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Tara Direct Action July 09
international | environment | news report Tuesday July 14, 2009 09:25 by Tara Tara Tara
Emergency Call Out
People needed for Direct Action in the Tara Valley. Work is proceeding at an alarming rate and our numbers are low. Please come if you can help. We need people to help delay the destruction of one of the world's most important archaeological landscapes. Please bring weather proof clothes, food and drink, cameras, video cameras and your friends!
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The Vigil Camp is at Belper Farm. From the Hill of Tara Car Park go down the road to Rath Maeve, go straight ahead until you come to the first farm on your right. Go in the side entrance and through the farmyard making sure to close gates behind you. Follow the signs to the Vigil. Please spread the word that the Vigil is alive and well and that we need numbers urgently to maintain a presence. Construction work at Blundelstown is being prepared and works all around are progressing rapidly. Workers were even working yesterday through torrential downpours which is something I have never seen before. There are floodlights at Dowdstown so that work can continue into the night and it is obvious that they are keeping to a tight schedule now. Please help.
These photos of the Vigil were taken by me on Friday. The vegetable and herb garden has been extended since then even and a meditation garden is also now underway.
Come to the Vigil.
at Belper Farm
Yesterday we began the building of a Carin at Collierstown. This is the site of an ancient graveyard at least 6000 years old and from which over 62 bodies were disinterred during excavation in order to make way for the M3 Motorway. There is nothing at this spot to mark this graveyard as being a place of note, nothing to tell of its desecration.
Keery Murray, Tara's Bard came up with the idea of creating a Cairn and reviving an age old custom of people bringing rocks to a place of importance. We would like everyone who visits Tara or who passes the way to stop at the Collierstown Cairn and add your own rock with your initials on it, and in time, we will have built a monument to the dead who were sacreligiously wrenched from their ancient burial place. Help us to build this memorial by spreading the word.
We lay gifts with the foundations of sand from the Temple of Karnak in Egypt, Sacred Tobacco from the North American Indian Tribes, water from the Healing Well at Tara, crystals, a candle etc. Please add your own gifts or simply stop for a while and ponder....
Gifts to the Spirits
Carmel, Dan, Amy and Keery
Worked flint found during building of the Cairn
We are thinking of having a small gathering of acoustic musicians to the Cairn sometime in August to kick things off. Details on that nearer the time- a ROCK FESTIVAL :)
There will also be Tours of the Valley from the Car Park each Sunday in Aug which will last about an a hour and a half each and on which visitors will be brought to the various sites and monuments destroyed by the Motorway. You wont see this on any other tour! The tours will be given by members of the Vigil and Direct Action with on hand reports of what happened where. There will be no charge but a €5.00 donation can be made towards petrol. Bookings can be made at the Tara Stall in the car park at the Hill.
Vigil ph number 0861758557
I take note that the bridge is of modern design. Not in keeping with the historic landscape. Because of the magnitude of this sacrilege against Ireland's historic monuments, and my exhumed relatives, Tuaim Studios and our sister affiliates will remove Ireland from any future touring schedules. Please be advised.
Furthermore, we will endeavor to spread this boycott throughout our industry.
Gormley's greeting party from Tara.
Gormley : "The new landscape conservation zone for Tara Skryne will protect the area from development damage . . . This is the first landscape conservation area ever. We have to learn lessons from the past, there's no question mistakes have been made and mistakes must be rectified."
Shops and malls to be banned at historic Tara site - Irish Independent
By Paul Melia
Saturday July 18 2009
MAJOR developments including shopping centres and retail parks will not be allowed to be built off the controversial M3 motorway near the Hill of Tara.
The Tara Skryne Valley, one of the most archaeologically rich areas in the country, will be officially designated as a Landscape Conservation Area, which will ban major developments and ensure the landscape is left intact, Environment Minister John Gormley announced yesterday.
And he said he was fully committed to nominating the Hill of Tara as a UNESCO World Heritage site when Ireland draws up its shortlist of sites at the end of the year.
