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Call for Tara/M3 submissions to Sixth World Archaeological Congress, UCD, 29 June-4 July
All stakeholders in the Tara / M3 issue should make a submission
TaraWatch received notification on Thursday 5th June, from the World Archaeological Congress (WAC), Committee on Ethics, that it has been recognised as stakeholders in the ongoing Hill of Tara / M3 issue for purposes of a round table session at the upcoming Sixth World Archaeological Congress, (WAC-6) to be held at University College Dublin, from the 29th June to 4th July, which will be debating the ethics of the M3 / Hill of Tara issue.
This is an appeal to all Irish environmental and community NGO's, as well as concerned groups and individuals, in any part of the world, to participate in a consultation process that will take approximately two weeks, but leave a lasting impact. Please promote this call for submissions and petition drive.
TaraWatch received the exciting news on Thursday 5th June that World Archaeological Congress (WAC) is going to address the Hill of Tara/M3 motorway issue at a round table session, Sixth World Archaeological Congress (WAC-6). The debate is being organised by the WAC Standing Committee on Ethics. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87801
WAC is "a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization and is the only archaeological organisation with elected global representation. WAC holds an international Congress every four years to promote the exchange of results from archaeological research; professional training and public education for disadvantaged nations, groups and communities; the empowerment and betterment of Indigenous groups and First Nations peoples; and the conservation of archaeological sites."
In it's mission statement, WAC says it “seeks to promote interest in the past in all countries, to encourage the development of regionally-based histories and to foster international academic interaction. It is committed to the scientific investigation of the past, ethical archaeological practice and the protection of cultural heritage worldwide. It supports the empirical investigation and appreciation of the political contexts within which research is conducted and interpreted, and promotes dialogue and debate among advocates of different views of the past. WAC is committed to diversity and to redressing global inequities in archaeology through conferences, publications and scholarly programs. It has a special interest in protecting the cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples, minorities and economically disadvantaged countries, and encourages the participation of Indigenous peoples, researchers from economically disadvantaged countries and members of the public. Past Congresses have been held in England, Venezuela, India, South Africa and the USA. Patrons for past Congresses include Prince Charles (WAC-1), Nelson Mandela (WAC-4) and Harriet Fulbright (WAC-5). Selected papers from these conferences are published in the One World Archaeology Series.”
This is a massive boost for the Tara campaign, as it will be an opportunity for heritage experts and professionals from around the world to at the entire Tara / M3 saga from an objective and ethical standpoint. It is absolutely critical that this process is used to the utmost benefit, to make the case for Tara, while there is still a whisper of time left to save it.
This news feature is designed to share that news, and serve as a public consultation, under the laws principles and principles of UN Agenda 21, and sustainable development, which all public bodies, NGOs and stakeholders in the environmental arena are required to follow.
This is a call for submissions. Everyone has a stake in this issue, and a right to have their opinions heard. National surveys have shown that 70% of people want the M3 re-routed and an Irish Times survey showed that 82% of people surveyed think Tara should be a UNESCO site. Minister Gormley has responded that he will declare Tara a World Heritage Site, but with the motorway through it. We are campaigning to have UNESCO decline that offer, and insist that the M3 is re-routed first.
Given the enormity of the issue, and the multiple events that have occurred over the last ten years, in relation to this project, compiling a complete dossier is a mammoth task, particularly when laws like the World Heritage Convention and the National Monuments Acts are applied to those facts, in an attempt to formulate arguments that are coherent. Expert affidavits, and technical reports make the matter all the more challenging. We are lucky to be working with some heritage experts, in this regard, but we need all of the information available, and as much co-operative assistance as possible. Hopefully, like with our successful World Monuments Fund - 100 Most Endangered Sites List nomination, the job will get done.
The shortage of time in this matter is not our doing. Notice was received on Thursday 4th June, that this issue would be raised and that TaraWatch hold stakeholder status. Submissions need to be submitted in time for all the participants in the round table to have time to read and understand them - which is a week before the event, at a minimum.
