’Brien.

write to: lettersed@irish-times.ie

OTHER MEDIA STORIES TODAY:

Irish independent: Roche alerted weeks ago to major 'temple' on M3
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hilloftara/message/2826

Ireland Online: Hill of Tara will be lost under M3, warn campaigners
http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=218091166&p...9y87z

The Gaurdian: Relic find halts road construction
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hilloftara/message/2830

Monsters and Critics: Work stops on Irish motorway through ancient site after find
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hilloftara/message/2829

Irish Times -Letters to the Editor: Happenings at Tara
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hilloftara/message/2828

UTV: Campaigners concerned over motorway plans at Co Meath site
http://www.utvlive.com/newsroom/indepth.asp?id=81937&pt=n

Irish Times - Irishman’s Diary: Tara and the Israelites (May 2)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hilloftara/message/2831

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org

Temple now estimated to the 4 acres!
Temple now estimated to the 4 acres!

henge1.jpg

Artist's impression of a henge
Artist's impression of a henge

author by Johnnypublication date Thu May 03, 2007 09:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think the number of pagans who offer human sacrifices to sun god are very low in Ireland so I doubt many Irish people will have much use for such temple don't you think?

I believe that there are tens of tousands of people who live in Meath who need to commute to work every day and may need to use roads?

Now who do you think should be listened to here by the government - a bunch of nerds in anoraks or the people of Meath who need to raise their families and get to work in the mornings?

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Credit where credit is due.

"The answer lies in the Constitution (Bunreacht na hEireann)"?

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com
author by Road Ragepublication date Thu May 03, 2007 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Tara M3 campaign is receiving some attention - and rightly so, but here in Galway we are also being told we need a bypass.
While Menlo (the area where the proposed bypass will cut thru') cannot be compared to Tara, it is still a beautiful area.
Besides, this bypass is being built for the wrong reasons- to rezone land and construct more hotels and shopping centres. Also public transport has for so long been utterly neglected under this govt.

I want to re-start the anti-bypass campaign (pro-public transport). The people of Menlo had a good campaign going some time back but things seem to have quietened down. Can we get organised?

Related Link: http://www.isupportthebypass.com
author by Heather - TaraWatchpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 19:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks William.

Please keep sending information about Galway. Here is another scandel in the works, again being perpetrated by the NRA:

Last stand by defenders of a Gaelic clan fortress

http://www.examiner.ie/irishexaminer/pages/story.aspx-q...1.asp
03 May 2007

THE ‘peasant mentality’ of the vandalism at Tara (Letters, April 30) is hardly adequate to describe the destruction proposed by the NRA at
Carrigaphooca Castle Demesne near Macroom in Co Cork.

There are two registered national monuments and a protected structure within its demesne and part of the landscape is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage category on historic gardens and designed landscapes.

Much more importantly, however, is the fact that Carrigaphooca Castle is the symbolic reference point for the Irish Brigades, as Prof John A Murphy has pointed out. It was from this castle that Justin MacCarthy, Lord of Muskerry and Carrigaphooca, led the first Irish brigade to France with troops from the castle’s hinterland.

A lieutenant-general of France, Justin MacCarthy commanded an estimated 30,000 men in the Irish Infantry Regiment of King Louis XIV (1690). The troops were drawn from the hinterland of Carrigaphooca and Macroom, Cork and Kerry. These legendary Irish brigades fought in every great European war. In 1792, the farewell banner of the Irish brigades was presented by Comte de Provence to Col Edward Stack of the Dillion Regiment at Coblentz. Col Stack was a descendant of the MacCarthy Mór of Carrigaphooca Castle.

It is within this Muskerry/French intellectual aristocratic circle that Edmund Burke (whose mother was a Nagle from Mallow) and Daniel
O’Connell (nephew of Count O’Connell) honed their philosophies and political ideals.

Now the setting of Carrigaphooca Castle, this evocative symbol of the dispossessed, is condemned to a compulsory purchase order for a new super Euro route highway when there are two alternative routes.

