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Hill of Tara on List of 100 Most Endangered Sites

category international | history and heritage | news report author Wednesday June 06, 2007 16:45author by TaraWatchauthor email info at tarawatch dot orgauthor phone 087 9728603 Report this post to the editors

The World Monuments Fund (WMF), based in New York, has just announced that the Hill of Tara has been included in the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.

TaraWatch nominated the Hill of Tara in January, and the application was endorsed by Dr Ron Hicks, of Ball State University, Indiana, who has 35 years experience researching prehistoric Irish and European sites. The nomination focused on three key issues:

(1) The global importance of the site. The Hill of Tara is akin to the National Monument of Ireland, due to its central and continuous role in Irish life over the last 5,000 years.

(2) The severity and immediacy of the threats:
(a) The immediate threat of the M3 motorway, which is severing the archaeological complex and landscape of Tara , running along the northern slope of the Hill of Tara, demolishing dozens of related sites.
(b) The inevitable subsequent commercial and industrial development of the Tara/Skryne (Gabhra) Valley, due to the large 50 acre interchange at Blundelstown, 1000 metres from crest of the Hill.
(c) Neglect, due to the lack of any coherent management plan that recognises the true extent of the archaeological complex of the Hill of Tara.

(3) The reasonableness of the solutions, particularly in light of the discovery of a new national monument at Lismullen, which will now cause delays on the current route:
(a) Rerouting the Navan to Dunshaughlin section of the M3, either to the east of Skryne or west of the Hill of Tara.
(b) Combining the M3 with the M2, which runs parallel and is in places only 5 km away. A spur could be built from Ashbourne across to Navan.
(c) Putting in a 2+1 scheme, with bypasses of Dunshaughlin, Navan and Kells.

TaraWatch is proposing to have an independent archaeological assessment performed on the M3, as a result of the nomination to the List.

The World Monuments Fund— headquartered in New York City with an affiliate in London — is the foremost private, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered architectural and cultural heritage sites across the globe. Since 1965, WMF has worked with local communities and partners to help save more than 450 irreplaceable sites in more than 90 countries.

Assembled by an international panel of experts, this list is a global call to action on behalf of sites in need of immediate intervention, bringing them to international attention and helping to raise funds for their rescue.

Siobhan Rice and Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch are attending the WMF UK press launch of the List, to be held at the historic Wilton's Music Hall in London on Thursday morning, at 9.30 am.

Vincent Salafia, said:

"We are extremely grateful to World Monuments Fund for committing to rescue the Hill of Tara from inappropriate development.

"This is really is an appeal to both the Irish Government and people to protect our delicate, unique heritage, which is now confirmed to be under the gravest threat.

"We hope will help the Green Party and Fianna Fail reach a reasonable, negotiated settlement to this long-running dispute, in their potential programme for Government.

WORLD MONUMENTS FUND: http://www.wmf.org

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by pat cpublication date Thu Jun 07, 2007 15:47Report this post to the editors

History Today has also covered this:

Tara added to heritage crisis list

The ancient site of Tara in Northern Ireland has been listed as one of the world’s most endangered heritage sites. Tara is amongst the most notable sites in Irish history and folklore. Once the seat of Ireland’s High kings, 142 kings are said to have reigned there in prehistoric and historic times and in pagan mythology it was the sacred place of dwelling for the gods, and the entrance to the underworld. Saint Patrick is said to have come to Tara to confront the ancient religion of the pagans at its most powerful site.

But the historic area, which features two ringforts and a standing stone, named in legend as the Stone of Destiny, is now under threat from plans to build a motorway through the site. In 2005 a statement signed by 350 academics from all over the world was presented to the government, opposing the planned building of the road, with no success.

Now a group called The World Monument Fund have added Tara to its ‘crisis list’ and hopes that this campaign will protect the heritage site. “Perhaps at this, the 11th hour, the government in waiting will listen to the concerns of the world about the status of Tara and re-route." Said Dr Muireann Ni Bhrolchain, from the Campaign to Save Tara. Vincent Salafia of campaign group TaraWatch added; "This really is an appeal to both the Irish government and people to protect our delicate, unique heritage, which is now confirmed to be under the gravest threat."


http://www.historytoday.com/MainArticle.aspx?m=30039&am...=5332

author by RTÉBBCNBCABCCBSCNNpublication date Thu Jun 07, 2007 15:51Report this post to the editors

The ancient site of Tara in Northern Ireland...

jesus! little wonder the the site is endangered!

