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Archaeo News 

11 February 2004
Saving the Hill of Tara from motorway defacement

A campaign was formed in September 2003 following a decision by An Bord Pleanala (Planning Appeals Board) to approve the M3 Clonee-Kells motorway to be built within 2.5 km of the world famous, Hill of Tara in Co. Meath, Ireland. The oldest monument on this site is called The Mound of the Hostages. It is a megalithic passage tomb dated to 2500 BCE. The whole area around the Hill of Tara is of great significance to the Irish people as it was once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland in Celtic times. Recently the remains of a Temple have been discovered under the Hill of Tara itself; the immediate area around the Hill boasts 30 visible monuments and no doubt many more as yet undiscovered. The M3 Motorway will will include a 26 acre floodlit junction a mere 1,090 metres from the core zone of the Hill of Tara monument itself.
     The 'Save the Tara-Skyrne Valley Campaign' is now engaged in a two-pronged battle to prevent construction going ahead. Firstly, through legal challenges, under the Nation Monuments Act, the Irish Constitution, and through the European Union. Secondly, through a promotional campaign to raise awareness of Taraís plight, and to generate the political and moral pressure necessary to force Meath County Council to change their plans. If built, the M3 will do incalculable archaeological damage to the hinterland around the Hill of Tara, and irreparable harm to the standing Tara enjoys as a symbol of Irish heritage, both at home and abroad.
To help the 'Save the Tara-Skyrne Valley Campaign' you can sign a petition available by e-mail or snail mail on request; or write a letter stating your views and send it to some leading Irish politicians (An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Dail Eirreann, Dublin 1. ∑ Martin Cullen, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Department of the Environment and Local Government, Ministerís Office, Custom House, Dublin 1. ∑ Seamus Brennan, Minister for Transport, Department of Transport, 44 Kildare St, Dublin 2. ∑ Tom Dowling, County Manager, Meath County Council, County Hall, Railway Street, Navan, Co. Meath. ∑ Peter Malone, Chairman & Michael Tobin, Chief Exec: National Roads Authority, St. Martin's House, Waterloo Road, Dublin 4.). You can also join the campaign or make a donation.
     For any questions or comments e-mail Vincent Salafia at salafiam@tcd.ie. You can also check  'Save the Tara-Skyrne Valley Campaign' website at www.taraskryne.org and a group has been set up at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/taraskreen/.

Source: Stone Pages Archaeo Forum (2 and 3 February 2004)

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