Gone forever will be the evocative picture of the castle where, in the mist, you can imagine the flying flags of the Irish regiments and
soldiers marching on foot. The evocative atmosphere at Carrigaphooca Castle, stone circle and manor house is a tangible reminder of these Irish brigades. The NRA is proposing now to obliterate the entire setting of the castle, the remnants of its bawn and its associated
manor house by placing a four-lane highway and two flyovers less than 200 metres from the castle door.

Thus the visual amenity of the castle, which has stood for 800 years, is utterly destroyed for future generations.

Carrigaphooca Castle was built by Dermot MacCarthy, brother to Cormac Láidir, who built Blarney Castle. As Prof Murphy reminded us, it is on route to Muckross Abbey and Kilcrea Abbey both built by the MacCarthy Mór clan. This is the Gaelic royal route of our chieftains and should be preserved as a heritage trail.

WB Yeats included a story from Carrigaphooca Castle in his collection of Irish Fairie Tales.

We are, indeed, a petty people.

Eileen Stack Shanahan
Carrigaphooca
Castle House
Macroom
Co Cork

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by TaraWatchpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times and RTE's Gerry Ryan Show are holding polls right now and Tara is winning
Vote for Tara now! So, far the polls are showing the majority of Irish people want the road re-routed. This confirms the results of a national poll in 2005, located at http://www.hilloftara.info/
Visit http://www.ireland. com and vote for Tara.

Q. Should the Irish Times be rerouted?

Responses so far:

Should the M3 motorway be re-routed?

70% YES

30% NO

==

GERY RYAN SHOW

Text call or write into the show. They are doing a survey. Save the new
site discovered or not?

CONTACT DETAILS

From Rep. Of Ireland: 1850 715 922
From N. Ireland or UK: 08457 585 285
(The Ryan Line is open Mon-Fri 9am-12)
Text:
Republic of Ireland: 51552
Northern Ireland: Text the Letters NI followed by your comment to 80889
Email: grs@rte.ie

http://www.rte. ie/2fm/ryanshow/ todays.html

hengegeo1.jpg

hengegeo2.jpg

hengeaerial.jpg

henge1_1.jpg

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by TaraWatchpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 11:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

55 % say 'excavate the site' on Gerry Ryan show, so far. That's changed from 70% earlier in the poll. Voting stops at noon. Vote all day on the Irish Times site http://www.ireland.com

Comments so far on the Irish Times site include:

Suppose we re-route it. Then they will certainly find more antiquities. And they must re-route it again. And so on. Let's get real. Every part of Ireland has been touched by ancient humans - even the landscape itself. Our countryside of fields replaced great forests which once covered the island. Even the Burren was caused by ancient people clearing the forests. Since the last ice age, ten millenia ago, people have lived and built homes everywhere in Ireland. So, major works like a motorway will turn up archaeological finds. It's happened in Dublin, in Waterford, in Wicklow, everywhere we build roads. We have to accept that we live on a much used island, and that we must lose some of the stuff buried below ground. All we can do is pay a load of archaeologists to haul out all they can. And then move on with life - just as we have for the previous ten thousand years.
Michael O'Malley Ireland

