09 July 2007: Today TaraWatch launched a new petition, calling on Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, to save the Hill of Tara archaeological complex from the M3 motorway development. The launch took place outside Green Party headquarters in Dublin.
Petition to Minister Gormley, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, to Declare the Entire Hill of Tara Archaeological Complex a National Monument and Re-route the M3 Motorway.
THE HILL OF TARA archaeological complex, Ireland's premier national monument and most sacred landscape, is under dire threat from imminent bisection by construction of the M3 motorway.As Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, you have a constitutional imperative to give the highest level of statutory protection possible to the national monument. That includes all its individual components, many of which lie in the pathway of the M3, and are national monuments in their own right.
You were aware that the Director of the National Museum had stated that the massive enclosure at Baronstown should have been declared a national monument. Yet, it was demolished on your watch, after you ignored calls to place a Temporary Preservation Order on the site.
You have stated that you cannot alter the route of the M3, unless there is a "material change in circumstances", from those considered by Minister Dick Roche, who ordered the demolition of the newly discovered national monument; the Lismullin henge. There have in fact been many material changes, beyond the scope of the Lismullin file, including:
1. The inclusion of the Hill of Tara on the World Monuments Fund's List of 100 Most Endangered Sites is a material change in circumstances that was no considered by Minister Roche.
2. The fact that the EU has stated that the National Development Plan, as well as its M3 project, may be in breach of EU law constitutes a material change in circumstances. A report will issue in September 2007 from the Petitions Committee, and you should use the precautionary principle here, and halt the works in question, to prevent more irreversible damage to the delicate ancient remains.
3. The fact that an underground or 'souterrain' complex in Lismullin has been discovered is a material change in circumstances. It has been described as a "very significant" site by leading expert Professor George Eogan and should be declared a national monument.
4. The fact that you have been put on notice that the legal definition of a national monument is not being applied to these sites, or all monuments in Ireland, is a material change in circumstances. You have been advised by Conor Newman of a systemic flaw in the methodology for classification of national monuments currently being employed by the Chief State Archaeologist.
5. The Stern Report on the Economic Effects of Climate Change is a material change in circumstances that was not considered by Minister Roche, as it should have been. The M3 motorway was planned and approved in 2003, using radically outdated analysis.Due to the above material changes in circumstances you now have the legal power under the National Monuments Act to protect the Tara complex and to re-route the M3 motorway. We demand that you immediately halt all works within the Tara complex and declare the entire complex, as well as all the monuments within it, to be national monuments.Stop the Tara scandal now!
10 July 2007
'Gormley Must Save Tara' Petition 2nd in Online Ranking After 24 Hours
The petition launched yesterday calling on John Gormley, Minister for
the Environment, to declare the entire Hill of Tara archaeological
complex a national monument and re-route the M3, is the second higest
traffic of any other petition on the main World Wide Web petition site
TaraWatch is asking all Irish media outlets to treat the petition as a
public service, and supply the public with the internet address, so
they have an opportunity to express their opinion to Minister Gormley.
The petition, was officially launched yesterday outside Green Party
offices in Dublin, where TaraWatch members received a very stropng
response from passing members of the public, collecting over 500
signatures in the first hour.
The petition was also launched online at 1.00am on Monday morning, on
the http://www.tarawatch.org site. Over 1,500 people have already
signed the petition online at
The aim of the petition is to collect as many signatures as possible in
a seven day period, and deliver them to Green Party offices next
Recent online polls have on Ireland.com indicated that 82% of
respondents think Tara should be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
and 74% want the M3 rerouted.
TaraWatch is also organising with campaigners via the Internet to hold
a series of protests at Irish embassies and consulates world wide this
Friday, including the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and other Europeans
Laura Grealish said:
"The Tara/M3 is a massive issue worldwide and on the Internet, which
many Irish at home are not aware of. The Archaeological Institute of
America is also featuring the story on the cover of their web site,
"We would love to the see Irish media give the public an opportunity to
clearly express their views, so we can deliver them to the Minister."
"I think the Minister will be surprised at the passion such a large
number of people have over this issue.
http://www.tarawatch.org - firstname.lastname@example.org
RECENT IRELAND.COM POLLS
Do you think the Hill of Tara should be added to Unesco's list of World
Should the M3 be rerouted away from Tara?