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jun 07, 2007 15:53Report this post to the editors

I never even noticed that.

Ok then, we need Druids and Witchs to unite and put curses and nasty spells on History Today.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jun 07, 2007 17:06Report this post to the editors

I've been in touch with History Today, this is what they say:

Thank you very much for your email and pointing out the mistake. We strive to be as accurate as possible but the odd error like this does slip through occasionally.

We are most grateful for your observation.

Kind regards,

Tom Bowers
Website Manager
History Today


Tara is once more in the Free State.

author by bridiepublication date Fri Jun 08, 2007 00:16Report this post to the editors

So, Tara is on the WMF; well done TARAWATCH and that nice guy Vincent. Lets hope that the good doctor will join in the praise. I have heard that she failed to complete the WMF application forms in-time and left it to Tarawatch to complete at the eleventh hour............

This is a great step forward towards saving Tara.

author by Mick Egan - Navanpublication date Fri Jun 08, 2007 01:44Report this post to the editors

Yes. "well done TARAWATCH and that nice guy Vincent."
But lets be realistic here. All that this has achieved is to gain more publicity. ABSOLUTELY nothing more. Its very welcome. But its nothing more then that...Publicity.
Does anyone seriously believe/think it will force the Government to alter its stance on the M3.

Is there anyone that gullible still out there.

I've said this over and over here.

THE ONLY WAY THIS ROAD IS GOING TO BE REROUTED IS THROUGH POLITICAL WILL.

Forget about legal challenges, they will simly change the law and all this achieves is greater bad feeling towards the protesters for perhaps a month or two of a delay.

Forget about protest marches..........no one is interested.

Politics, thats the only way. You must change the minds of those who govern us.

So give THE DOCTOR and Campaign to Save Tara due credit. If Tara is to be saved it is only through political will and they have hugely influnced that will over many months of campaigning.

author by Tara-watchpublication date Fri Jun 08, 2007 20:50Report this post to the editors

Tarawatch seems dedicated to publicity spin-offs and generating campaign through the offices
of its leader, good enough. Leave the work to the workers and continue separately, everyone would
be immensely relieved if the sniping and attacks stopped. They seem to emanate specifically from
Michael Martin. vincent Salafia is probably untroubled by the controversy, those who seek publicity
do not mind the negative, its all grist to the mill. He should call off his hounds, they fool no-one and get
on with his Job, which is generating publicity for his campaign. Attacking the CST just adds shite to the
fan, they are a good and committed group who don't suffer fools gladly. The trip to london was
doubtless good, if you check out
http://www.tarawatch.org , you will see an appeal for donations, I am sure the taxman etc knows
the books.

Save Tara/CST is a campaign group.
Tarawatch is a medi/legal group- why the confusion?

author by Rashid Alipublication date Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:09Report this post to the editors

well as a Indian watching from afar it seems that now the WMF are behind Tara both groups should now get on with Saving Tara, The CST group seem to have a fixation with this Vincent chap they seem to snipe him at every turn.There seems to be people working within CST who want to destroy tarawatch ,they should be focusing there energies on Saving tara. Get a camp properly organised get a bit strong stop smoking weed round a camp fire and get active,unfortunatly as im a few thousand miles away i cant but surely there are people on the island of Ireland who would fight for tara.
Time for this bickering to stop.Tara is on the WMF list now thanks to numerous people ,so lets hope the Dr.Muiren and her political coherts will just step back and think of the bigger picture.

blessings of Tara with you.
Rashid
Kanyakumari
India

author by Terrypublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:17Report this post to the editors

Tara ‘crisis’ gets international recognition

The Hill of Tara was recognised last week as an endangered site due to government proposals to route the M3 motorway around it

Sunday Tribune
10 June 2007

Isobel Hayes

FOR the tireless campaigners at the Hill of Tara, it’s been a week of ups and downs. Last Wednesday, it was announced that the World Monuments Fund (WMF) has included the heritage site in its watch list of 100 most endangered sites.