Yes. Listen to yer ancestors.
JOD United States Minor Outlying Islands
If this is where the Fianna Fail bodies are buried -yes !
kate Ireland
Of course. It should never have been routed along such a critical historic site. And I don't go along with the argument that without the road we wouldn't know about the recent finds. That highlights the failure in this country to value and invest in researching our ancient history. The history of a country is critical to its psyche and well being. We know little or nothing about our pre-British history. To get a better understanding of who we are and where we are going we need to know where we came from.
Art I Culer Papua New Guinea
NEGATIVE. THE SHORTEST (AND CHEAPEST) DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO POINTS IS A STRAIGHT LINE. At least that's what Euclid said. Forget the antiquities. Forget the ancient artefacts and, especially, forget the wailing, hand wringing and whinging of the pseudo-hippy types. They delayed the road construction in Wicklow (hill of the downs) for years. For What? So they could hang out in trees like unwashed orang-utangs? This is the 21st century folks. Cars, lorries and buses have to traverse the countryside unimpeded. Progress must be made soon or Ireland will wind up with yet another M-50 debacle. Designed in 1975 for 1975 traffic and finally completed 20 later. Ya'll can see the consequences. Grow up....Evolve kiddies. You wanted to live, enjoy and embrace the material pleasures Americans have had for decades. Now you got them. OOPs, forgot the itsy-bitsy little inconveniences that go along with the feel good factor? Tough petunias. Antiquities are OUT. Autobahns are IN. So suck it up and get on with the tar-macadaming!
eddie- the Aggravator Ireland
There's a question to be answered. Yes to the question. I'd like to see it routed through as many heritage sites as possible. Since we like to destoy our history so much. Some people here even think we're part of the UK, so clearly history doesn't matter. And I haven't even mentioned the environment yet.
Captain Liberte French Polynesia
Its a road. Get over it
keith Ireland
This whole thing smacks of incompetancy at the highest level and a certain amount of covering-up by Roche who obviously didn't want to spoil Cullen's photo op.
How a site of such size was missed during the initial surveys by so-called highly paid professionals calls into question the entire process of archealogical investigation. Perhaps the return of their fees just might sharpen their skills when they are next contracted to provide a similar service. We can expect the cost for re-routing to soar as yet another infrastructure project descends into farce under this administration.
Monty, M50 Kyrgyzstan

I don't know. I understand that they found some old stuff along the current route but given the way that the anti-everythings hype up such finds who could make a call on it without further details. Even if the route was moved 10 miles east or west the chances would be, in a long settled country, that some other old stuff would be found. You'll find stuff all over the country if that's what you want to do. From fairy trees to fairy forts to natterjacktoads to Eriopherum gracile it's always something. And despite what the Greens say we need roads since the Greens won't let us build hi-rises (or even lo-rises) in Dublin because it might upset some old Vikings.
There's a reason you know why developers develop greenfield sites far away from Dublin and it's called Woodquay. Only a government with its paws in the taxpayer wallet can take that kind of financial hit.
owen United States Minor Outlying Islands

Deja vu. Good advice was given by experts from the outset to avoid the Tara area. As ever, this was dismissed as nonsense from cranks and hippies. Head down, close ears, get the Bull Roche to force it through. No sooner has Cullen cut the tape, what do they find? A major archaeological discovery. Somehow missed in the extensive site investigation. Bull Island couldn't make this up.
And by the way, go to either the Department of Transport or Transport 21 websites. They're both festooned with "Cullen ...". They've beeen reduced to propaganda sites for Martin Cullen opens this, opens that, says this, promises that - and not a mention of Pat the Cope. Bet that goes down well in Donegal.

And yes, they should reroute the motorway, as they were told from the outset. Send the bill for additional costs to the sitting TDs in the current Government.
Brendan Mali

I was watching a thing on China the other night. They're building the biggest city in the world, seemingly, on the site of an old town with a mountain. Bringing in world renowned architects to design the place. Brought in a Frenchman who designed the Berleymont on Brussles. He did his piece and recommended that they keep a piece of the old village as well - heritage probably. The next time he visited not only was the village gone but so was the mountain. You'd have to admire the Chinese.
None of this ancestor worship with them like we do be going on with here.
owen United States Minor Outlying Islands

Of course, but if our present Minister's for Transport and the Enviornment and Heritage are returned to their positions in our new government, don't hold your breath. The most important issue facing this country at present (and that should be a factor for every citizen), is if we once again want somebody, who may be of dubious character, leading it. The last time I heard, we live in a democracy.
Torch, sick of cute hoorism in govt. Malawi
Yes. The whole thing is a farce. There is a railway line between Navan and Drogheda, which goes direct to the centre of Dublin. The current motorway plan will get the traffic faster into the traffic string of bottleneck between Blanchardstown and central Dublin. So it is a complete load of nonsense and 1960s planning at it's worst. It would cheaper to buy a fleet of fast suburban trains to run from Navan, on existing track via Drogheda into central Dublin. Why are the obvious solutions never followed by the idiots in the planning people in this country ? (I am not blaming the politicians for this one, because the eagerness of the National Roads Authority to build another cash cow for the NTR company, asks serious questions about the independence of the National Roads Authority)...
Captain Banana Ecuador
YES, but it won't be. The gang of philistines in charge wouldn't recognise an archaelogical artifact if it hit them between the eyes. The only thing they recognise is money.
Thomond, Limerick Ireland
I'd say yes to this. It doesn't make a huge amount of sense to this poster to drive a motorway through one of the most archaeologically important and sensitive areas in Ireland and Europe. Nor does it make sense from an aesthetics point of view.

