The Heart of Ireland 

Skryne, Faughan, Lismullen, Tara,

Look around these hills of drama,

For if there is a heart to Ireland

It beats here, where we now stand.

Each ditch and mound, earthwork and embankment,

Tells its story of burial and settlement,

Worship of ancient Gods, of gatherings

Right back through time to the old High Kings.

Once a Royal City filled the whole of Gabhra

And vast timber temples formed the sanctuary of Tara.

Here fought our heroes from the time of the Fianna,

And Kings were crowned by the Tuathá de Danann.

In the mound of Hostages, Duma na nGiall,

At the true stone of destiny, Lia Fáil,

Perfectly aligned with sunrise, Samhain and Imbolc,

And the full moon in honour of Lugh.

The very folds in the landscape hold our history

And beyond that, our myth and mystery.

This is home to the Goddess Maebh

Honoured here for thousands of years.


So standing here now, let’s contemplate

What will be Ireland’s fate,

If we build a road through the valley of Gabhra

And destroy the sacred sites round Tara?

What will the future say of us, 

When we, in our turn, are ancestors

If we are responsible for the desecration

Of the most powerful symbol of our nation?

So lost are we to a sense of self,

We’re intent on destroying our truest wealth.

For only a people who do not understand

Could so wound the heart of Ireland.

Or will we become the generation

Who refused to allow this violation?

Who fought to the end like our heroes before

Because we know what it is we’re fighting for.

So our children’s, children’s children can stand

And look across this sacred land,

Feel its heartbeat, know its power,

Cos’ we saved Tara in her darkest hour. 


Dearbhaile, Bard of Glastonbury 2007