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Minister Gormley Must Define Location of Tara Landscape and UNESCO Site
history and heritage |
Thursday July 23, 2009 16:07 by TaraWatch info at tarawatch dot org 0871323365
Proposed Heritage Protections for Tara are Illusory
Map of Tara/Skryne Area
The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, is currently conducting two separate public consultations, allegedly to protect Tara. There is the proposed Tara Skryne Landscape Conservation Area and the proposed Tara UNESCO World Heritage Site. But the Minister has not produced one single map showing the proposed areas, and has refused to answer Parliamentary Questions on the issue.
Hill of Tara - www.hilloftara.info
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“The Minister must stop hiding the ball and define Tara if there is to be effective public consultation for these so-called protective measures. We have two expensive and elaborate public consultations taking place separately, for the same approximate area, but we don’t have one single map defining that area. The Minister’s measures appear to be a smoke screen, with illusory promises of protection, which will not have any legislative basis. The Minister could easily give Tara real statutory protection, by broadening the boundary of the national monument in the National Monuments Bill 2009 he just announced." - Vincent Salafia, TaraWatch
TaraWatch is calling on the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to define the exact location of the proposed Tara Skryne Landscape Conservation Area and UNESCO World Heritage Site, after his announcement of proposed measures to protect Tara.
The Minister announced on Friday 22 July that he has initiated a public consultation for a pilot landscape conservation area around the sister hills of Tara and Skryne, in County Meath, but he has failed to identify the exact location of the landscape. The Minister also announced that he will be nominating Tara as a UNESCO World Heritage Site next year, but has also failed to identify the exact area of the site and the buffer zone, as part of that public consultation process which he launched last December.
In addition, on Wednesday the Minister refused to answer a specific Parliamentary Question on the location of the proposed World Heritage Site, along with a number of the 30 Parliamentary Questions proposed by TaraWatch and submitted by Sinn Féin and Labour:
“7. To ask the Minister for Environment can he define the area of the proposed Tara World Heritage Site?”
The Minister also failed to answer whether Iarnrod Éireann, Eirgrid, and the Eurolink Consortium (SIAC, Ferrovial and Cintra), were participating in the public consultation process for making Tara a World Heritage Site, since the M3 motorway, the North South Electrical Connector and the Navan to Dublin Railway are all proposed to pass within the Tara complex.
Deputy Aengus O'Snodaigh of Sinn Féin, who has agreed to be a member of the Tara Parliamentary Group along with Maureen O’Sullivan, TD, has written to the Minister, asking for responses to the unanswered questions.
Speaking recently, Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch, had the following to say:
“The Minister must stop hiding the ball and define Tara if there is to be effective public consultation for these so-called protective measures. We have two expensive and elaborate public consultations taking place separately, for the same approximate area, but we don’t have one single map defining that area. The Minister’s measures appear to be a smoke screen, with illusory promises of protection, which will not have any legislative basis. The Minister could easily give Tara real statutory protection, by broadening the boundary of the national monument in the National Monuments Bill 2009 he just announced."
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The M3 motorway is a crime against our illustrious patrimony. It is the ultimate symbol of Irish nationhood and sovereignty. De Valera would be ashamed at the modern Fianna Fáil. According to TaraMusic.net: "Tara's status as Capital and symbol of Irish sovereignty led king Malachy II to fiercely defend the Ferann Ríg or ‘royal demesne' from the invading Amlaíb Cúarán, Norse king of Dublin, in 980AD. Tara was the touchstone for many campaigns in the past. Such figures as Conn Ó Néill held a symbolic meeting there as part of his invasion of the Pale; Aodh Ó Néill, who was considered a national leader in 1599, visited Tara for a victory assembly. Even earlier, in 1527 another leader Ó Conchobhair went to Tara to symbolically shoe his horse. The Lord Deputy Sidney, in 1570, asked the Anglo-Irish lords to assemble at Tara and the Meath gentry gathered there during the 1641 rebellion.The United Irishmen gathered on the hill and battled British forces there during the 1798 rising. The graves of the rebels are buried on the hill itself. To mark their graves, the ancient Lia Fáil was moved from near the Mound of the Hostages to Rath Cormac."
On 15th August 1843 Daniel O'Connell gave a speech against the continuance of the Union at a 'monster meeting' at the Hill of Tara:
"Tara is surrounded by historical reminiscences which give it an importance worthy of being considered by everyone who approaches it for political purposes and an elevation in the public mind which no other part of Ireland possesses. We are standing upon Tara of the Kings, the spot where the monarchs of Ireland were elected, and where the chieftains of Ireland bound themselves by the solemn pledge of honour to protect their native land against Dane and every stranger. This was emphatically the spot from which emanated every social power and legal authority by which the force of the entire country was concentrated for national defence. On this important spot I have an important duty to perform. I here protest in the face of my country and my God against the continuance of the Union."
We will bitterly regret this in years to come. The curse of Cromwell on Dick Roche for destroying the Lismullen national monument, and his developer friends who are now deservedly bankrupt.
Without wishing to distract in any way from the very interesting information you have provided, please note -- in case you (and others) might not be aware of it -- that the recorded history of Tara goes back much farther than 980 AD.
According to the Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters (for example), which was completed in 1636 AD, "King Ollamh Fodhla established Feis-Teamhrach (The Great Feast of Tara)" during his reign - which the Four Masters have dated as the 40 year period between 1317 - 1277 BC.
Additional information on King Ollamh Fodhla can be found at: http://www.kingollamhfodhla.com
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. Was it the farmer filling in something and if it was why then did he not use gravel and allow grass to grow over it? This is the first man made thing I have ever seen 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. 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.