“It’s fantastic news for us,”said Salafia, head of the TaraWatch campaign. “It shows the world and the rest of the country that we’re not just a bunch of cranks and that this is an internationally-recognised crisis.”

Unfortunately, on this sunny Saturday morning, it is looking as if the Green Party may not re-enter talks with Fianna Fail and the Green Party is very important to the Hill of Tara campaign.

As the group of campaigners gather at the visitors’ centre, they take a long look at the rolling green hills of Tara, where the last battle of the Fianna took place in 3500 BC.

“It’s inredible to think that anyone could even consider putting a big floodlit motorway down there,” said Laura Grealish. “We’re disappointed about the Green Party talks breaking down but Labour also said they would re-route the motorway so we can still hope.”

That hope became stronger with the news that the Hill of Tara is now an internationally recognised endangered site due to Government proposals to pu the M3 motorway close to it.

The WMF has also helped save about 450 irreplaceable sites around the world, including the vast temples of Angkor, Cambodia, and the historic centre of Mexico City. The New-York-based group has a 75% success rate but already it has expressed concern that Tara may prove to be beyond even its influence.

“The president of the organisation has said that Tara will be their biggest advocacy challenge yet,” said Salafia. It makes no difference that minister for transport Martin Cullen is pictured in the WMF brochure taking part in an event.

“The government has continuously failed to protect this site or consider the many alternative routes that are open to them.”

This morning, there are more protestors from America, Britain and Poland than there are from Ireland. The Tara situation has made a bigger impact abroad than it has in its own country.

“We’ve had our own problems in the UK, but nothing like this,” said Natasha Kenyon, from the heritage site of Amesbury in England. “The Irish are bulldozing their own history. Has there not been a national outcry?

There hasn’t really - mainly, said Salafia, because of the success of the National Roads Authority in convincing the public the motorway will not go near the heritage site.

“They even made a DVD about it. But the motorway cuts right across the lower part of the hill. There’s no denying it.”

The recent discovery of an ancient wood henge at Lismullen, along with the remains of a large dog, which have now been removed, has given greater strength to the Tara campaign. Close by this site, protestors remain camped out in the woods on ‘construction watch’. Every morning at 6am they attempt to prevent construction continuing.

“Have you brought any milk?” long-term protestor Dan Moloney asks Salafia as he approaches the campsite. “Oh well.”

By the summer solstice on 21 June Moloney will have been camping in Tara for a year. “I gave up my job on an oyster farm to come here. I feel it’s more important.

Polish archaeologist Martin Sawiski arrived six months ago and has stayed to help the campaign in every way he can.

“Do you remember when the Buddha statute was bombed in Afganistan in 2001 and there was international outrage?” he said. “This is the very same.”

A lecture tour has been planned in America, where there is large support for Tara, and a summer festival to celebrate the solstice will take place from 20-23 June.

“We’ve always known our chances were slim,” said Salafia. “But it’s all to play for now. Protests on the ground aren’t always ideal but they give us time to get a legal case going. We can’t understand why the government are so hell-bent on getting this motorway put here but we’re in it for the long haul to prevent that happening.

http://www.wmf.org
http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-06-06-voa73.cfm
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hilloftara/message/3468
http://www.myspace.com/summersolsticetara
http://www.tarawatch.org

tw1800.jpg

tw2600.jpg

Related Link: http://www.worldmonumentswatch.org/
author by M3 for M3athpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:22Report this post to the editors

Nice Dr Hicks of Indiana should concentrate on rebuilding the Indian mounds in his part of the world - oh, except they are covered with shopping malls or have been levelled by farmers and it would be too expensive to rebuild them. Will he risk his reputation or spend his pension on them? Will he ever drive on the N3 himself? I doubt it.

The M3 isn't going 'through' Tara. All landscapes in Ireland are man-made, even the bogs. All are equally interesting. All roads cut some areas off from others. The N3 runs nearer Tara than the M3.

The civil servant academics were entitled to voice their concerns, but a little late.

Obviously the N3 was going to be upgraded for us resident / taxpayers at some point, and all this well-meaning protesting is being done a bit late. Our ancestors built the landscape. We have been looking for the road for 20+ years while the World Monuments Fund chose to remain silent.

