Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland – Charter & Covering Statement

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    • #709393

      This may be of interest as one or two cases, such as the Brinsley Sheridan house, are already featured on this site –

      Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland Charter

      Covering Statement wrote:
      Address by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, to joint UK Houses of
      Parliament, Tuesday 15th May, excerpt from speech in relation to great
      Irish authors writing in the English language, Yeats, Joyce, Beckett,

      “Not the least of those was Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who served in
      this house, was born in Dorset Street in my constituency and is now
      buried nearby in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey.”

      The birthplace referred to by An Taoiseach is supposed to be a
      “protected structure”]

      * * *



      May 2007

      The Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland is being founded in May 2007 to seek the repeal of the National Monument Act of 2004. This Act extended the powers of the Minister of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, to allow for the destruction of archaeological remains. The alliance seeks a strong National Monuments Act which would ensure that real protection is afforded to what remains of our archaeological heritage.

      The past ten years have seen an unprecedented number of sites being subjected to unnecessary destruction. Poor identification and research at the planning stage have cost the taxpayer millions of euro through unnecessary excavations which could and should have been avoided.

      The alliance members include professional archaeologists, historians, senior academics and other experts and community leaders, including Professor Donnachadh O’ Corrain, Dr. David Edwards, Dr. Muireann Ní Brolacháin, Dr. Padraig Lenihan, Rev. Brian Kennaway, and Senator David Norris. Their combined professional experience and expertise has led them to the conclusion that Irish archaeology and protection given to heritage is in crisis. This is an issue which needs an immediate response by any new government. The National Heritage has been unnecessarily downgraded to facilitate development pressures and this must be revisited.

      During the past 10 years over 10,000 sites of archaeological potential have been investigated in the Republic of Ireland under licence to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. Approximately 70% of these sites have tested “archaeologically positive”, a phenomenal number by any standards. To put this number in perspective, it should be recalled that in 1989 a mere 101 sites were excavated.

      In a period of rapid change, the cultural heritage of the country has been subjected to an unprecedented policy of what is, essentially, rescue archaeology. Sites which should have been protected, have been perfunctorily excavated and reduced to “preservation by record” – so frequently that this has almost become an acceptable practice in itself. This in many cases should be re-named “destruction by documentation”.

      Immediate reform is needed to halt this perfunctory excavation and destruction of sites, monuments, and their curtilages – which has now become almost a matter of routine. The current situation is totally unacceptable.

      There is now an urgent need to protect what remains.

      The policy which has allowed the present situation to arise is fundamentally flawed and unsustainable. It must be remembered Archaeology is a finite resource, and the duty of the National Government is to offer the utmost protection to this irreplaceable resource.

      Prior to this government’s ill-advised amendment to the National Monuments Act in 2004, the presumption was that “destruction by recording” was an extreme measure that should be avoided. Since the failure of the government of the time to prevent the destruction of Wood Quay, Ireland’s track record on the protection of our heritage has been poor. The 2004 Act has reduced the status of archaeology to the point where there is a development assumption, with lamentably few worthy exceptions, and that now, excavation and recording is the norm rather than the rarity.

      The impact of the amendment has been devastating effect to local communities, where resources which should have been used to develop Heritage Tourism and Environmental Education have had to be diverted into long and costly Court Cases and Bord Pleanala hearings. It is to the credit of the community as a whole that, in so many areas, strong and effective participation has prevented some of the worst excesses of the current policy, and the community has been at times supported by An Bord Pleanala in their efforts, often overruling the local authorities’ initial grants of permission.

      The 2004 amendment must be repealed for the sake of the cultural integrity of this island. A new policy must be formulated, and this Alliance is seeking to place this issue on the agenda as a priority for the next government.

      The Monuments & Antiquities Committee of An Taisce welcomes the formation of an alliance of professional experts and academics, in partnership with local communities, and has offered a support role in the development and co-ordination of the Alliance. A spokesperson from An Taisce said that they fully accord with the need for a new and effective policy in the National Interest:

      “Individual communities have seen the erosion of the local vernacular sites which define their towns, villages and landscapes, without little recognition of their local knowledge or research. A common experience is that when local knowledge indicates that a site is important, it has not been sufficiently acknowledged by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, or the local authority. This situation has served no one.

      Developers have been subjected to astronomical costs in “resolving” archaeology, which is then passed on to the public and business sector – while communities have struggled to raise funds to hire archaeologists, lawyers, and planners to try and do what is the state’s responsibility – to identify and protect our heritage.