June 21, the Summer Solstice is the planned date of the final, comprehensive Tara submission. In order for us to process third party submissions, and integrate them into our own, we need to receive them at week before then, which brings us back to the 14th of June. So, we have a week to hear from as many people as possible.
A public meeting will be held very shortly, which will explain the process in detail. In the meantime, there are a number of things you can do if you want to communicate your opinion on this matter to WAC-6, and indeed UNESCO and ICOMOS. If you prefer to stay anonymous, we will pass along the material as we are given it.
1. Please write a concise account of your opinions or experiences, in relation to this the Tara / M3 controversy. Address issues such as:
- why do you consider yourself a stakeholder/ why is Tara important to you?
- what is wrong/right with the M3 motorway, in relation to Tara?
- is this an indigenous rights, religious, philosophical, environmental, political, moral, economic, practical issue for you?
- what specific experiences have you had in relaiton to Tara?
- what specific experiences have you had in relation the authorities?
- what laws do you think apply?
- what solutions are available?
- how did it come to all this?
2. Either write it into the onlone petition, as a comment, or mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org
A new online petition, addressed to UNESCO, ICOMOS and WAC-6 attendees, was launched on Wednesday.
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87819 It was designed as a method of trying to raise the Tara issue with the WAC-6 delegates, as we were unaware that we would be invited to make a submission. Now, that peition is going to serve as a key part of our submission. It makes it easy for people to participate, and make their views known.
3. If you feel you want to assist further, there is a lot of work to be done
- please forward this notice to anyone you think might be a stakeholder
- please forward the petition link to all your contacts
- please try and attend the upcoming meeting, which will be noticed here on Indymedia.
- please drop a line, and we'll find something for you to do.
- compiling the full dossier. If you are interested in law, the environment, heritage, globalisation, etc., and want to play a key role in making the case for Tara, on a world stage, please come and help us.
NEWS: This story has broken on the main news outlets: Please see:
LINKS: For more information on WAC-6 see:
View Comments Titles Only
Comments (1 of 1)Jump To Comment: 1
Mr John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government has today ( 06 June, 2008) announced the appointment of Mr Conor
Newman as Chairman of the Heritage Council. The role and remit of the
Heritage Council is set out in the Heritage Act 1995. The term of office
will be for a period of five years.
The Minister congratulated Mr. Newman, commenting that he has a "very
considerable wealth of heritage experience and expertise which will greatly
benefit the State in the role of Chairman of the Heritage Council."
Conor Newman is a graduate of University College Dublin (UCD), and joined
the staff at NUI Galway in 1996 where he teaches late prehistoric and early
medieval archaeology. His research interests include the archaeology of the
4th-6th century transition from pagan to Christian Ireland and later
prehistoric 'royal' centres, in particular the archaeology and landscape of
Tara. He was director of the Discovery Programme Tara Survey and his work
has been extensively published. He has pursued post-graduate research in
Britain, France and Italy and was visiting professor of Celtic Archaeology
at the University of Toronto. He is also editor of the Journal of Irish
Archaeology. He is co-Director, with Dr Mark Stansbury (NUI Galway) of a
research project Columbanus: Life and Legacy.
"The Heritage Council is well recognised and respected for its role in the
protection and promotion of our national heritage. Since its foundation, it
has brought about a wider understanding of heritage. It was worked
tirelessly to instill a sense of pride in our national heritage at community
level by working through local organisations and by supporting Local
Authorities. The Council has played a vital role in promoting best practice
in protecting our heritage and has established itself as a recognised centre
of excellence" said the Minister. "I want the Council to continue to build
on the good work of the outgoing members across the whole range of heritage
values that it has a role in promoting and protecting. I have every
confidence in Conor Newman's ability to lead and further develop the
Heritage Council, in accordance with the Programme for Government" he
continued. "I wish to also thank the outgoing Chairman Dr Tom O'Dywer and
the four outgoing members for their very valuable contribution during their
terms of office in fulfilling the remit of the Council."
It is expected that a further announcement will be made regarding the
appointment of four other board members in the coming weeks. Further
information on the work of the Heritage Council is available on