Surely the people of Meath and Cavan have a right to their longstanding need being addressed? What use is our independence if these sainted Americans can tell us what to do on our doorstep?

author by watcher UKpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 18:57Report this post to the editors

Surely it's time for all CST and Tarawatch to unite and fight for the re-route of the M3,both groups are not opposed to the motorway just this route ,If the WMF see all this fighting between the groups they will think what is going on,i m sure others do think the same.
Both groups need to sit down and work together and fight this corruption.
The road may not be goin through the hill it self but it sure is destroying national monuments.
Unite and stand together is the way forward.

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 20:43Report this post to the editors

Very well put Watcher!

Whats needed now is a united front. Lets hope the Greens keep their promises.

author by watcher UKpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 20:55Report this post to the editors

The people of Ireland who care about there nationhood and spirituality should unite with CST & Tarawatch and turn up at the Dail on Thursday morning and show the corrupt FFailures wht Tara means to the Irish people.

Lets hope the Greens can help as well as the WMF .,this has gone on too long.

author by watcher UKpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 21:04Report this post to the editors

Green Party Announcement

The Green Party concluded talks with Fianna Fáil this evening and agreed a draft programme for government that will be put before a special convention of party members tomorrow. Negotiation teams and party leaders reached agreement at approximately 8.30pm after a day of intensive talks and document drafting.

The Party has invited all of its members to participate in a special convention in the Mansion House on Dawson Street, which will run from 1pm until after 9pm tomorrow (Wednesday, 13 June.)

The draft programme for government will be available to party members from 1pm. The meeting itself will start at 3pm with a presentation and questions and answers session. The debate will then commence at 6pm, and the vote is scheduled for 8.30pm. Results are expected soon after 9pm.

Over 1,000 party members will be eligible to vote by secret ballot. Over 500 party members are expected to attend and a majority of two thirds is needed for the motion to pass.

author by TaraWatchpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:53Report this post to the editors

It was revealed in the Irish Times today that the Green Party Programme for Government does not inlude plans to reroute the M3 motorway. This is a clear violation of Green Party principles and promises. TaraWatch is calling on Green Party members not to approve this proposal. Please come and demonstrate outside the Mansion House today, where Green Party members will be debating and voting on the programme for Government.

Greens agree on terms to join coalition government

Irish Times
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fianna Fáil and the Greens last night agreed a draft five-year coalition deal, including a commitment to introduce a carbon tax during the lifetime of the next government, write Mark Hennessy, Stephen Collins and Miriam Donohoe.

If the deal is ratified at today's Green Party national conference in Dublin, the Greens will join a three-party coalition government with Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats, supported from outside by a number of Independents. The deal needs the support of at least two-thirds of the delegates in order to be approved. About 500 are expected to attend.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Green Party leader Trevor Sargent are due to meet this morning to finalise agreement on the shape of the new government.

Green Party members will not be told today how many ministers the party will have in the new coalition before they vote on last night's draft agreement.

Last night the leader of the Greens, Trevor Sargent, said the selection of ministers was a matter "fundamentally" for the Taoiseach. "We will not be going into detail in relation to the formation of the government unless we have the prospect of the formation of the government."

It emerged last night that the Greens have accepted that Iraq-bound United States military flights will continue to use Shannon airport and that all new roads planned by the outgoing Government will go ahead.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil has offered acting PD leader Mary Harney a transfer to the Department of Foreign Affairs, in a bid to overcome Green objections to her remaining in the Department of Health and Children. However, Ms Harney refused the offer outright and she is now set to resume her command of health, including the plan to build private hospitals on public hospital grounds, when the new Dáil meets on Thursday.

The agreement between Fianna Fáil and the Greens was sealed shortly before 8pm.

A compromise on Shannon means that Dáil approval will be required before any non-United Nations mandated military flight will be allowed to land, but this will not interfere with the Americans' current use of the airport, since they now operate on a UN mandate.

The Greens have also accepted that the controversial M3 motorway in Co Meath, which is to run near the Hill of Tara, will go ahead, despite its previous vociferous opposition to the plan.

Fianna Fáil has refused to offer any concessions to the Greens on another one of its key election platforms - the demand for an end to political parties and politicians accepting corporate donations.

