Tuesday, 9 January 2007

The Tara saga continues in The Irish Times ...

It has taken me a few days to get this story up as my web link has been down. The next few posts will be bits I have picked up from the papers in the last few days. Each is referenced back to the original paper. Brendan.

The Tara issue was back in the news over the weekend with an article by Frank McDonald in The Irish Times:

The Save Tara campaign has urged Opposition TDs to call a halt to the "premature clearing" of trees in the Gabhra Valley, east of the Hill of Tara in Co Meath, and to reroute the M3 motorway "before we pave over history, literature and archaeology".
In a statement yesterday, it said that the public should visit the sites where trees had been felled to verify - contrary to claims by its proponents - that the motorway would be closer to Tara than the existing N3.
Save Tara said that the tree-felling at Rath Lugh, near Lismullin, and at Blundelstown "shows without doubt that the new road and the planned interchange are closer to the top of the hill than the existing road".
Noting that the Gabhra river runs beside the N3, it said that the motorway would drive over it.
Gabhra means "white mare", and horses are associated with the kingship of Tara. Horse bones were found on the hill.
The valley was associated with the deaths of the Fianna. "Here is the site of the Battle of Gabhra, where the King of Tara battled with the Fianna and both he an the famous champion Oscar were killed along with many others," the statement said.
"Rath Lugh contains the name of the old Irish god Lugh, who took over his kingship on the top of the Hill of Tara and is celebrated in the Festival of LĂșnasa. It was one of the outer defensive forts of Tara, and the present route will cut it away from its natural centre. This extraordinary rath would then sit at the edge of a motorway, completely out of context."
The statement said that three Tara experts had warned of this "rather ignominious end for a once proud and important monument". In a paper in 2004, Joe Fenwick, Conor Newman and Edel Bhreathnach said that the M3 would "destroy the spatial and visual integrity of the archaeological and historical landscape of Tara as well as removing from it key component monuments".

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