Campaign to Save Tara – Press release
Campaign calls for an independent engineer’s report on Rath Lugh area
The Campaign to Save Tara is calling for an independent engineer’s report on the area where the M3 motorway is planned to pass by Rath Lugh. The Campaign has learned that, although Minister Gormley placed a preservation order on the monument in August 2007, the order does not include the esker that forms part of the foundation of Rath Lugh. The documents from the Department of the Environment received by Campaign to Save Tara include a map outlining the area of protection and shows clearly that the esker is not included.
As an esker is a geological feature formed of sand and gravel during the ice age, it is the most unstable of substances upon which to build a motorway. If the natural perimeter of an esker is breached it can result in a lowering of the water table. This will leave the surface so dry and barren that it will lead to the death of trees, soil slippage and the destabilisation of the entire surface.
The preservation order is thus inadequate, the boundaries surrounding the Rath are disputed and it is feared that alien substances may be necessary to prop up the monument if the foundation is taken away. Originally, the NRA maintained that the road would be 100metres away from the Rath but these documents from the Department of the Environment show that it could be as close as 8metres. The road shake from the motorway carriage will pose a serious threat to the stability of the esker and to the monument itself.
Expert archaeologists warned of the possible danger to Rath Lugh during the Oral Hearing but their words fell on deaf ears. The Campaign warned of the impending danger to the Rath in January when heavy machinery was used to fell trees in the area between Lismullin and Rath Lugh without archaeological supervision – where the henge was later discovered.
Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin said: ‘This is a defensive, promentary outpost of Tara marking the entrance to Tara’s landscape. It now obvious that it will be severely impacted by this route. The motorway must be rerouted to avoid Rath Lugh, the only way this can be achieved is to move the entire road out of the Gabhra Valley. There is no room for manoeuvre in this area due to the number of already existing and recognised monuments.The Campaign again asks that all construction work be stopped until the EU deals with the legality of this work in the European Court of Justice.’
The documents for the Department may be viewed here:
The order http://www.savetara.com/Download/Rath_Lugh_TPO.pdf
The map http://www.savetara.com/Download/TPO_Map.pdf
Aerial photograph 23 September shows clearly the proposed track of the motorway: http://s168.photobucket.com/albums/u167 ... 2023%2007/