UN Must Save the Hill of Tara from the M3 Motorway

  • by: TaraWatch
  • target: The United Nations, New York City

THE HILL OF TARA

The Hill of Tara, Ireland's premier national monument and internationally renowned cultural icon, is being desecrated by construction of the M3 motorway. The works are in breach of international law, which protects this site for humanity, and the United Nations must intervene now.

Lying 30 miles north of Dublin, it was Ireland's capital for millennia; where over 142 kings were crowned, dating back to 3,000 BC. Since then, hundreds of monuments were built on the slopes and in the surrounding landscape. Today, the cultural landscape is defined by the remains of a number of defensive Iron Age hillforts which surround the Hill, lying approximately 2-3 miles away.

THE M3 MOTORWAY

The M3 motorway is being built by the Irish Government, in public private partnership with Siac and Ferrovial construction companies, through the centre of this landscape, and a 50 acre interchange is being built 1,000 metres from the summit. Already, dozens of archaeological sites within the landscape have been excavated and demolished, and construction is due to be completed in 2010. 

CELEBRITY SUPPORT FOR THE TARAWATCH CAMPAIGN

The campaign to save Tara, and re-route the M3 motorway has reached a critical point. Celebrities such as Bono, Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Rhys Myers, Gabriel Byrne, Colm Toibin , Louis le Brocquy and Jim Fitzpatrick, supported by hundreds of international experts in Irish history, archaeology and mythology have spoken out against the M3 route. National surveys show that the vast majority of Irish people want Tara protected, and made into a UNESCO site.

Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney said: 

If ever there was a place that deserved to be preserved in the name of the dead generations from pre-historic times up to historic times up to completely recently - it was Tara. I think it literally desecrates an area - I mean the word means to de-sacralise and for centuries the Tara landscape and the Tara sites have been regarded as part of the sacred ground.

TARA ON ENDANGERED LISTS

The World Monuments Fund, Smithsonian Institution and Sacred Sites International have placed Tara on endangered sites list, and others such as the International Celtic Congress, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Landmarks Foundation, the City of Chicago and the Massachusetts Archaeological Society have issued statements condemning the M3 route. 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION v. IRELAND, LAWSUIT

The European Commission is currently taking a lawsuit against Ireland in the European Court of Justice against Ireland, for illegally demolishing the Lismullin national monument, which was discovered in the pathway of the M3 in 2007, after being voted on of the Top Ten Most Important Discoveries in the world in 2007 by Archaeology magazine.  The Irish authorities refused to heed the Commission's demand that demolition be halted, and construction is proceeding despite the EU legal action. 

DELAY OF UNESCO NOMINATION FOR TARA

The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley,  has delayed nomination of the Hill of Tara to become a UNESCO site, until the M3 motorway is complete. UNESCO has stated that it cannot intervene, until Ireland completes the nomination, which was due to take place at the World Heritage Committee Meeting in Seville, in June 2009.

BREACHES OF UN LAW

It is clear that the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage protects all sites of outstanding universal value, even if they are not on the World Heritage List. Other UN agreements, such as the UN Global Compact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both human rights Covenants, and the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples also require that Tara receive the highest level of protection possible.

APPEAL TO UN TO INTERVENE

The only body that can now intervene and save the Hill of Tara is the United Nations.  This petition is directed to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, and asks that you intervene in the Tara crisis, and begin a problem-solving initiative, which will protect Tara and allow the M3 to be completed.

The UN must intervene now and enforce UN law, on behalf of the people of Ireland, the Irish Diaspora, and both the global community.

_________________________________________________________

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP SAVE TARA

Please forward this petition to:

- all  of your friends

- local and national Irish cultural groups

- historical and archaeological organisations

- political representatives

WE MUST REACH OUR GOAL OF 1,000,000 signatures by Dec 31, 2009


JOIN TARAWATCH

TaraWatch Web Site

Hill of Tara UNESCO public consultation site, hosted by TaraWatch

TaraWatch Facebook Cause

TaraWatch Facebook Group

TaraWatch USA Facebook Group

TaraWatch Twitter

TaraWatch Yahoogroup

CONTACT TARAWATCH

Suite 108
The Capel Building
Mary's Abbey
Dublin 7
Republic of Ireland
353-87-132-3365
info@tarawatch.org

 

Dear United Nations,

Please intervene in the international dispute over the Hill of Tara and the M3 motorway in Ireland, and save this site of outstanding universal value to humanity.

The Hill of Tara is Ireland's premier national monument, and internationally renowned cultural icon. Lying 30 miles north of Dublin, it was Ireland's capital or millennia; where over 142 kings were crowned, dating back to 3,000 BC. Since then, hundreds of monuments were built on the slopes and in the surrounding landscape. Today, the cultural landscape is defined by the remains of a number of defensive Iron Age hillforts which surround the Hill, lying approximately 2-3 miles away.

The M3 motorway is being built by the Irish Government, in public private partnership with Siac and Ferrovial construction companies, through the centre of this landscape, and a 50 acre interchange is being built 1,000 metres from the summit. Already, dozens of archaeological sites within the landscape have been excavated and demolished, and construction is due to be completed in 2010.

The World Monuments Fund, Smithsonian Institution and Sacred Sites International have placed Tara on endangered sites list, and others such as the International Celtic Congress, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Landmarks Foundation, the City of Chicago and the Massachusetts Archaeological Society have issued statements condemning the M3 route. 

The European Commission is currently taking a lawsuit against Ireland in the European Court of Justice against Ireland, for illegally demolishing the Lismullin national monument, which was discovered in the pathway of the M3 in 2007, after being voted on of the Top Ten Most Important Discoveries in the world in 2007 by Archaeology magazine.  The Irish authorities refused to heed the Commission's demand that demolition be halted, and construction is proceeding despite the EU legal action. 

The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley,  has delayed nomination of the Hill of Tara to become a UNESCO site, until the M3 motorway is complete. UNESCO has stated that it cannot intervene, until Ireland completes the nomination, but it is clear that the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage protects all sites of outstanding universal value, even if they are not on the World Heritage List. Other UN agreements, such as the UN Global Compact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both human rights Covenants, and the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples also require that Tara receive the highest level of protection possible.

The only body that can now intervene and save the Hill of Tara is the United Nations.  This petition is directed to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, and asks that you intervene in the Tara crisis, and begin a problem-solving initiative, which will protect Tara and allow the M3 to be completed.

Thank you for your kind consideration in this critical matter.

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