Important archaeological site destroyed in the middle of the night
The ancient archaeological landscape of Tara suffered a terrible blow this month.
On July 5th, construction workers using heavy earth-mover machinery entered the Baronstown monument in the Tara valley. Baronstown was a massive Bronze Age settlement and burial ground. They entered this area in the middle of the night! By the morning the archaeological site was completely destroyed.
The Irish government’s own expert archaeologists have stated that the burial ground at Baronstown was a site of great importance, and deserved the status of Irish National Monument. Yet in the space of a few hours, nothing now remains of this important part of both Irish and European heritage. The terrible irony is that EU subsidy funds are helping to finance this motorway. Therefore European Union funding is directly contributing to wiping out Europan heritage.
Commissioner at the European Parliament, Stavros Dimas, sent a letter of reprimand this month to the Irish government about Tara and the M3 motorway. On July 13, he also called the Minister responsible, John Gormley of the Irish Green Party, to his office in Brussels. Because, unfortunately, there is another ancient site due to be destroyed, this time a site with the official status of Irish National Monument – the recent archaeological discovery at Lismullen in the Tara valley. The site at Lismullen was originally an enormous wooden henge, and used as a pagan temple of worship by the ancient kings and queens of Ireland. The Irish government is planning within the next months to ‘preserve it by record’, that is, to photograph it, put a few parts in storage, and then bulldoze through the rest to make way for the motorway. If this is allowed to happen, European Union money will again have been used to destroy a vital part of our European heritage.
It is important to note that other routes for this motorway have always been available. It is possible for a motorway to be built along another route and for the landscape of Tara to remain completely intact. However, for whatever reasons, and people can only speculate as to what those reasons could be, the Irish government insists on the motorway going through particular areas of land, in this multi-million Euro project.
Irish Member of the European Parliament, Kathy Sinnott, has stated that what the Irish government is doing at Tara is clearly illegal within the framework of European Union law.
Now is the time to act. Please email your local Member of the European Parliament and ask them to support efforts within the EU to prevent the Irish government from destroying more of our common European heritage, and from doing so using European Union funding.
There is also a petition you can sign at http://www.petitiononline.com/Temair/petition.htmlThis is a vital time in the effort to save Tara. Please pass this information on to everyone you can.