Independent Media Centre Ireland
Dublin - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Tara UNESCO Petition launch and demo at ICOMOS Ireland meeting

category dublin | history and heritage | event notice author Saturday May 31, 2008 19:53author by TaraWatchauthor email info at tarawatch dot orgauthor phone +353-87-132-3365

Come and demonstrate to save Tara!

Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, wants to nominate the Hill of Tara to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. But he is happy to allow the M3 motorway to be constructed through the middle of the site. Help us lobby the Irish branch of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) , and demand that the M3 be rerouted away from the Tara complex, before it is declared a World Heritage Site.

The Hill of Tara is Ireland's ancient capital, and premier national monument. However, the Irish Government is planning to build a motorway through the Gabhra Valley between the Hill of Tara and the Hill of Skryne, County Meath, just 1000 metres from the top of the Hill. It was placed on the World Monuments Fund, List of 100 Most Endangered Sites, 2008, after being nominated by TaraWatch.

The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, said in April 2008 that he did not see M3 motorway preventing the Hill of Tara from being nominated as a world heritage site. Mr Gormley said that he believed it would be possible to take a series of initiatives to preserve the site. The initiatives would prevent “commercial spread” alongside the motorway, the Minister said. He also said a directive would be put in place to provide landscape protection. Mr Gormley commented that with these measures in place Tara could still meet the strict criteria for incorporation on the list of UN world heritage sites. Such criteria rely heavily on natural or man-made heritage being well preserved.

Referring to the review of the tentative list of proposed world heritage sites, Mr Gormley spoke of his desire to include the Hill of Tara national monument. He said his department had engaged Dr Jukka Jokilehto, a member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to visit Tara and the other sites currently on what is known as the “tentative list” for inclusion. Mr Gormley said Dr Jokilehto had “concluded that the Hill of Tara National monument has strong merit for inclusion in an application to Unesco for consideration as a world heritage site.

TaraWatch supports the nomination of the Hill of Tara archaeological complex and natural landscape to the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites, but is opposed to the construction of the M3 motorway through the Tara-Skryne valley. The Minister for the Environment and the Irish Government have the power to reroute the M3 motorway, away from Tara.

We call on UNESCO and ICOMOS to support the nomination of the Hill of Tara to the World Heritage list, but to insist that the M3 be rerouted first. Allowing the m3 to proceed would destroy the integrity of the site, and be a breach of the World Heritage Convention, which Ireland signed in 1992.

ICOMOS Ireland is holding its AGM in Dublin next Wed, 4th June, at Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

TaraWatch will use this occasion to launch the UNESCO/ICOMOS petition, reflecting the arguments made above. We will gather there at 9.00am, peacefully demonstrate, and give copies of the petition to ICOMOS members attending the meeting. Please join us.

For more information see:

Contact / +353-87-132-3365

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Comments (7 of 7)

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author by TaraWatchpublication date Sun Jun 01, 2008 17:21author address author phone

We've just published an excellent law review, by Meghan Aibigail:

'The Hill of Tara and the Need for a New UNESCO Convention to Protect Archaeological Landscapes'

(Dec. 17, 2007) (Unpublished manuscript, on file with Texas International Law Journal, University of Texas Law School).

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author by A5publication date Mon Jun 02, 2008 01:18author address author phone

Quiet collapse of Lucas/Salafia court case:

author by TaraWatchpublication date Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:53author address author phone

We had previously asked people to gather for the ICOMOS AGM tomorrow at 9.00am. However, we've discovered that the AGM is being held at 6.00pm at the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) office at 8 Merrion Square.

Please gather at 5.00pm. Thanks

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author by Carmel Divineypublication date Wed Jun 04, 2008 13:19author address author phone

Earlier today, the following letter was handed in to ICOMOS Ireland ,c/o Royal Irish Architects of Ireland . It was signed by long term Tara Campaigners on behalf of all those who hold the same wishes for a future restoration of the Lismullin Henge.

Open Letter to:

Minster John Gormley,
4th June 08.

To Whom it may concern,

As a group of concerned Tara campaigners we seek to enlist the interest, help, advice and direction of ICOMOS in the excavation preservation of Lismullin Henge in the Tara/ Skryne Valley Co. Meath. We feel that Lismullin Henge is an ideal candidate for this project as Archaeological and Historic study is already in place and a digital reconstruction of the Henge is available on the Department of the Environment website.

We feel that work already carried out on the site complies with Article 9 of the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites as agreed by the International Congress of Architects and Historic Monument Technicians, Venice 1964 and adopted by ICOMOS in 1965.


ARTICLE 9: The process of restoration is a highly specialized
operation. Its aim is to preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic
value of the monument and is based on respect for original material and
authentic documents. It must stop at the point where conjecture begins,
and in this case moreover any extra work which is indispensable must be
distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a
contemporary stamp. The restoration in any case must be preceded and
followed by an archaeological and historical study of the monument.

Lismullin Henge holds much for us to learn and preserve for future generations. With the recent drastic loss of so many Archaeological and Sacred Sites within the Tara /Skryne Valley due to Motorway construction we are moved to beseech your help in the restoration of Lismullin Henge in a similar fashion to the remarkable restoration of Goseck Henge in Germany .

We would be very grateful for any assistance you would be able to provide us with in our efforts to promote this project and look forward to your response.

ICOMOS Ethical Commitment Statement


It is an ICOMOS member's responsibility to give professional advice and
act in accordance with the charters and doctrine of ICOMOS, relevant
international conventions (1), recommendations of UNESCO and other
relevant Acts, codes and charters to which ICOMOS is legally committed.

Yours sincerely,

Carmel Diviney,
Kitty Kavanagh,
Terri Murray
Emma Sharma- Hayes,
Brenda Ferris,
Terry Tuite,
Roibeard Mc Elroy,
Dr. Muireann Ni Bhrolcain,
Heather Buchanan,
Anita Gregg.

Independent Tara campaigners
Independent Tara campaigners

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author by Carmel Divineypublication date Wed Jun 04, 2008 13:33author address author phone

The pics here illustrate the great care and attention given to the restoration of the Goseck Henge in Germany and a digital reconstruction of Lismullin Henge adapted from a picture on the Dept of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government website.

Goseck Henge Germany
Goseck Henge Germany

Lismullin .....
Lismullin .....

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author by Madam Kpublication date Wed Jun 04, 2008 13:37author address author phone

"ICOMOS Ireland is holding its AGM in Dublin next Wed, 4th June, at Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2."

Not according to RIAI .

author by Tara Tara Tarapublication date Thu Jun 12, 2008 09:35author address author phone

Watch as the image appears :)

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