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Meath - Event Notice
Thursday June 21 2007

Summer Solstice Celebrations at Tara Commence

category meath | history and heritage | event notice author Thursday June 21, 2007 02:27author by TaraWatchauthor email info at tarawatch dot org Report this post to the editors

Festival will continue from Wednesday night until Sunday evening, followed by a demonstration outside Dept of the Environment on Monday

Wednesday night saw the launch of summer solstice festivities on the Hill of Tara. Singer Laura Murphy opened the event, with people gathering to camp out and be present for the Thursday sunrise,
on the longest day of the year.

Different groups are holding one-off events on Tara during the coming days. TaraWatch has a schedule of events they are presenting until Sunday. These will be followed by a demonstration outside the Department of the Environment on Monday.

Music on Thursday morning will begin at 4.45 am, with harpist Laoise
Kelly performing until the sunrise, at approximately 6.00 am. Paul
Casey O'Bheal will do invocations of poetry, followed by more music
from Wilson Noble and Martin Furey.

Last night, crowds began to gather and camp on the Hill of Tara for the summer solstice. Pictures of the Wednesday nights events will be posted here shortly. here is information on some of the upcoming events over the next few days.

**Free Summer Solstice Celebration on Hill of Tara, Wednesday to Sunday


TaraWatch is having a free Summer Solstice Celebration on the Hill of
Tara from Wednesday 20th June until Sunday 24th June.

It will be followed by a demonstration at the Department of the
Environment, Monday 25th June beginning at 12.00 noon. The
demonstration will call on the new Minister for the Environment, John
Gormley (Green Party), to reverse the decision of former Minister, Dick
Roche, and re-route the M3 motorway from the Hill of Tara
archaeological complex, and the newly discovered national monument in

The main purpose of the event is to celebrate the World Monuments Fund
recently putting the Hill of Tara onto the List of the 100 Most
Endangered Sites.

A large number of poets are volunteering to entertain celebrants, over
the course of four days. Many performers and attendees are traveling
from abroad to participate.

Singer Laura Murphy will open the event on Wednesday evening, with
people gathering to camp out and be present for the Thursday sunrise,
on the longest day of the year.

Music on Thursday morning will begin at 4.45 am, with harpist Laoise
Kelly performing until the sunrise, at approximately 6.00 am. Paul
Casey O'Bheal will do invocations of poetry, followed by more music
from Wilson Noble and Martin Furey.

Other performers over the course of the weeknd will include: Larry Beau
(& his minstels), Twenty-One Crows, Urban Country Divide, Bela Emerson,
Jimi Cullen, Christine Broe (poet), Perciphone Petticoat (UK poet),
Rory Faithfield and The Bhoys From the County Hell (The Pogues Tribute
from County Meath).

On Sunday a debate on the future of Tara will take place at 2.00 pm,
followed by a historical tour of the Tara complex.

The Office of Public Works allows free camping to take place on the
public land on top of the Hill every year. Fresh water is available and
there will be additional toilet facilities in the car park. There is a
strict 'no alcohol or drugs' policy.

Many celebrants will travel from Tara to the Customs House, for a
demonstration on Monday at 12.00 noon outside the Department of the
Environment on Monday. TaraWatch will make a submission to Minister
Gormley at that time.

Organizer Heather Adams said:

"The Hill of Tara is the most magical place in Ireland to celebrate the
summer solstice.

"This is a totally free festival, and all we ask is that people don't
drink alcohol and respect the site.

"This will be a great opportunity for campaigners to gather and
contemplate the future of Tara.