      National infrastructure projects have been delayed because archaeology becomes an issue late in the day, because basic research has not been conducted and routes for roads which were ill advised in the first place are at great expense and delay, eventually re-routed or built at a price that is no longer acceptable. It is sad but true that taxpayers are paying for the destruction of heritage they wish to see protected, in the name of progress.”

      Some sites have been totally destroyed through lack of proper planning at initial design phase. Consultant archaeological companies are perceived to be “developer-led”, and are believed by many communities to have “fast tracked” excavations. Local Area Plans and re-zoning issues have proved, in many instances, to have been developer-led, and failed to include local history organizations reasoned submissions in relation to heritage.

      A solution, where appropriate, would be to create a levy on new development which provides an archaeological process independent of the developer, and prior to any planning application. A strong independent National Monuments Advisory Body should be reinstated. Permanent protection to the archaeological heritage and landscape must be enshrined in new legislation. We cannot undo the destruction that has occurred, but we can seek to end it.

      Non-intrusive techniques and the historic record alone could have protected many sites which now exist as a paper record only. The establishment of a robust register of sites of vernacular importance in each settlement area, to augment the power of the present Sites and Monuments Register/County Development Plans is long overdue. It is the landscape and history of each town and village which gives it it’s unique identity, and it is this that has been lost in many instances.

      It has been a pattern in Irish life and politics that abuse is recognised only in retrospect. Our capacity to deal with it is hindered by the lack of decisive intervention even after it has been acknowledged. We are asking our future political leaders to take responsibility and pledge commitment to a protection of our now very damaged archaeological heritage landscape and support the thousands of individuals who want reform.

      We are looking for a government that recognises that what has happened is disgraceful, and that takes the time to explore and cherish what is essentially Irish.


      The Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland has identified the following sites as case studies where the policy as defined by the Planning Acts has been inadequate and in need of further protection. The various organizations who have identified and defended these sites, and their professional experts are committed to a reform of the planning acts to provide an integrated policy for the protection of the archaeological heritage and landscape of Ireland.

      Alliance membership includes professional archaeologists, architects, academics and local community groups who are or have been instrumental in protecting or attempting to protect the following sites:


      The discovery of a sacred Temple site at Tara (of the High Kings) is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in these islands in the 21st Century. The public was not informed for a month after its finding, and no attempt has been made to involve the international archaeological community in this extraordinary development. The circular enclosure has a remarkable diameter of 80 metres.

      A wooden post circle is reminiscent of discoveries at Emain Macha (seat of the ancient Kings of Ulster) and Dun Ailinne (seat of the ancient Kings of Leinster); a National Monument without question, and one totally deserving of preservation. This site should have been identified prior to any road plans being drawn up. It is incomprehensible, given the technologies available, that it was not. An appeal by An Taisce awaits hearing in the Supreme Court.


      A Viking longphort site – in essence the site of early Waterford city. National Monument belatedly declared. Intrusive archaeological testing led to the destruction of large parts of the site, and contrary to all best practice, Viking objects were found and removed from soil dump. The alarm was raised only when young archaeologists expressed concern. The opportunity to place this site in the research corpus of international Viking sites was lost.


      Complex of sub-surface monuments at the heart of a largely intact prehistoric into medieval landscape. Proposed super-prison, (the largest in Europe), combined with the Central Mental Hospital. Decision to buy land based on “incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading information”. Lack of proper impact study undertaken prior to the purchase of the site. Local residents ignored and deemed not worthy of consultation by the relevant Minister. This coupled with new legislation, designed to allow the government to build no matter what the retrospective Environmental Impact Assessment uncovers. High Court proceedings have been re-initiated.


      A site, which under international heritage conventions, would have been preserved intact. However at present there is a proposal to build a so-called “eco-friendly” hotel immediately adjacent to the place of King William’s wounding during the battle! A “strongly worded” letter sent by the OPW to Co. Louth planners (Febuary 2006); How about outright refusal? An Taisce has filed an objection.


      A proposal to build a hotel immediately across the narrow street from the perimeter wall of Ireland’s most impressive castle. Despite the views of Department of Environment archaeologists, and other concerned professionals to reject the proposal, the experts were over-ruled and the hotel was built by consent of the Minister for the Environment of the day.


