Tara Landscape for UNESCO Tentative List
PRESS RELEASE – TARA CAMPAIGNERS – Tara Landscape for UNESCO Tentative list,
Celebrations for Imbolc (Brigit's Day) at Tara,
Campaigners appear in Court 28 January 2009
Tara campaigners nominate the Tara Landscape for Tentative List of World Heritage Sites
Tara campaigners have submitted a form to the Department of the Environment asking that the Tara landscape be place on the Tentative List of potential sites to be nominated for World Heritage Status. Minister Gormley announced his intention to update the list of potential sites – it has not been updated since 1992 and the Irish Republic has only 2 WHS at present. These are Scellig Michil and The Bend in the Boyne (including Newgrange). According to the Department's guidelines, the submission includes details on UNESCO World Heritage criteria, a definition of what constitutes Outstanding Universal Value in a World Heritage context, an explanation of authenticity, integrity and significance on a global basis.
Campaigners have expressed concern about the integrity of the site, saying:
"The integrity of part of Tara's core area, however, is now being adversely affected by the building of the M3 motorway through the Gabhra Valley, particularly by the Blundelstown interchange … within the universally recognised core area of Tara's landscape. Secondary development around this interchange will undoubtedly pose a still greater threat to the integrity of this landscape in the future".
The submission emphasises the importance of nominating the wider landscape, including the Gabhra Valley, rather than confining the World Heritage Site to the crown of the hill and says: "The Hill of Tara, therefore, represents the ritual and political focus of a larger territory or landscape".
Imbolc (St Brigit's Day) at Tara
Tara campaigners will celebrate the feast of Imbolc, one of the four ancient Celtic festivals of Ireland, at Tara on Sunday 1st of February. They intend to mark the festival by walking sunwards around the Hill with lights or lanterns at dusk, paying homage to the ancient festival while highlighting the continued destruction of the Tara Complex due to the works of the M3 Motorway now reaching its end phase. People are invited to gather in the Hill of Tara car park at 4.30.
Campaigners said: "This should also act as a reminder of the hubris style development which ran riot over our country for the last ten years, laying our environment, social system and economy low, something Tara protesters always warned about and which has now came true".
A number of campaigners appeared again in Navan District Court on 28th January, only to hear that the case was to be mentioned again on 22nd April. But a date for the hearing should be decided on that date. The case will probably last a number of days as there will be about 30 witnesses and video footage will be available as evidence. A Judicial Review heard by the High Court in late 2008 was successful – the documents that had been requested by the defence lawyers were produced by the State.
Tara Campaigners have also written to all the TDs, asking that, due to the dire economic circumstances, the M3 be halted and that the Meath Master Plan be implemented instead. This would have a more sustainable, viable and environmentally-friendly option. In the present climate, continuing with the M3 is akin to economic madness.
John Farrelly 087-1276829 (Imbolc Event)
On behalf of Save Tara campaigners
Posted by moss
29th January 2009ce