Contact: 087-972-8603 - info@tarawatch.org


Wednesday evening

Laura Murphy entertains the campers


Sunrise performances

- Laoise Kelly will begin playing at 4:45 am for sunrise to about 6.
- Paul Casey O'Bheal will do Invocations of poetry
- Wilson Noble
- Martin Furey

Afternoon Elemental Invocations:

Paul Casey O'Bheal and Heather Elizabeth Adams

3-4 pm Twenty-One Crows

5-6 pm Martin Furey

6-8 pm Urban Country Divide + Trad Session

8-10 pm Bela Emerson

10 pm- Larry Beau


1-3 pm Jimi Cullen

3-4 Christine Broe (poet)

5-6 pm Wilson Noble

6-8 pm Freespirit

8 pm Perciphone Petticoat

8.30 pm Paul Casey O'Bheal


1-2 pm Rory Faithfield

4-5 pm Twenty-One Crows

5-6 pm Wilson Noble

6-7pm Martin Furey

8-10 pm The Bhoys From the County Hell (The Pogues Tribute)

10pm- Martin Furey


2.00 pm: Discussion on future of Tara

400 pm Historical tour of Tara complex


12.00 pm - Demonstration outside the Department of Environment,
Custom's House, Dublin. Handing in submission to Minister Gormley

Participating Artists and Contributors

**Martin Furey

**Larry Beau

**Laoise Kelly


**Urban Country Divide

**Bela Emerson

**Wilson Noble

**Rory Faithfield

**Laura Murphy

**Twenty-one Crows

**Jimi Cullen

**Perciphone Petticoat

**Paul Casey Ó Bhéal

**Ann Colt

**Heather Adams

**Artwork by Ingrid Houwers

**Link-up consulting by Stone Naylor

**Poetry consulting by TWiN Poetry Group

MORE INFORMATION 087-972-8603 - info@tarawatch.org



Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/summersolsticetara
author by Shonna - www.witchgrove.orgpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 06:49author email silverdolffyn at yahoo dot comauthor address Las Vegas, Nevada, USauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Beautiful! I wish I could be there to celebrate Tara's sacred heritage with others who feel the same this week. I am there in spirit to be sure.
And so from Las Vegas, I raise my glass to the hard working crew, musicians, bards, artists and those who have worked SO very hard to put this event together: Cheers and thank you for ALL of your hard work! Raising awareness for what is going on at Tara Hill is vital - and I have every hope that this will not only succeed but iwll help us tap back into one of the cores of what was at one time done AT Tara Hill by our very ancestors. May it be a blessed and beautiful event for all involved!
May it be peaceful!
May it be every bit a success!

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Niall Harnett - Shell to Sea.publication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Enjoy your midsummer festival, you've earned it after a long hard winter.

Sorry I can't be there, much respect and best wishes to ye all.

author by cmkpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 18:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Glad to see you're celebrating my birthday in a fitting manner :-)
Well done one and all. Save Tara and enjoy the festival.
(watch out for the ticks)

author by Michael Martin - TaraWatchpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 18:58author email Wicklowwolf at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was up on the Hill for the full five days of Solstice celebrations. The whole event was a total wash-out, but in spite of this we had great fun. A big thank you to the Shell to Sea supporters from Cork who agreed to host the TaraWatch events in their massive tent. Our own little gazebo soon became a casualty of the heavy rain. A big thank you also to J.P., a local man and campaigner for the preservation of our heritage. Thanks to J.P.'s help we were able to get hot meals and the much needed cups of tea to brace the elements for 5 long days. A big thank y ou also to the various performers who participated in the events, and to the litter patrol, a group of volunteers who made sure that we left the Hill litter free and that discarded cans and bottles did not end up in landfill sites, but in the local recycle banks.
Thank you to everybody who came to the Hill over the last few days as visitor or participant/organizer of events. We had a fantastic atmosphere up there in spite of the non-stop rain we endured, and I sincerely hope we'll get the same people together for the upcoming Lunasa celebrations

Related Link: http://tarawatch.org
author by deepublication date Tue Jun 26, 2007 00:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh no, here we go once again

M3 crisis as another historic find is made in the Skryne valley

Mail on Sunday
24 June 2007

By Scott Millar and Tom Prendeville

GREEN PARTY environment minister John Gormley was last night plunged
into an even deeper crisis with news of fresh archaeological finds on
the controversial M3 motorway and the arrival of more than 250

The National Roads Authority dismissed the latest finds, just 80 meters
from the National Monument at Lismullen, as 'not unique' but activists
insist they should be protected as national monuments.

