A conservation plan has been commissioned for the State-owned lands on the Hill of Tara by the Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan. The minister, in collaboration with the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Heritage Council, has commissioned the Discovery Programme to undertake the plan. Brian Lacey of the Discovery Programme said the structure of a conservation plan is quite specific. It is recognised internationally as an ideal formula for protecting heritage and managing change in important historic places. In the summer of 2010, the Discovery Programme and its partners at NUI Galway doubled the amount of geophysical surveys on the hilltop, revealing in the process what is almost certainly the previously unknown whereabouts of the medieval manor of Tara. Archaeological works to investigate the significant degradation of the covering of the Mound of the Hostages have been completed. The Mound of the Hostages, Duma na nGiall, is one of the most prominent monuments among the concentration of prehistoric sites on the Hill of Tara.
The Tara-Skryne Preservation Group (TSPG) has welcomed Minister Deenihan’s announcement of a conservation plan. Carmel Diviney of the group, which was formed during the M3 motorway controversy, said it is a most welcome announcement to all concerned about the long-ranging state of disrepair on the Hill.
“A much sought-after comprehensive plan of management will be put in place on these State-owned lands which will ensure the preservation of one of Ireland’s most important sacred, historical, mythological and cultural sites,” she said.
From The Meath Chronicle (1 February 2012), http://tinyurl.com/7lnb3gr.
Though best known as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the Hill of Tara has been an important site since the late Stone Age when a passage-tomb was constructed there. Tara was at the height of its power as a political and religious centre in the early centuries after Christ. Attractions include an audio-visual show and guided tours of the site.