The Hill of Tara, one of the most extensive, complex, important, and informative archaeological, historical, folkloric, and religious sites in Ireland is under dire threat from a motorway development. Want to know more and to do something? Then read on - I posted the following to the NWI forum on July 14th 2007 (in the Lounge):
The following blog is exhaustive in its coverage of this issue: http://www.hilloftara.blogspot.com/
This now seems to be the main website for the campaign.
People can also sign the petition you mentioned from there, join the Tarawatch mailing list, and watch/listen to numerous clips of RTE and other coverage. The blog is an education in itself as it goes into every imaginable aspect of this issue.
There was a BBC programme on the threat to ancient sites in the present rush to develop every corner of Ireland at some point in the last couple of years. I have been very busy and not always as attentive as I ought, and so my memory fails me - it could have been on Radio 4 or equally on TV - I am not able to swear that the sounds and images in my brain go together in this case. I will try to find relevant links and post them here. There are two links to BBC reports on the above blog in fact.
I will now take off my MWI Forum Moderator and Archival Officer hats and speak my own mind. On my part I agree that Ireland deserves to be as developed as the rest of western Europe and am delighted to see how her people are currently benefitting from this. However, I feel strongly that the rich ancient heritage of that country and its people should not be sacrificed in this process as places like Tara are in their own special and significant way part of this process of restoration to past greatness. Also, I think that it is essential that such sites should be preserved for scholarly and scientific purposes.
Tara is also of Christian and non-Christian religious significance, like many Irish sites now under threat and so it would be crassly insensitive to endanger it with development.
In my opinion, and to conclude, Ireland is not the pastoral idyll or mist-softened otherworld of a hundred thousand stereotypes, and never was, and so modernisation there is in many ways right and proper, BUT, it must be done responsibly and it is good to do our bit to ensure that this happens. All too often, Irish government policy mirrors that of the UK and so the same mistakes are replicated.