Campaigners are staging a sit-down at the site, which is close to the
Hill of Tara, and the issue looks set to be a flashpoint in a battle to
save an invaluable slice of Ireland's heritage against the ongoing
redevelopment of the countryside.

On the first day of taking office, Mr Gormley was locked in a row with
his Fianna Fail partners over how to deal with outgoing environment
minister Dick Roche's decision to sign off on the Lismullin Henge site,
which sits near the middle of ongling road works, for demolition to
make way for the stretch of Navan to Dublin motorway.

Many Green supporters were given the impression the party was in favour
of re-routing the M3 away from the Lismullin Henge site.

They have become increasingly outraged at Mr Gormley's handling of the
issue and his subsequent claim that there is nothing he can do to
reverse Mr Roche's decision.

Before going into power with Fianna Fail, the Green Party had been a
vocal opponent of the M3 route. In late 2006, the Save Tara campaign
said it had a pledge from the Green Party to re-route the M3 motorway
if they ever made it into power.

The party's U-turn looks set to destroy Mr Gormley's hopes of replacing
Trevor Sargent in the party's leadership election.

Meanwhile Vincent Salafia, of the TaraWatch conservation group, said
activists will ensure Mr Gormley will not be able to avoid
responsibility for the newly discovered site.

"John Gormley can't avoid this one,' he said. 'He has to become the
minister proper now and must take it on board. There is evidence this
could be a national monument and all work should cease until there is a
full determination."

According to TaraWatch, the remains consist of two stone 'souterrains',
or underground structures, 10 metres apart, about 80 metres north-west
of the henge at Lismullen. They could have been used for storage areas
or for burials.

The group said they learned of the site while inspecting excavations on
Firday, after archaeologists went home and left the area ungaurded.

The National Roads Authority had previously noted the site but Mr
Salafia claims that when he contacted the museum they were unaware of
its full extent.

A government spokesman, however, played down the importance of the
find. "My understanding is that this was already up on the National
Roads Authority web site for a couple of months, he said.

'This site is not prehistoric and has not been designated a national
monument by the national museum or the department, which has been aware
of it for some time.

A spokesman for the NRA agreed, saying the site was 'not a unique
feature'. Whatever the site's importance, the M3 issue is likely to
continue to dominate Mr Gormley's new portfolio, especially as the
Programme for Government agreed between Fianna Fail and the Greens made
no mention of changing the motorway's route in order to avoid the
historic sites around Tara.


Ray of Sunlight shines on disillusioned Tara protestors

Sunday Tribune
24 June 2007

Campaigners from all over the world have come to Tara for a four-day
solstice festival at the endangered heritage site.

Isobel Hayes

FOR the long-suffering protestors at the Hill of Tara, it was a moment
of pure magic. AMidst the heavy clouds and pouring rain on Thursday,
the longest day of the year, the sun made a brief but dazzling
appearance at sunrise.

"It came out for just 40 seconds or so before it went back behind the
clouds," said Maggie Jay, who travelled from London to attend the
four-day festival at the heritage site. "But it was a lovely moment, a
bit like an omen."

At Tara, protestors need every bit of good luck they can find. Since it
emerged that outgoing environment minister Dick Roche signed an order
for the M3 motorway to proceed as planned through the site and that new
minister John Gormley can apparently do nothing to prevent it, the mood
on the site has been one of disillusionment.

"When we heard the news, it was actually like a punch in the stomach,"
said Laura Grealish of the TaraWatch campaign."

"We couldn't belive it, especially since we were so hopeful when the
Greens went into government. They sold us out."

