Richard and I visited Rath Lugh today (May 7th 2007) and saw close-up the damage which has been done there so far. Difficult as this may be to believe, it seems that no archaeological work has yet been carried out on the portion of the hill at Rath Lugh which is within the land take of the motorway. This is despite the fact that archaeological work on other sites along the route, including the nearby Lismullen henge, is well advanced or, in some cases, finished. For now, I'll let the pictures do the talking and will post an article later:
(Note: All these photos are copyright free, and may be used in any publication.]
The pathway of the motorway, between the fences, coming towards Rath Lugh from Lismullen. What worries me about this photo is that the fence on the right is angled, and the road take clearly narrows coming towards Rath Lugh. Will further damage be inflicted on the side of this site in coming months?
While it might appear that only tree-felling was carried out at Rath Lugh, there are signs of digging and caterpillar tracks have also left their mark. But why no archaeological digging?
The motorway "take" looking south, with the slope of Rath Lugh on the left.
Rath Lugh is listed as a promontory fort. It is clearly a very massive and impressive monument, built onto a natural feature. As well as giant rings, the hill also appears to contain a mound, possibly a motte or passage-tomb.
What price progress?
Nature pays a heavy toll for this motorway.
The remains of one of many trees sacrificed for the road.
Old fence, new fence. In times gone by, what lay behind the old fence was sacred, ancient. Today, the fence has moved. Nothing is sacred any more.
The Gabhra river snakes its way through the Tara-Skryne valley within metres of the new road.
Old mound, new mound. The mound in the background is spoil from the stripping of the landscape by huge machines.
Island of the Setting Sun authors Anthony Murphy and Richard Moore at the site of the M3 at Rath Lugh.
Where's the archaeological work?
Richard Moore surveys the damage at Rath Lugh.
See more photos from Rath Lugh here:
Lugh's last stand
Lugh, this will not stand.
How are we to protect this place?
Shall we lie down in front of the bulldozers,
or shall we, like the masses, turn our heads
the other way
and accept this monument to failure?
What about the badgers?
What say they, that live in Rath Lugh?
The old tales tell that some day,
you will return again to this world from your mounds,
to save Ireland from destruction and doom.
Has your time now come?