Of course if there is a clear choice to be made between a sensitive and sensible way of developing a road, or a contentious and destructive route, no prizes for guessing which of the two the NRA is irresistably drawn to. They can't help themselves.

Dave, Dublin Ireland
In Athens they built a metro, moving anything they found when they dug the tunnels to be put on display in the stations. Progress in one of the oldest cities in the world while still respecting the past. Why can't we get the same balance. The island has been populated for so long that we will find archelogical remains almost everywhere.
Maria Ireland
Yes it should, and there is plenty of it to build for this not to hold up the construction - just move the truck up a mile or so.
Stephen Ireland
No. It's only hippies and ganga smokers who care about some pre-historic stone wall 10 ft under the ground. Build over it. If they do keep it who'll visit it anyway? Not us. The same eco warriors will be driving their 4x4 diesel guzzlers over it anyway when the M3's built.
Captain Liberte Ireland
Absolutely not! Just look at the results of the archaeological digs in the line of ANY major road. On (now under!) the new N6 they found ancients graves, graveyards, HUNDREDS of prehistoric remains, sites, habitations - all in a 20 mile strip 100 yards wide.
Ireland has been continuously inhabited for 8,000 years - there isn't a square inch of soil left that hasn't been worked over numerous times by the hand of man (or woman).

This worshiping of ancient ruins is a form of necrophilia; obviously a replacement for their lost conventional religion by the loons who can't live with rationality.

Greenism (other than concern for the environment from a purely utilitarian position) is a form of cultish madness.
Hard Oak Greenland

No, definitely not. There's nothing there, it's all long since rotted away. Whatever can be documented and recorded should be, and displayed elsewhere.The Tara protesters have missed the point, This has been the only find on a 60km road project. Says it all really, ciao.
martin Ireland
if there is indeed a temple as they describe, it would be a crime to destroy it and build a motorway on top of it. surely re-routing it by a few hundred feet isn't such a difficult thing in the greater scheme of things?
morgor the pastafarian prophet Vatican City State (Holy See)

I suppose the egyptians would have been pretty upset if a luxury 6 star hotel complex was built in the valley of kings before they discovered the pyramids. They should at least give time for full analysis of the site. I dont think the government (or any successive government) really has any choice on this, its a no win situation.
Doc Belgium
Did dey find anudder oul snale?
Paddy de Mucksavage Equatorial Guinea
Of course an emphatic yes.

The royal estate of Tara is Ireland's premier national monument, the crown jewel in Ireland's heritage, encapsulating over 5,000 years of Irish history and mythology. People and places the world over have been named after Tara.

So why desicrate the significance of that by pouring asphalt and concrete and facilitating continuous noise pollution nearby when a motorway can be routed further away?

The unethical and destructive decision to route the M3 near Tara is already haunting the government. Just 24 hours after Minister for Transport Martin Cullen turned the sod for the M3 project, work has been suspended, all because all who have campaigned for the motorway to be kept away from the historic valley - the national and international experts as well as TaraWatch and The Campagin to Save Tara - were ignored.

The significance of Tara absolutley transcends the need to route the M3 past the ancient seat of Ireland's kings. Short-term need and long-term vision need to be combined by rerouting the M3 toll-motorway away from the Tara-Skryne valley, perhaps along the route east of Skryne which was originally favoured by the Government's own consultants, and it remains the preferred option of all the Government's heritage advisers. Rerouting should be done now before Tara is desicrated beyond hope.

