Minister for the Environment John Gormley well acquainted with games play:

Minister John Gormley recently prevented, "rescinded", the plans of many villages lying in the vicinity of the border with Northern Ireland from developing their housing growth.

This was all we needed to see that Minister Gormley has no great ability to think about people's lives, let alone their dreams of a better life, or their interests in the history of their antecedents, forbears and noble ancient communities.

Those villages have been unable for thirty years, because of the Troubles, to build up their infrastructure that was very limited, like many small villages throughout Ireland. The Government during the last five years have been showing a firm resistance to hundreds of extended families throughout Ireland, choosing to live in the vicinity of their birth places. The Government have a plan to build up certain areas and sink their development grants in housing estates that have no individual input into architectural choices or geographic planning. Estates where they can get all the domestic facilities easily and possibly more cheaply built as a cohesive part of their Plans. Those villages in the northern borderlands for thirty years have not even been able to get any value for their land - houses and lands were not sold advantageously for any but the speculator because of doubts and fears about the safety of tenure in relation to the northern Troubles. Now, just as peace is atlast declared in the North we see that Minister Gormley is going to cheat those people out of the development they rightly deserve. The sight of himself on TV hovering in a gentleman's fashion round the angry County Councillors and planner's offices was sickening.

In the meantime those of us attentive to the various Tara Watch sites read the notices therein with revulsion; thousands of names have signed a petition to have the road laid along one of the other routes available that would circumvent this landscape - and there have been written protests from the European Union, Archaeological Societies and prominent individuals. Nothing will stir these ignorant people at present in Government. From the picture that introduces this page one can see that farmers have allowed intersection of massive fields and that means that a lot of money has changed hands. It is obvious the "heritage" speculators will be planning restautants etc on this route.

Yesterday,August 27th,Minister John Gormley made a statement on this latter possibility. He "pledges", if you please, that for this affair, after taking the advice of the Heritage Council that he will respect their advice and assures us that "The decision on theM3 (Road route) was taken in 2003. I am the Minister in place now, and I have to (!!) take decisionsnow on how to protect our heritage. " The idea is to designate Tara as a landscape conservation area ...."that is the only way to ensure that we do not attract unnecessary development allong the M3"

Can we pause now to reflect on the difference between necessary and unnecessary development?

Lismullin"archaeologist"investigates a ditch - have you ever seen anything like this, lacking expertise or research the National Roads Authority delegates Jakub Dutkiewicz to excavate a ditch at the Lismullen site near Tara before it is buried under the northbound lane of the M3 motorway. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson, Irish Times..

TaraWatch has retained international expert Dr Ron Hicks, of Ball State
University, Indiana, who inspected the Lismullin sites on Friday 20th
July. Dr Hicks is the expert who endorsed the World Monuments Fund
nomination. He is of the view that the site was a natural amphitheatre,
as it still is today. The post holes were for stakes that were low, and
allowed the surrounding audience to
view the royal rituals. This is where Irish kings performed their most sacred rites. Even if you remove the post holes and the
delicate features, the site is STILL a national monument because of what happened there, in plain view of the top of the Hill of Tara. The physical shape of the site is still intact, and could and should be preserved, as it lies at the very heart of the Tara complex, where the kings performed their rites.

Please visit to see a brilliant series of slides relating to this matter.

Perhaps questions should be asked in the National Museum as to what sort of disgrace our Archaeologists are now prepared to bear in addition to the Wood Quay affair that wiped out what was probably the most unique and thorough example of a Viking Settlement to be found in Europe. Exactly as this site in Tara shelters an even older History of Irish life.

How can we bring this case to the general public?

The importance of Tara is the historical fact that this area permits us to study the echoes of our extraordinary history in Ireland where the traditions of legal and tribal regulations were celebrated at a very early stage in man's development. Early, during the first stages of this road contract a village was discovered - up to that moment no village sites had ever been found in the vicinity as the entire area was supposedly given over to ritual celebrations as above. This village should have created enormous interest but actually only a few small artefacts were removed and the entire settlement destroyed. Infact it was known from texts that tribes passed as much as a month in the vicinity, hosted there before preceding down to the south. And it was ofcourse in such a village that materials could perhaps have been found to confirm this.However the Irish Government favoured vandalism that should have allerted everyone to the present activities. Wood Quay set a precedent that named and shamed Irish historians. Evidently academics whom we have assumed to have power as namers and shakers are in fact entirely impotent. Will another Tara Watch march, insidiously called "Love Tara", with a few hundred, if more than one hundred, pass through Dublin streets, chanting words like silly children, instead of the passage of hundreds of adults and children walking in the silence of shame ? Jocelyn Braddell, editor