He added that a new National Monuments Act would mean that road developments would not take place in areas rich with archaeology.
"I am pleased to announce details in relation to a proposed new landscape management project which has been initiated to establish a Landscape Conservation Area in the Tara-Skryne area," he said.
"The new landscape conservation zone for Tara Skryne will protect the area from development damage . . . This is the first landscape conservation area ever. We have to learn lessons from the past, there's no question mistakes have been made and mistakes must be rectified."
The National Monuments Act will also see a single Register of Monuments established instead of historic monuments being recorded on a number of lists, and improved recognition of and protection for archaeology under planning legislation.
Chairman of the Heritage Council, Conor Newman, added that the legislation would close "serious weaknesses" in the law.
"For those of us who spent years trying to protect Tara, the work (M3) exposed serious weaknesses in our legislation," he said. "Protecting the landscape is something we want to see. No one wants to freeze the landscape, just manage change."
The landscape conservation area status will be made next year when the exact zone of protection will be identified.
- Paul Melia
Roestown-finest of all sousterrains, pics taken 13-7-09
Baronstown, the place of Ancient Harpists and Feasting
Lismullin- Ancient Astronomical Observatory
Dowdstown view 2
While any effort to protect our heritage is to be welcomed it could be argued that it is too little too late. Gormley mentions the Hill of Tara and the Tara Skryne area without defining its' boundaries. Many many questions left unanswered......
Gormley Press Release:
Gormley Outlines Progress on the Review of Archaeological Policy and Practice & the proposed National Monuments Bill 2009
Mr John Gormley TD Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government today (17 July 09) outlined progress on the Review of Archaeological Policy and Practice & the proposed
National Monuments Bill 2009.
“One of my first tasks on assuming office in 2007 was to attempt to deal with the legacy of previous decisions in relation to the M3 and the possible impacts on the Hill of Tara and the surrounding landscapes. I was of the opinion then and I am still of the same opinion that legislation needed to be bolstered to offer further protection to our national monuments and associated landscapes nationwide,” said Minister Gormley.
“In September 2007 I initiated a major review of archaeological policy and practice in Ireland. The aim of the review was to make policy and practice in protecting Ireland’s archaeological heritage the best there could be and to draw from the experience and advice of experts both at home and abroad to achieve this,” added the Minister.
In order to ensure that every effort was made to properly define the nature and scope of the Review and to advise the Minister on the prioritisation of issues coming out of a consultation process, an Expert Advisory Committee was established to advise on how to respond to the issues that emerged. At the Minister’s request the Expert Advisory Committee concentrated, initially, on legislative provisions to up-date and replace the National Monuments Acts 1930, 1954, 1987, 1994 & 2004.
On the 24th February this year the Minister approved the preparation of drafts heads of a bill to replace the National Monuments Acts, 1930 to 2004, and related enactments, based on the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Committee on the Review of Archaeological Policy & Practice.
The main objectives of the Bill on publication may include the provision of:
· A single piece of consolidated and modernised legislation to replace the existing National Monuments Acts dating from 1930 to 2004.
· A single Register of Monuments to replace the existing statutory Record of Monuments and Places and the statutory Register of Historic Monuments, the non-statutory Sites and Monuments Record, the non-statutory lists of national monuments subject to preservation order or temporary preservation order and the non-statutory lists of national monuments in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or local authorities.
· A new system for the identification, registration and conservation of historic landscapes.
· Improved recognition of and protection for archaeology under planning legislation.
· A statutory mechanism for dealing with all new discoveries of archaeological monuments and sites; current legislation only deals with discoveries made on approved road schemes.
· A single consistent system for regulating archaeological works in relation to all types of development both in the public and private sector; at present differing regimes apply to approved road schemes and other public infrastructure provision and private sector development.
· A more efficient licensing system for archaeological excavations, effectively providing for a single licence for all archaeological works relating to a particular scheme or project, rather than a multiplicity of licences which can be required at present.