Hullu Poro Faroe Islands
Yes - instead of narrowly skirting HIZ (Historical Interest Zone), why not reroute the motorway, to actually pass directly over, with nice transparent paving (like those glass bottomed boats used to look lovingly at coral, and other funny fishes) so that all the motorists can gaze down on our heritage as they zoom through, escaping the rapid flock of canvassers molting all over Dublin ...
(uni)lateral thinker Ireland
The present route deliberately does a detour of 2.5K to run through the Screen Valley and the Hill of Tara at an extra cost. It would cost more to go this route than go the alternative one. This means that motorists have an extra few kilometres to travel thus using more petrol and giving out more emissions. Another route was put forward which was shorter and would have cost less money. The shortest route between two points is a straight line. Apart from that the area around the Hill of Tara and the Screen Valley should be preserved as a national monument because of its significant place in our heritage. At this stage many people are aware of the importance of this site. When Ireland was a 'poor' country in monetary terms we cared about our rich heritage now that we are a rich monetary nation we seem to have lost track of what really matters. The only people to benefit from this are those who bought land in the area looking for a quick buck. We must preseve out heritage for future generations. Remember Wood Quay and Fitzwilliam Square.
Frances Ireland
NEGATIVE EDDIE - SOMETIMES ITS CHEAPER TO GO ROUND MOUNTAINS
Stephen Ireland
eddie- the Aggravator and keith appear to be suffering from the shortest straight line perspective that blinkered horses have. Get it checked guys.

'Sure roads and transport are important, but the nayers today should remember there needn't be compromises between heritage sites and roads when the latter can be less controversially routed through open lands further away. Remember, it's harder to move heritage sites than a planned road.
Hullu Poro Faroe Islands
I'd like to see that small stretch of it which, according to Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, is all that's required to prevent a significant act of vandalism, being rerouted anyway. But then again, I've no reason to think that Pat Wallace isn't an excellent judge of what's feasible. As usual, an imaginative compromise is needed.

Pádraicín Ireland

I agree with those who propose archeological findings should be put on display, that's a good point. Artifacts could be put on display in a purpose-built museum nearby.

'Without the archeological digging, one cannot know what artifacts remain buried and unseen and I think it's more useful for heritage and education if such artifacts were on display.
Hullu Poro Faroe Islands
Ah Hard Oak, "this worshiping of ancient ruins", will ye give it a resht. Sile Dev has hung up her boots.
Paddy de Mucksavage Tokelau

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/hilloftara
author by TaraWatchpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 12:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

GERRY RYAN

YES: 64 %
NO: 36 %

IRELAND.COM

YES: 70%
NO: 30%

Well done everyone! The people have spoken. This should be all over...

1026190107_l.jpg

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/hilloftara
author by not complacent but...publication date Fri May 04, 2007 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its not up to the slapheads who listen to gerry ryan and IT opionion
is it?

The situation is up to the legislature and the museum.
though some sily scare tactics and misinformation by Tarawatch who have failed to
contextualise the campaign is far more interesting to some of us.

Have the Irish Independent rolled back on the manipulation, compare and contrast
the coverage of Tara testerday and today. No Mention of tarawatch or salafia.

very interesting..........

author by TaraWatchpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 13:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

M3 Clonee - Kells Motorway Project

Information on Archaeological Investigations at Lismullin, Co. Meath

A008/021 & E3074.
http://www.meath.ie/LocalAuthorities/Publications/Herit...n.pdf

Summary

Archaeological investigations have been undertaken for the almost two years on the approved M3 Clonee –North of Kells motorway scheme(fig 1-2), in accordance with Directions issued by the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government under the National Monuments Acts. This work was recently completed with the exception of a site at Lismullin, Co. Meath, which the Authority has concluded is a National Monument. The Authority’s discovery of the site has been reported to the Minister as required by legislation. Both the Chief Archaeologist of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DEHLG) and the Director of the National Museum visited Lismullin as soon as the Road Schemes Archaeologist became aware of the potential significance of the site. The Authority has ceased all works at the National Monument pending the Directions of the Minister.

