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International Expert Report Calls for Preservation of "Unique" Lismullin Amphitheatre

category meath | history and heritage | news report author Tuesday August 21, 2007 11:59author by TaraWatchauthor email info at tarawatch dot orgauthor phone 087-972-8603 Report this post to the editors

NRA assessment contradicted

An international archaeological expert has issued an independent report which contradicts many NRA findings and recommendations regarding the newly discovered national monument in Lismullin, and calls for full preservation of the "unique" national monument.

Drawing of Lismullin remains from Deevy report
Drawing of Lismullin remains from Deevy report

The report, entitled 'On the Significance of Lismullin', by Dr Ronald Hicks, will be submitted to Minister for the Environment, John Gormley;
the NRA; Meath County Council; and An Bord Pleanala, who are currently considering whether the demolition of the site will be in breach of planning permission.

The report is also being sent to the European Commission, who are currently examining whether the legal basis of the order to demolish
the site is in breach of EU law, as well as the World Monuments Fund, who are monitoring the situation now that Tara is on their 100 Most Endangered Sites List for 2008.

TaraWatch is calling on the Minister to examine the independent report and halt any demolition works until An Bord Pleanala have reached a decision, which is due shortly.

Dr Ronald Hicks, Chairman of the Anthropology Department at Ball State University, Indiana, endorsed the TaraWatch nomination of the Hill of Tara to the World Monuments Fund List. He recently inspected the Lismullin henge and has issued a report which states:

1. Rather than being a delicate wooden 'henge', which is extremely delicate, the site sits in a natural hollow to form an ancient amphitheater. That structure is very much intact, and could and should be preserved in situ.

2. The site is comparable to ceremonial enclosures found on the hilltop at Tara and other royal sites in Ireland, but is twice as large as any other.

3. The site is part of a larger complex of monuments associated with Tara, forming a single national monument, with many component parts, all of which are national monuments. The NRA have consistently denied that the site is part of a larger national monument.

FULLL REPORT - On the Significance of Lismullin, Dr Ron Hicks
http://tarawatch.org/?p=470

Profile of Dr Ron Hicks
http://www.bsu.edu/web/rhicks/research.htm

NRA Report on Lismullin by Mary Deevy
http://www.meath.ie/LocalAuthorities/Publications/Herit...n.pdf

World Monuments Fund
http://www.wmf.org

100 Most Endangered Sites List 2008
http://www.worldmonumentswatch.org/

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

Drawing of comparable sites, from Deevy report (note misleading size)
Drawing of comparable sites, from Deevy report (note misleading size)

author by TaraWatchpublication date Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:52Report this post to the editors

There is another paper by Dr Hicks, worth reading, entitled 'Archaeological Method and Theory and the M3' which is worth reading:
http://tarawatch.org/?page_id=471

author by Indyreporterpublication date Tue Aug 21, 2007 15:25Report this post to the editors

Tara ruins must be preserved, says report

http://www.eveningecho.ie/news/bstory.asp?j=188196080&p...96689
21/08/2007 - 2:27:43 PM

Newly discovered 2000-year-old ruins at the ancient Hill of Tara must be fully preserved because of their unique size and character, a US academic today said.

State archaeologists began excavation work on the prehistoric Lismullen structure earlier this month claiming it was under threat from adverse weather.

But Dr Ronald Hicks of Ball State University, Indiana, argues it is part of a larger ancient ritual complex and must be preserved in situ.

Controversy has surrounded the site since the ruins were uncovered by workers during construction work on the controversial M3 motorway last April.

TaraWatch, which is demanding the site be preserved, has called on the Government to halt excavation until An Bord Pleanála rules if a fresh planning application for the road project is needed in light of the find.

“This independent report proves the national monument is much more significant and substantial than the National Roads Authority have reported,” campaigner Vincent Salafia said.

“In light of this report, the minister should halt the demolition works until An Bord Pleanála concludes its current deliberative process.”

Dr Hicks previously endorsed the nomination of Tara to the World Monuments Fund List and issued an earlier report about the area’s archaeological significance.

In this latest report, he argues Lismullen is comparable to ceremonial enclosures found at Tara and other royal sites in Ireland, but is twice as large as any other.

He added the structure was part of a larger complex.

The site’s discovery came just a day after the then Minister for Transport Martin Cullen turned the sod on the €850m road project.

The semicircular enclosure, which lies across the northbound lane of the proposed motorway, is 80 metres in diameter and dates from between 380BC and 520BC.

It is thought to have been some kind of ceremonial site.

The discovery was granted National Monument status and all works were halted at the site.

But in one of his final acts of office, former Minister for the Environment Dick Roche used the National Monuments Act 2004 and signed an order of preservation by record, meaning the prehistoric henge would be photographed, sketched and measured before being razed to make way for the motorway.

Mr Gormley maintains he does not have the authority to revoke his predecessor’s decision without a material change in circumstance.

TaraWatch has sent a solicitor’s letter to Mr Gormley demanding the excavation work be stopped, to which it claims no reply has been received.

It argues the 2004 National Monuments Act is contrary to EU law because it did not require a new environmental impact assessment following the Lismullen discovery.

An Bord Pleanála is currently reviewing this matter and a decision is expected within weeks.

If the board rules the road scheme is now different to the one approved in September 2003, it could require a fresh planning application to be lodged, which would lead to huge delays in delivering the motorway.

“The board is deciding whether demolition of Lismullen is a material change to a motorway scheme, and whether it will have a significant effect on the environment,” added Mr Salafia.

“They should consider this independent report in reaching their findings.”

Related Link: http://www.eveningecho.ie/news/bstory.asp?j=188196080&p...96689
author by Legal Eaglepublication date Wed Aug 22, 2007 01:49Report this post to the editors

THIS is the way to go.

Whatever one may think of him personally, Vincent Salafia is a genius. And Dr. Muireann Ui Bhrolchain is a powerhouse of energy.

GOOD to see them working closely together again.

The Way Forward, the only way.

author by Disgusted - Green Partypublication date Wed Aug 22, 2007 16:00Report this post to the editors

Do not give up hope, preseverence is the key, there is still the E.U, yet to come

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