· An appeals system where an application for a licence is refused.
The Bill may also provide for ratification of certain International Conventions including:
· The UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Objects,
· The Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit, Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and
· The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.
While the aim of the Bill is to provide strong protection for Heritage it will also modernise and stream line certain procedures including procedures for licensing of works at Registered Monuments. Work is underway in relation to the preparation of the heads of the bill.
Tara-Skryne Landscape Conservation Area
“I am also pleased to announce details in relation to a proposed new landscape management project which has been initiated to establish a Landscape Conservation Area in the Tara-Skryne area. Much has been written about this coveted area and the detail announced today will be the start of the process to protect this historic landscape,” added Minister Gormley. “The new landscape conservation zone for Tara Skryne will protect the area from development damage. I am also ensuring that Tara will be on the updated tentative list of sites for future nomination for UNESCO World Heritage status when it is finalised later this year.”
The initiative is a partnership project between Meath County Council, the Heritage Council, and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, working with the local community and all stakeholders in a collaborative and participative manner. The proposal to designate a Landscape Conservation Area for Tara-Skryne can be considered as part of the emerging National Landscape Strategy (NLS). The experience gained and the issues arising will provide a central input into the development of the necessary framework for the NLS.
-The Tara-Skryne Pilot will cover all aspects of landscape, including archaeological and historic landscapes, take account of the relationships between these different landscapes, and their fit within the overall planning system.
- Any designation will follow on from an extensive consultation and involvement with all stakeholders and local community to determine their wishes for the landscape.
-Immediate funding of €50,000 has been made available by the Department and the Heritage Council to help get the Pilot underway.
-A Steering Group whose membership is drawn from Meath County Council, the Heritage Council and the Department has been established to oversee the Pilot. The Group has held three meetings to date.
The project will progress objectives and policies contained in the Meath County Development Plan 2007-2013 which seek to designate a Landscape Conservation Area for the Tara-Skryne Area.
The Minister also launched Bru na Boinne (Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne)
The framework summarises the current state of knowledge of more than 6,000 years of activity at Bru na Boinne, and highlights gaps in knowledge, presented as a series of 38 research questions. Questions cover a broad range of issues, such as –
· who were the first people to occupy the landscape?
· how were people disposing of their dead in early pre-history?
· what was the nature of the Iron Age, and in turn the Viking presence?
· what is the sequence for construction of the passage tombs?
· how was the land used during medieval and post-medieval periods?
· what is the extent of the aerial photographic resource for Bru na Boinne?
· does the built heritage of the area have any unique characteristics?
· how do different farming techniques impact on different types of monuments and cultural heritage?
· how can residential development be better managed?
· how can existing and future data be better integrated, managed and archived?
I wonder what the protection will cover?
eg Business at Blundelstown taking spoil from Motorway works? already established, facts on
and also the size of the protection zone? What does the Tara Skryne Valley
and can some areas be eliminated as totally ruined anyway, like Baronstown,
Rath Lugh, Lismullin, Dillonsbridge, 'Blundelstown', Dowdstown, Ardsallagh?
Also what degree of preparedness among residents, other concerned citizens,
Heritage Agencies and Govmt. Departments on future developments in this
county/area, Pylons, Outer Orbital Route, and port at Bremore?
I hope but doubt that strong enough protections can be put in place. However
if there is someone in office who is at least paying mouthservice to the
right things, I wish for people who can call him on it, get him to show his
cards, and then try to hold him to it. in view of the perhaps short span of
Greens/FF alliance, it might be worth trying to getting a many committments
as fast as possible.
I wish for a lot.
Brenda Ferris, local resident.
Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
Wishing you a wonderful Bank Holiday Wknd- Campers Welcome!
People needed to revamp the camp and have some music and craic while doing so :) Free Tara Tours from the car park at the Hill all day Sunday and Monday.
