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5 July 2012
Sacred Irish monument vandalised

An ancient stone monument on the Hill of Tara in County Meath (Ireland), known as the Stone of Destiny, which legend tells would roar with joy when touched by the true King of Tara, is now groaning in pain.
     The standing stone, also known as the Lia Fáil, dates back to circa 3,000 BCE, is part of a national heritage site. The stone was hit up to 11 times by a heavy object, similar to a hammer, around the top. The marks of the blows are clearly visible against the weathered exterior but, strangely, no stone fragments have been found in the area. Were these taken as souvenirs or for another purpose?
     The senseless vandalism has struck at the heart of Irish culture and heritage, prompting Ireland's Minister for Heritage, Jimmy Deenihan, to say "Vandalism is a mindless act. The national monuments at Tara, which include this standing stone, are nationally and internationally renowned. These monuments are a fundamental part of our shared heritage and history, and I condemn, in the strongest terms, the damage that has been caused".

Edited from Independent.ie, IrishCentral, Irish Examiner (14 June 2012)

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