May 12 2008

Update on the Hill of Tara, Co. Meath


UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Tara Hill was one of the most venerated religious spots in early Ireland and the seat of the High Kings of Ireland from the 3rd century until 1022. Despite its importance, the expectant visitor may be disappointed in what he sees as, at Tara there are no signs of regal past, nor impressive remains, only the remains of earthworks.

But this cluster of megaliths represents a part a larger system capable of recognising specific parts of the lunar and solar cycles. In the case of Tara, it the chamber of the Mound of hostages’ is aligned to mark the November, February quarter days, along with Dowth and Cairns L and U at Loughcrew. Tara is only 10 miles distant from The Boyne Valley, which is clearly visible from there.

We thought it was about time to give you an update on the progress of the Campaign to Save Tara. At the moment, building is continuing and it seems that Tara’s only hope lies outside of Ireland.

The Hill of Tara / M3 motorway and Shell gas developments in Ireland were raised at the Seventh Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, by Margaret Connolly of Retrieve Foundation on April 19 2008. The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. Hearing from delegates on the multiple ways in which their respective countries had failed to implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, despite having supported its adoption, members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues discussed today how the body could be more effective in encouraging implementation.

Noting that infrastructure projects financed by European Union member countries continued to force indigenous peoples from their homelands, while European mining companies devastated the environment, the Chair of the European Parliament called on the European Union to develop a normative framework for dealing with such issues in a way that respected human rights. It should also develop the capacity to mediate between indigenous communities and State authorities that were in conflict.

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