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31 January 2009
Tara Landscape for UNESCO Tentative List

Tara campaigners have submitted a form to the Department of the Environment asking that the Tara landscape (co. Meath, Ireland) be placed on the Tentative List of potential sites to be nominated for World Heritage Status. Minister Gormley announced his intention to update the list of potential sites - it has not been updated since 1992 and the Irish Republic has only 2 WHS at present. These are Scellig Michil and The Bend in the Boyne (including Newgrange).
     Campaigners have expressed concern about the integrity of the site, saying:
"The integrity of part of Tara's core area, however, is now being adversely affected by the building of the M3 motorway through the Gabhra Valley, particularly by the Blundelstown interchange ... within the universally recognised core area of Tara's landscape. Secondary development around this interchange will undoubtedly pose a still greater threat to the integrity of this landscape in the future". The submission emphasises the importance of nominating the wider landscape, including the Gabhra Valley, rather than confining the World Heritage Site to the crown of the hill and says: "The Hill of Tara, therefore, represents the ritual and political focus of a larger territory or landscape".
     Tara campaigners will also celebrate the feast of Imbolc, one of the four ancient Celtic festivals of Ireland, at Tara on Sunday 1st of February. They intend to mark the festival by walking sunwards around the Hill with lights or lanterns at dusk, paying homage to the ancient festival while highlighting the continued destruction of the Tara Complex due to the works of the M3 Motorway now reaching its end phase. People are invited to gather in the Hill of Tara car park at 4.30.

Source: Save Tara Press Release (29 January 2009)

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