Souterrain threatened by slip road
The Save Tara campaign has learned that the a slip road will pass
7metres of a souterrain at Lismullin in the Gabhra Valley, Co Meath
instead of the supposed 100metres. Protesters stopped construction work
and tree felling at the site of the souterrain this morning 22nd
February. The structure has not been excavated as it was not one of the
sites initially listed as being impacted by the motorway route.
This souterrain is just the latest in a line of new sites that are
coming to light in this area after the initial surveys had been carried
out. They include the ancient temple, a wood henge, that was declared a
National Monument in May 2007. The geophysical survey had failed to
identify the huge site. Soon afterwards a souterrain was discovered
close to the henge and during excavation a huge decorated stone was
uncovered bearing megalithic art that is very similar to that found at
Newgrange and Knowth (c.3000 B.C). This again showed the connection
between Tara and the Gabhra Valley as the nearest example of megalithic
art is to be found in the passage tomb of the Mound of the Hostages on
the summit of the Hill of Tara AND In terms of style this example also
bears a remarkable similarity to that found in this monument. The stone
had been split in ancient times to fit into the souterrain and the
remaining section may lie somewhere else in this archaeological
The ancient promontory fort of Rath Lugh watches over this entire area
and the M3 is planned to pass within 20metres of this site despite NRA
assurances that it would be 110metres away from it. Minister John
Gormley placed a Temporary Preservation Order on the Rath Lugh but this
will not prevent the road from passing dangerously close to the
foundations of the Rath that include an esker – an unstable geological
feature made up of sand and gravel.
Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin said: "This proves again, if proof were
needed, the rich archaeological heritage of the Gabhra Valley and that
this route should never have been chosen for the road. We call on
Minister Gormley to act now before another archaeological site is
destroyed. All these sites are part of the greater Tara landscape.
Another major mistake has been made in the location of this souterrain.
How many more mistakes have been made or will be made? '
Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin
Photographs of the souterrain, taken yesterday, here:
Posted by moss
25th February 2008ce