Tara landscape is one of Ireland’s and Europe’s most precious
historical archaeological sites, but it is now in the process of being
destroyed to facilitate the construction of a motorway.
European Commission has warned the Irish Government that its plans to
build the M3 four-lane motorway through the archaeologically rich
Tara-Skryne valley are illegal within European law. The commission is
taking proceedings against the Government.
The Tara landscape has been placed on the World Monuments Fund of most endangered sites.
We are also aware of a joint letter signed internationally
by more than 300 academics stating that the royal estate of Tara is not
just a central part of Irish heritage, but is of significant importance
on a world heritage scale.
We, the undersigned members of the
European Parliament, are alarmed at the Irish Government’s destruction
in July 2007 of the large early medieval settlement site at Baronstown
in the Tara-Skryne valley. Most shockingly, this important
archaeological site was demolished by motorway construction workers in
the middle of the night.
We also wish to express our deep
concern about the future of the Celtic temple at Lismullen — a site
with national monument status which is also planned to be demolished by
the Irish Government.
Urgent action is needed to urge the Irish Government to prevent the destruction of more of our common European heritage.
As was the case at Baronstown, and as is planned for Lismullen,
thousands of years of our shared European culture can be wiped out in a
few hours, and once gone, can never be replaced.
the path of the planned M3 motorway is so rich in important
archaeological monuments, we strongly urge the Irish Government to
alter the current motorway route and to choose from the other available
routes and viable options for the M3 motorway instead, thereby
balancing progress with conservation.
It is of the utmost
importance that steps be taken to prevent the destruction of any
further ancient monuments which are part of our shared European
heritage. We believe the Tara landscape should be preserved fully
intact as the European cultural and heritage treasure that it so
Signed by MEPs:
Kathy Sinnott, Mary Lou McDonald, Marian Harkin, Bairbre de Brún
Nirj Deva, Roger Helmer, Sarah Ludford, Edward McMillan Scott, Den Dover, Timothy Kirkhope, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne
Bas Belder, Johannes Blokland
Carlos José, Iturgaiz Angulo
Margrete Aukenn, Jens Peter, Bonde, Mogens NJ Cambre
Hiltrud Breyer, Helmuth Markov, Feleknas Uca, Sahra Wagenknecht