      Proposal to build a bar/restaurant immediately adjacent to the Early Christian Round Tower! Resisted successfully thanks to the efforts of the local residents and the cross-party co-operation of the elected representatives(2005).


      Major battlefield in the 1690s Williamite/ Jacobite war, t he Aughrim battle site is under threat from the proposed motorway which cuts through the left flank of the Irish position to the north of Aughrim village. The integrity of the rest of the site and especially the Jacobite lines on Aughrim Hill has been and is being degraded by house building. Galway County Council refuses to recognise the need for any controls over building in the core of the battle site. The contract to build the road was agreed last month (April 2007).


      A trivallate hillfort of exceptionally rare form. Diameter of 400 metres. Omitted from Environmental Impact Assessment. Topsoil within perimeter mechanically removed, which is contrary to best practice; hardly any topsoil finds! This is part of the route for the proposed M6.


      An ancient defensive barrier believed to have once stretched from Armagh to Donegal, dating from around 100 BC and, according to Professor Donnachadh O’ Corrain of UCC, is “monumental evidence to the type of accounts given in the Tain Bo Cuilleanna,” – the ancient myths which feature Cucullen and the saga of the Brown Bull of Cooley. Last year Cavan County Council considered an application by a quarry company to expand their operation at an area in which the last surviving section of the dyke in Cavan is sited. The company has already destroyed a 220 metre section of the dyke since they began quarrying there in the mid-1970’s; the only arrest on this environmental brutalism has been through the efforts of local voluntary heritage interests.


      This landscape includes Rathdown Castle and St. Crispin’s Cell; continuous settlement from prehistoric times, with a complex multi-period series of sites and remains. One of the few landfall sites remaining in the country intact, on the slopes of Bray Head, and one of the most important deserted Medieval sites in Ireland. Located in the Barony of Rathdown, home of the MacGillaMcolmogs and other Leinster Chieftains, its landscape has survived almost intact on the costal strip. Gave its name to present administrative area of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.

      The protection of the Rathdown site has been ongoing over the past 17 years, involving the local community in numerous planning appeals. Most of the site has been preserved, but some unnecessary loss occurred, after trial trenching failed to identify significant prehistoric settlement (Beaker period) and an Early Christian corn-drying kiln.

      The present proposals for a Marina and c.350 apartments now with An Bord Pleanala, has confirmed substantial archaeology on the ‘Castle Bawn’ field to the south of the present 24 acre National Monument. The developers propose to use almost all of the field for a merely temporary industrial facility to facilitate the works. The original planning application by Wicklow Co. Council disregarded the wealth of information about the site already on their files, and objections on heritage grounds were ignored. The destruction of national heritage to serve temporary works is incomprehensible.


      Unique revetted fosse with a well-documented history. Declared a National Monument only after Court action. Destruction directed by the Minister for the Environment after the National Monuments Act had been downgraded in 2004. All future major discoveries are accordingly put in jeopardy. The unanswered question posed by Judge Flood in the Tribunal – “who decided to move the site of the interchange onto the known castle site?” Answer by the relevant authorities was “can’t remember”; an answer described by Judge Flood as “unimpressive”. It is believed this junction, the 4th in a 9 kilometre stretch of the M50, was designed, and specifically the roundabout, to facilitate the opening up of the rezoned lands that belonged to Jackson Way.


      Carrigaphooca Castle; until now one of Irelands best kept Hiberno Norman Tower-houses, sited in an outstanding setting. This demesne is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage category on historic gardens and designed landscapes. It was from this castle that Justin MacCarthy, Lord of Muskerry and Carrigaphooca, led the first Irish brigade to France. WB Yeats included a story from the castle in his collection of Irish Faerie Tales.

      The current plan for Carrigaphooca Castle, manor house, and nearby pre-historic stone circle, is to slice through this demesne by placing a four-lane highway and two flyovers less than 200 metres from the castle door – thus obliterating the entire setting of the castle, the remnants of its bawn, and manor house. An outrageous proposal that should never have been considered in the first place.

      The Alliance is concerned at the dilapidation and possible destruction of a number of heritage buildings, their settings, and historic and architectural potential:


      The location of the last documented headquarters of the 1916 Provisional Government. Twice scheduled in the City Development Plan for protection – and yet the roof was being let collapse in on what is now a derelict building. As with Clondalkin, the only reason the building is being saved is through the voluntary efforts of community response– and as such there are yet uncertainties as to the ultimate fate of the building in question, with the designation of it being a National Monument under challenge.