For two full days, there was a sense of hopelessness among protestors,
she added.

"But now we're restarting the campaign, stronger than ever. It looks
like it's going to end up in court, but we're here for the long haul."

The four-day festival, timed to celebrate the solstice as well as the
decision of the World Monuments Fund to place Tara on its list of the
world's 100 most endangered sites, is just part of this campaign. Bands
and poets are performing over the weekend and revellers have come from
all around the world to take part.

"I think it's an absolute shame what's going on here," said Nicky
Kenning from Devon. "It's hard to belive that a great big motorway
could be going through all this soon. The government must be mad."

Even the torrential rain has failed to dampen people's spirits.
Revellers are gethered all around the hill, some with their bare feet
wallowing in the mud, others dressed in more practical macintoshes. In
every group, a similar conversation is taking place - how beautiful
Tara is and how terrible it will be if the M3 goes ahead.

From a teepee in the woods comes the rythmic sound of a bodhran being
played. Inside, Niamh Ni Dhionsaigh from Cork is gaurding the Tara

"This fire has been burning for a year and a day and the flame has
never gone out," she explained. "At one stage, we had to move it
because it was damaging some of the ground, but it was taken up and
moved here and it was never extinguished."

Up to five people camp by the fire at one time. The material of the
teepee was donated by the Rossport protestors.

"Someone always stays awake to make sure it never goes out. It kind of
gaurds us," said Ni Dhinsaigh, who arrived for three days a year ago
and staye for none weeks. "They can't move us."

The rain pouring down is good news for many protestors - it means work
on the M3 has had to be halted until the weather improves. For the
musicians playing on the hill however, it is less heartening.

Jon Griffin and Becca Tann from Brighton, who make up Twenty-One Crows,
have had to pack their instruments away temporarily because of high

"What's going on here is a dsigrace," said Griffin. "We're so glad we
were able to come over and lend our support."

On Monday the festival-goers will descend on Dublin to protest outside
the department of the environment.

"We think John Gormley can over-ride Roche's orders," said Grealish.
"We're going down to remind him that we're not going anywhere.


Archaeologists find 'spectacular' souterrains

ANOTHER potential national monument has been discovered in the Tara
heritage site by archaeologists working for the National Roads
Authority, the TaraWatch campaign said yesterday.

Two stone souterrains, or underground structures, were uncovered
approximately ten metres apart close to the newly discovered stonehenge
in Lismullin, which was declared a national monument by the former
Minister for the Envrionment, Dick Roche.

It is possible that many more underground chambers and passages dating
back to the Iron Age may be uncovered, as the area is being excavated
for the first time.

"This is a spectacular underground complex of chambers and connecting
passages with very high-quality stone-work," said Laura Grealish of the
TaraWatch campaign, who will now be gaurding the area while reports are
made to the National Museum and the new environment minister, John

Before leaving office, minister Roche said a "material change in
circumstances" would be required to reroute the M3 motorway, which is
due to go through the heritage site. TaraWatch campaigners now hope
this find will be substantial enough to have the road re-routed.

"We are reporting this discovery to the minister and the National
museum this morning," campaigner Vincent Salafia said yesterday. "We
want to know if the National Roads Authority repored the discovery to
the minister or the museum and if not, why not?" The NRA said yesterday
that the find was not a unique feature.

WRITE TO letters@tribune.ie

author by Sean O'Sullivan - Trimpublication date Tue Jun 26, 2007 01:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors


This is NOTa new find. Photographs of this souterrain have been on the Web since end of May.
Take a look at the Photobucket page on SaveTara.com. They have Pics of this taken at the end of May.
Wallace made mention to this and Roche was aware of this when he signed the Directions on 12th. June.

author by Michael Martin - TaraWatchpublication date Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:02author email Wicklowwolf at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes, one souterain was discovered in May (or maybe even April?). But we are talking about new structures nearby which have been discovered only last week.

Related Link: http://tarawatch.org
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