24 June 2005


Academics plan motorway protest at Tara

24/06/2005 - 10:22:16

International academics will gather at the Hill of Tara site on Sunday to protest against the M3 motorway planned for the area.

Last month Environment Minister Dick Roche cleared the way for the construction of the project by issuing strict instructions to Meath County Council on how archaeological work is to be carried out.

The international scholars, who are experts in Celtic studies, Irish history, Irish literature, linguistics, archaeology and anthropology, sent a petition to the Irish Government in April calling on it to re-route the motorway through the Tara/Skryne Valley.

The academics are based in various European countries, the US and Canada, Australia and Russia.

The project was approved by An Bord Pleanala two years ago, but many archaeologists and historians have argued that part of Ireland’s most important heritage site will be destroyed.

The academics will also be attending the Ulster Literary Cycle lecture series at Maynooth University.

They will be discussing ancient mythical tales such as Irish epic Tain Bo Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) which claims warrior Cú Chulainn’s head and right hand are buried at Tara.

Some visitors marking summer solstice celebrations at the Hill of Tara this week also held a silent protest at the motorway plans.

Those attending at Tara on Sunday include Henry L Shattuck, Professor of Irish studies at Harvard University; Professor Joseph F Nagy, Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles; Professor Ronald Hicks, professor of anthropology, Ball University, Indiana; Professor Ann Dooley, University of Toronto; and Dr Charles Doherty, School of History, University College Dublin.

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