Eire: Hill of Tara Motorway Flap

Aug 17th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Eire: Hill of Tara Motorway Flap

A report on NPR says that Eire's famous Hill of Tara is threatened by a 4-lane motorway that will run less than a mile from it. Redolent of the flap in England regards Stonehenge and road works once planned to run right by it, many Irish are protesting this desecration of one of Ireland's most important cultural/historical sites.
The hill is actually a limestone ridge that runs several miles between Navan along the Boyne River to Dunshaughlin. 16 of 32 eire's counties can be seen from the hill's top.
The problem has to do with the Celtic Tiger, the booming Eire economy that is amongst the world's most vibrant. More people are moving out of Dublin to rural areas and commuters now often face 4-hour drives on the current 2-lane road - thus a motorway would slash driving times greatly for the about 40 miles commute to Navan, but this would skirt the legendary hill, home to many old Celtic archaeological sites and famous in Eire history for many events and is often called the heart and soul of Celtic civilization. St Patrick was said to have first encountered the Celtic High King here who gave him permission to spread the Christian gospel throughout Eire.
Normally i would have though that most Irish would have opposed this sacrilege but "campaigners need to embrace Eire's new identity" part of new Ireland is development and infrastructure - nonsensethe NPR report said opinion was divided - courts had already gave the go ahead to the government project and only last-ditch appeals have halted it, temporarily. One minister said that "campaigners need to embrace Eire's new identity" -that part of the new Ireland is development and infrastructure and she actually called the protest "nonsense". Others said that 'my heart is against the road but my brain is in favor of it."
Thus the battle of Tara Hill is turning into a referendum on whether the Celtic Tiger should continue to modernize Eire at the cost of cherished traditions.
Me i don't know enough about it but the story intrigued me to find out more. Any Irish folks out there who have feelings on this?
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:49 AM
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I knew little about the Hill of Tara before i read this article...sounds and looks like quite a place - Wikepedia has a good rundown:

Hill of Tara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaHalf a mile south of the Hill of Tara is another hill fort known as Rath Maeve, ... The most familiar role played by the Hill of Tara in Irish history is as ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_of_Tara
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:54 AM
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'Threatened' seems a little strong; An inanimate object a mile away isn't going to harm a hill.

On a positive note, it may increase visitor numbers.
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Well i suppose threatened doesn't refer to the actual hill and the relics on it and its import to Irish Celtic heritage, etc. But the tranquility, etc. is threatened and that is something that is a valid concern i believe. Like at Stonehenge, a loud road going right by the site would only distract from the site's solemnity, etc. Even the current road does that a bit - but a motorway and its constant hum??
I don't know enough about the Hill of Tara to take sides - the complaints may be overblown and the NPR thing did quote many locals in favor of the road.
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 09:43 AM
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I've been to the Hill of Tara twice, and both times have I been impressed by the peace, tranquility, and sleeping power of the place. I was even quoted in Fodors 2006 Ireland about it

Tara is in a valley that houses hundreds (yes hundreds) of other archealogical sites, MOST of which have yet to be excavated. The highway project MAY threaten those other projects. However, there is no proof that it will definitely, just fears that it will hurt a previously unknown site.

However, the peace of the place will certainly be damaged if motorway sounds can be heard from the hill. I doubt if they will. I was just there last month, and knowing about the planned expansions, noted how far away the current road is, and where the expansion will be (not too far from the current road). I doubt that it will have a huge impact on the noise levels, but I also doubt it will have no impact.

I'm ambivalent about this. It is a sacred, special spot, and should be preserved. However, time does march on.

Not Irish by birth, but I am by ancestry. It is the land of my soul.
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Interesting, although I bet if your family had told you they were Swiss you'd be visiting Geneva every other year and wintering in Interlaken, splurging on toblerone and cuckoo clocks.

People are easily influenced.
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:45 AM
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Stella: Is that why you think you're Swiss? Best regards. PQ
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Stella:

I've done extensive research into my family history. I have Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh and German background. The largest proportionally is German, but I have the least amount of interest in that country. Irish is probably the smallest proportion, but I feel the strongest attachment to that country and it's history, culture and people.

Go figure
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:02 AM
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Maybe because English is widely spoken there? I don't know.

Secondly you have way too many backgrounds, greendragon; I believe you're only allowed 4.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:12 AM
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I'm Irish and believe me we need new roads and decent infrastructure. The proposed motorway is a long way from the hill of Tara and wont interfere with the integrity of the site. We have been dogged by so many of these protests over the past few years it seems like every time an old pot is dug up the country has to grind to a halt.
 
Aug 23rd, 2006, 12:12 PM
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But Stella, only 4 assumes your grandparents were all purebreds -- and I've had ancestors in the US (read: melting pot) since the 1600s. Lots of mixing!!!!
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 10:04 PM
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"whether the Celtic Tiger should continue to modernize Eire at the cost of cherished traditions"

The protest has nothing to do with tradition. How did the Kings, or St Patrick, or the crowds listening to Daniel O'Connell get there without using transport links that disrupted their past?

This is all about academics, fronted by obscure luvvies, wanting bits of Ireland* to be preserved for their unique use. A view which most Irishmen and women dismiss.

Rightly. Ireland has more than enough archaeological sites already

*According to its government, the official English name of the Republic of Ireland is Ireland, not Eire. Telling the Irish government how to speak English is just ignorant imperialism.
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Aug 24th, 2006, 06:00 AM
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imperialism - Brits talking about imperialism and Ireland now that's a hoot - it sure wasn't ignorant imperialism - the total rape of the country for centuries - letting folks starve i guess was ignorant imperialsim or maybe it wasn't.
Look on the Irish coins and stamps and you see EIRE in big letters - enough said on that! I know it's Gaelic but that's what they call their country i guess - no Ireland on it.
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