Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hill of Tara Updates

A scenic view from teamaskin

If you are not familiar with it, the Hill of Tara (also known as the Hill or Seat of Kings), located in Co Meath, Ireland is a place steeped in ancient history.

Tara is a site of archaeological significance, and even more importantly, a site of heritage significance for the people of Ireland and of Irish descent. Many would argue that it is a sacred site, and should be protected for all of these reasons.

It has been found in the Tara Discovery Programme (started in 1992) that the Hill of Tara is part of a wider sacred site; because this, many also think that this whole area should be protected.

There has been a battle the last few years activists-- with organizations such as Save the Tara and TaraWatch involved-- have been have been trying to save the Tara-Skyrne Valley from development of the M3 Motorway. They feel that having this motorway so close to the area would desecrate the landscape of this site.

Lia Fáil/Stone of Destiny

Recently Tara has been proposed to be one of the United Nations heritage site:

Tara proposed as Unesco world heritage site
via the Irish Times

The Hill of Tara is among a number of sites which have been nominated for inclusion on the country's list of possible United Nation world heritage sites.

Campaigners against the route of the M3 motorway in Co Meath have joined with heritage groups in submitting proposals to an advisory group set up by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley, to review the list of Irish sites.

The existing tentative nomination list for world heritage sites dates back to 1992 and includes Killarney National Park, the Burren and Clonmacnoise.

Deadlines for submissions for inclusion on the revised list close today.
Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch said: "We have nominated Tara to be a World Heritage Site, but only on condition that the M3 motorway is re-routed first." "It would be a breach of the World Heritage Convention for Unesco to approve Tara, with the M3 going through the site," he said.

Tarawatch and the Campaign to Save Tara have said the Hill of Tara complex qualifies for World Heritage status as a natural and cultural landscape of outstanding universal value, due to its unique cultural significance, and the extent of the surviving remains.

Read the rest of the article here.

As well, the Smithsonian has placed the Hill of Tara on the list of 15 endangered heritage sites:

Hill of Tara makes Smithsonian endangered list
via the Irish Times

One of the most respected educational and research institutes in the United States, Smithsonian, has listed the Hill of Tara among the 15 must-see endangered cultural treasures in the world.

The Co Meath site, which was the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland, has been the subject of controversy with the nearby construction of the M3 road. Campaigners say the road will cut through one of Ireland’s most important historical sites, but the National Roads Authority says the new motorway will be further away from the hill than the existing route.

The motorway is scheduled to be finished in the middle of next year, but may be completed before that.

In its March edition of its magazine, Smithsonian says “the only music you're likely to hear around Tara nowadays is the clang of construction equipment”. The magazine is dominated by “14 other precious historic and artistic sites” around the world which it says “can be visited today, but might be gone tomorrow”.

“Each testifies to our urge to build and create; each reminds us of how much we stand to lose,” the magazine says.

Read the rest of the article here.

Sunset over the Hill of Tara from Neil Forrester

To find out more about the fight to save the Hill of Tara and the Tara-Skyrne Valley, check out the TaraWatch and Save the Tara websites.




perma_culture said...

Now hopefuly this will help Tara-Watch out with their cause!

nefaeria said...

Yes, hopefully!!!