Vigil Camp, Belper Farm. Bottom left of map
On Sunday a friend of mine was at Tara and he was concerned at the number of trees dying there. He sent an email and some photos about this to all the usual suspects but only one councillor bothered to reply
He also told me about a path which had been cleared all along the perimeter fence and all through the wood. I was uneasy about this because it removes the cover wildlife had; now anybody can go deep into the wooded parts so yesterday I went to Tara to have a look.
In the field, inside the hill complex I came across what seems to be parts of a path which had been filled in with shale and chippings. I wondered what it was as it looked professional. Further along the hedge I seen another one. Sure they are small pieces of infill so was it the farmer filling in something but if it was why then did he not just use gravel which would allow grass to grow over it? This is the first man made thing I have ever seen been built at Tara.
Later I asked some people at the gate and I was told it could be part of the paths they are putting in. Apparently this was decided by "The Friends of Tara" some years ago, to enhance the site for tourists after the road was complete. I have known that they want to turn the hill into a tourist attraction, to make money from it and so fatten up their nearby buissnesses but I thought that this would never be accepted.
Tara has only survived because it was left alone; in the words of the great writer and archeologist R.S. McAllister Tara was “A Pagan Sanctuary” a sacred place of the soul so what right do a small cabal of buisness people have to turn it into a tourist trap?
This could be the start of the creeping development that we were warned against. Also the owner of the cafe and shop has applied for planning premission to increase the size of the car park by over twenty times its present size. These planning signs are up. Is this not comercial developement?
I may be wrong but if it their intention to open up Tara to commerce as the M3 has opened up rural Meath to commerce then it should be resisted with all our hearts.
Two pics from last wknd.
Dying Chestnut Tree at Tara
Toll Plaza going in at Dunsaughlin
Vast amount of land cleared for Blundelstown Interchange
Planning Notice for Car Park extension at the Hill
"The owner of the cafe and shop has applied for planning premission to increase the size of the car park by over twenty times its present size. These planning signs are up. Is this not comercial developement?"
The above staement about the increase in size of the car park at Tara is an over statement: the existing car park provided by the owner of the cafe is 0.112 hectares. The proposed extension to which planning approval is being sought will increase the car park to 0.256 hectares.
Which is slightly more than double of what it is now. Plus there will be new vehicle entrance made and the present entrance will then become the sole exit.
The car park facility provided by the Owner is a free service provided for use by the general public, as too are the Toilets!
Today at Tara were six large tour coaches, two of which were parked at the side of the road because they were unable to park in the Council owned vehicle space; Which contained two rows of cars & four coaches.
The popularity of Tara worldwide has increased dramatically since the Save Tara Campaign got into full swing.
Therefore it is in the interest of Road Safety that an extension to the the "owners" car park is required.
My original calculation was done on the spot and it was wrong. I concede that. However it highlighted the fact that commercial developments are being planned and pushed through despite the effects that they will have on the Hill of Tara. No one is being asked for their opinion on this; no one is been informed and so no one knows what is now afoot. I have grown sick of hearing people tell us to be open, clear and exact when at the same time those in favor of developments hide, mislead or distort the truth.
The real issue here is developments, ie the increase in size of the car park, the putting in of paths and the facilitating of tourists on the hill.
Tara is not and never was a tourist attraction. The monuments on the Hill are soil monuments and not able to support an ever increasing footfall. If they are pushed to do so then they will be destroyed.
I would like you now to be exact.
Are you willing to leave Tara to what is was, an ancient pagan sanctuary or do you wish to see it turned into a tourist attraction?
You have a right to your opinion and if you agree with these development I have no problem with your view, but if you have any financial interest in the businesses concerned then please be exact and tell the truth too.
Car parks and toilets are mandatory for a restaraunt, putting them in is not a favour to the public.
If busses and cars cannot park safely then it means that they should not be arriving there.
The buisness man who owns the restaraunt is making money from his buisness, Tara is now suffering.
Buisness or the health of this ancient Hill. What is best???