The enclosure is presently undated. However preliminary investigations indicate that it is most similar in morphology to late prehistoric ritual enclosures dating to the Late Bronze Age/Iron Age. Its closest parallels are phases of the royal sites of Emain Macha, Co. Armagh and Dún Ailinne, Co. Kildare, although Lismullin is of a much smaller scale, is much less complex and appears to represent a single phase of use. Archaeological excavation has revealed that the enclosure at Lismullin has been heavily truncated by past centuries of ploughing, with the result that the sample of surviving features investigated to date are very shallow.
Location
The site is located in the townland of Lismullin (NGR E293424 N261564) beneath the Hill of Tara in the Gabhra Valley, close to the Gabhra River. The topography of the valley is characterised by glacial features including eskers and gravel ridges. The site itself is situated at the centre of a natural geomorphological hollow surrounded by a ridge of higher ground which overlooks all sides of the monument, which in turn is surrounded by lower ground (Fig 3).

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Preliminary Description

The site is a large (c.80m diameter) circular enclosure formed of a double row or ring of stakeholes. The two rows are c.2m apart. The stakeholes are small in diameter (c.10-15cm) and evenly spaced (c.60cm apart) perhaps suggesting post and wattle construction. The enclosure appears to have an entrance in the east. A smaller enclosure c.16m in diameter formed of similarly closely spaced postholes (c.25cm diameter) is positioned centrally within the large enclosure. There are two radial rows of postholes forming a corridor between the entrance of the outer and inner enclosures. In addition there are what appear to be two slot trenches between the end of the corridor and the entrance of the inner enclosure (Fig. 4.).

The enclosure is situated at the centre of a natural geomorphological hollow surrounded by a ridge of higher ground which overlooks all sides of the monument, which in turn is surrounded by lower ground. A portion of the enclosure extends beyond the limit of the CPO landtake edge.

Only two artefacts have been recovered in the vicinity of the enclosure to date, neither of which are stratigraphically related to the enclosure – a small shale adze or axe and a sherd of middle bronze age pottery. In addition a ringed pin, which appears to be of late Iron Age date, was recovered from a feature outside the enclosure. In agreement with the DOEHLG and the National Museum of Ireland a small selection of stakeholes in the outer enclosure were excavated and their fills are being processed in order to extract sufficient charcoal for scientific C14 dating.
Significance and Parallels

In terms of morphology - the exact central positioning of the inner enclosure, the large size of the outer and inner enclosures and the radial entrance corridor – the closest parallels suggest that this site may be a ritual enclosure – dated to the Late Bronze Age or Iron Age. The Lismullin site can be compared with a number of Late Bronze Age and Iron Age enclosures. At the hilltop Iron Age royal site at Dún Ailinne, Co. Kildare, one of the phases (the second or ‘rose’ phase) consists of a series of closely spaced circular timber

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enclosures, formed of deep foundation trenches 27m-31m in diameter, (which may be contemporary or successive), with a funnel shaped timber avenue which extends towards the entrance of an outer ditched and banked enclosure, 400m in diameter. The central enclosures were annexed to the south by a series of smaller enclosures forming a figure-of-eight enclosure. At Emain Macha, Co. Armagh, the Iron Age Phase 3ii structures provide another parallel. This phase consists of a complex sequence of circular timber structures formed of palisade trenches c.20-25m in diameter, with an entrance to the east and a sequence of parallel trenches forming a corridor or avenue out towards an outer ditched enclosure, 286m in diameter. As at Dún Ailinne, the inner enclosure is annexed by a smaller enclosure (c.10m-13.5m in diameter) to form figure-of-eight enclosures.

Geophysical surveys at Rathcroghan Mound, at the centre of Cruachan, Co. Roscommon have revealed a series of possible palisaded circular enclosures, c. 17m and 30m in diameter, centred within a 90m diameter embanked enclosure which may be enclosed within a palisaded circular enclosure, 120m in diameter. A number of linear anomalies perpendicular to the eastern edge of the inner enclosure may represent an entrance avenue or corridor as present at Emain Macha, Dún Ailinne and Lismullin.