The carbon tax will be introduced at some point over the next five years, but the level has not been agreed: "It is for an uncertain time, at an uncertain rate," one source close to the talks told The Irish Times late last night.

The Greens have accepted that Fianna Fáil's plan to cut both the
standard and top rate of tax will go ahead, subject to Fianna Fáil's election campaign qualification that they can be afforded by the exchequer.

Following strong demands for extra funding for education from Green negotiators John Gormley, Dan Boyle and Donall Geoghegan, Fianna Fáil has committed to spending an extra €50 million a year.

The Greens have sought the departments of the environment and transport, but no agreement has yet been reached on this, although it is possible that both departments could be substantially reordered.

In line with these priorities, it was suggested to the Greens that sections of the department of the environment would be detached and merged with energy to form a new department responsible for climate change issues.

Despite the Greens' demand for two senior ministers - using the precedent set by the Progressive Democrats in 1989 - Fianna Fáil has refused, offering one senior, one so-called "super junior" and one ordinary minister of state post.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is expected to conclude deals today with Dublin Central TD Finian McGrath and Tipperary North TD Michael Lowry for their support for the next five years.

WRITE TO lettersed@irish- times.ie

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by TaraWatchpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:22Report this post to the editors

Tara campaigners to protest outside Green Party talks

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ireland...1.ece
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Opponents of the plan to build the new M3 motorway alongside the Hill of Tara are to protest outside the Green Party's national meeting in Dublin today.

Green supporters from across the country are gathering to decide whether to ratify plans for the party to go into coalition with Fianna
Fail and the PDs.

Members of the TaraWatch campaign have described the coalition deal as a sell-out of Green Party principles and policies, even though details have not been made public.

The Greens have previously called for the M3 to be rerouted away from the Hill of Tara and TaraWatch says any deal that does not include a reassessment of the motorway spells political suicide for the party.

http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/national-news/t....html

http://www.utvlive.com/newsroom/indepth.asp?id=82914&pt=n

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by watcher UKpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 20:04Report this post to the editors

Dick Roche approves resumption of work at Tara
Thursday, 14 June 2007 19:32
RTÉ News has learned that the outgoing Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, has signed an order that will lead to a resumption of work on the M3 near Tara.

Mr Roche has decided that the new National Monument found at Lismullen should be preserved 'by record', in other words, studied in detail and then the motorway will be built as scheduled.

The order comes under the remit of the Minister for the Environment and does not require Cabinet approval.

AdvertisementIt will be the first controversy to hit the new Government, as the Green Party has long held that the route of the M3 is wrong.

John Gormley of the Green Party has this evening been announced as the new Minister for the Environment.

Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch said the group is appalled at the decision about the motorway, particularly given a new more environment friendly government is to take power.

He said he thought there would, at the very least, have been a re-assessment of the project before any decision was taken.

Mr Salafia said it was now certain that legal action would be taken against the project, which the new Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, would have to defend.

author by Paul Matthewspublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 20:37Report this post to the editors

The ink was literally not dry on it as Gormley was pedelling up to the Áras, it was signed as the new government was being announced in the Dail. Gormley has the powers to undo Roches order, there is no doubt about that. But will he? No he wont. Will he select a different route for the M3, no he wont. Green Party politics is sell out politics.

It's time for the pro Tara campaign to stop relying on pro establishment parties and figures like the Greens and Labour etc. We have to base ourselvs on the strength of the campaign. Lets take a leaf out of the Shell to Sea campaign and physically prevent the construction of this vandalous motorway

author by Laura - TaraWatchpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 23:17Report this post to the editors

Well, who shafted who? Did the Green Party know about this? That would mean that they lied to their members and to everybody else. As late as this afternoon, a prominent Green politician told TaraWatch that the distribution of Cabinet seats would give the Greens the power to preserve Lismullen. He told us that Tara would be one of the first things that they would work on. Maybe the Greens were shafted by the gangsters in Fianna Fail. Who knows? The Greens MUST issue a statement on this. If they defend this outrage then they have lost all reason for existence. Completely.
I know I am laying it on them here, but I am just so SICKENED. Of course, we must not forget the real villain of the piece here, Cock Roche. What a dirty piece of work. Doesn't it seem as though the whole Cabinet process was designed by FF to destroy Tara?

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