At Raith na Senad on the Hill of Tara, the second phase consisting of a series of palisaded enclosures c.16m and 25m in diameter (potentially situated within a much larger, but as yet undated, enclosure recently identified by geophysical survey) may also provide a parallel.
Closer in scale to Lismullin, but again of different construction, is the Iron Age phase of Raffin Fort, Co. Meath. Here a 9m diameter circular slot trench with an eastern entrance is centrally situated within a 65m diameter circular ditched enclosure with an external bank. There is no evidence of a corridor between the internal and external enclosures. Raffin Fort has been interpreted as an Iron Age ritual complex or site Associated with a lower grade of political power than those represented at Dún Ailinne, Emain Macha and Rathcroghan above. Other later prehistoric sites in Ireland

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have produced circular features situated centrally within wider ditched enclosures such as those at Rathgall, Co. Wicklow, which are dated to the Late Bronze Age. In addition to the differences in scale and construction methodology (i.e. stakeholes rather than ditches and banks in the outer enclosure and small shallow postholes rather than deep foundation trenches) the site at Lismullin has a number of other distinct differences from these parallels (Fig 5). The low-lying position of the site is at variance to the above parallels which are all located on hilltops. Lismullin while not located on a hilltop, is situated at the centre of a natural geomorphological hollow and therefore higher ground overlooks all sides of the monument. The enclosure is Likely to have been deliberately situated to take advantage of this unusual natural topography, which will add to the interpretation of its use. The Lismullin enclosure also differs from a number of the above parallels in that they have multiple phases of rebuilding, while the enclosure at Lismullin appears to represent a single phase of use. In addition unlike the Lismullin enclosure the parallels outlined above are phases of sites that have multiple phases of construction and long-term use spanning millennia.

Dating and Interpretation

Lismullin remains scientifically undated and it should be noted that large enclosures defined by upright posts can be dated to other periods, particularly the Late Neolithic and early medieval period. Considering some of the differences between Lismullin and the Late Bronze Age/Iron Age sites described above, it is possible that the site at Lismullin may have a different date and function to the above parallels. However, the basic similarities (i.e. an inner circular feature, a larger outer enclosure and a corridor feature) mean that Lismullin is a convincing candidate for a Late Bronze Age/Iron Age ritual enclosure.

The site’s location beneath the important ceremonial complex on the Hill of Tara may suggest that this is a ceremonial site serving smaller or lesser political units. It may perhaps be more directly related to the nearby cliff top fort Rath Lugh. It may alternatively represent a single ceremonial event on a site which was not then used again, unlike the parallels described above

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Condition

Prior to excavation, there were no visible archaeological features of this site. The site was discovered in the course of topsoil stripping (in accordance with Ministerial Directions) and is now uncovered, within the landtake. Archaeological excavation has revealed that the site has been heavily truncated by past centuries of ploughing, with the result that the sample of surviving features investigated to date are very shallow. The site is exposed and is vulnerable to deterioration, however as a temporary measure the features have been protected with plastic and the site is secured. During very wet weather however the site will be susceptible to hill wash and silting due to its low position beneath a gravel and sand ridge.
Other Sites
A series of smaller sites and dispersed features ranging in date from middle bronze age to early medieval are dispersed across the large cutting in which the enclosure is located and excavation of many of these has been completed.

Excavation is ongoing of an early medieval souterrain which is located approximately 50m from the enclosure. This souterrain is not related to the enclosure.

Construction

Construction of the approved M3 Motorway Project is underway. The Contractor Eurolink has been informed of the status of the Lismullin enclosure site. No construction work will take place at this location pending the outcome of the Ministers deliberations and any requirements he may impose under Direction under the National Monuments Acts.

Road construction activity of the approved M3 route, with the exception of the Lismullin enclosure site will proceed as planned.
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Location of new site in Lismullen
Location of new site in Lismullen

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/hilloftara
author by Aladdin's Lamppublication date Sat May 05, 2007 03:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'd not sleep too easy with any viewpoints on Tara put forward by Minister Dick - Lock-out-all-City-councillors-except-Fianna Fáil-ones-to-discuss-the-ongoing-Galway-water-crisis-Roche; Fianna Fáil are developper driven, not history or culture driven. Don't forget it was under Fianna Fáil that Dublin's famous Viking site at Wood Quay was buried under the late Sam Stephenson's bunkeresque architecture. Anyone remember a fund-raising organisation named Taca?

author by pollsterpublication date Sat May 05, 2007 10:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times poll is still up on Tara. Its holding steady at about 73% for re-routing the road.
This is the same figure as revealed by the RedC survey, the only independent survey, carried out in 2005.
Please keep voting!

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