      The remainder of the birthplace of the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who authored “The School for Scandal”, amongst other works. In the last few months Dublin City Council has granted permission – currently being appealed – to demolish and replace this supposedly “protected structure” with a block of flats.


      A house of significant cultural importance. Left neglected and empty with deadbolts on the front door, this house had been in the charitable hands of a religious institution until it was sold a decade ago. Subsequently sub-divided and let out in multiple occupancies, a fire occurred at the house last Christmas (December 2006). This was a location of Dail Eireann which met here during 1919 and 1920 when owned by Alderman Walter Coles, who also let Michael Collins use of the address as a safe house during The War of Independence. Previously it had been the residence of Home Rule MP T.M. Healy, and prior to that had been residence to Archbishop Hawksley.


      The department of the Environment has conceded the destruction of the 19th Century South Pier in Greystones harbour, and acceded to proposals which will open up development possibilities on every soft shoreline in the country. Wicklow Co. Council has refused – despite strong local objections to re-zoning and planning – to accord Architectural Conservation Area status to the harbour area, one of the finest Victorian landscapes on the East coast, which includes 14 protected buildings whose setting will be irretrievably damaged by the Marina Proposals.


      In every corner of this island, there are concerned citizens involved in protecting what is essentially our collective identity. The Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland seeks to provide a platform and a forum in defence of the history, cultures, and integrity of the island.

      In the context of a general election in the Republic it is of great interest and concern to a sizeable proportion of its citizens to know just where exactly the respective political parties stand in relation to heritage and more importantly its protection.

      It is the intention of the Heritage Protection Alliance to seek formal meetings with the relevant spokespersons of the respective parties. The individual reactions/ pronouncements of the parties shall then be made public.

      There has been a consistent pattern to date, which is no longer acceptable. The scale, losses and destruction of our built and rural heritage has reached a point where it is vital that a new policy is devised which protects the fragile remains of our settlements and architectural and archaeological landscapes.

      The pattern is one of systematic destruction of the physical manifestations of our collective history and cultures on the island of Ireland. In the cause of citizenship and democracy, it is time to re-instate the onus back upon the taxpayer-funded state bodies to protect the physical heirlooms of our unique and shared cultures.


      Tara ancient seat of High Kings – Dr. Muireann Ní Brolacháin. Tel: +353 87 924 9510 Email: muireann@indigo.ie

      Woodstown Viking site – Professor Donnachadh O’ Corrain. Tel: +353 86 832 7202, Email: ocorrain@ucc.ie

      Kilsallaghan Historic Townland, Co Dublin – Teresa McDonald Tel: +353 85 722 5659, Email: info@residentssayno.com

      Boyne battlefield site – Rev. Brian Kennaway. Tel: +44 7778 998 115, Email:bkennaway@presbyterianireland.org,
      Dr. Padraig Lenihan Tel: +353 91 527 003, Email: padraig.lenihan@ul.ie

      Trim Norman Castle – Councillor Phil Cantwell. Tel: +353 87 288 0288, Email: pcantwell@members.meathcoco.ie

      Rathdown Prehistoric and Medeival settlement, Greystones Victorian Harbour – Emer Singleton. Tel: +353 871 151 949, Email: info@rathdown.com

      Carrickmines Medieval Settlement – Ruadhán Mac Eoin, Tel: +353 86 814 6077, Email: ruadhan.maceoin@gmail.com

      Aughrim battlefield site – Rev. Brian Kennaway. Tel: +44 7778 998 115, Email:bkennaway@presbyterianireland.org ,
      Dr. Padraig Lenihan Tel: +353 91 527 003, Email: padraig.lenihan@ul.ie

      Carrigaphooca Castle, Macroom, Co Cork – Dr. David Edwards. +353 86 161 9866, Email: d.edwards@ucc.ie

      16 Moore St, Dublin, HQ of 1916 Provisional Government – Dominic Dunne. Tel.: +353 85 7387565, Email: domodun@gmail.com

      12 Dorset Street, Dublin, birthplace of Brinsley Sheridan – Senator David Norris. Tel: +353 1 618 3333, Email: info@senatordavidnorris.ie

      1 Mountjoy Square – Michael Smith. Tel: +353 1 873 5824, Email: michaelsmith@eircom.net


      Dr. Mark Clinton. +353 85 109 2473, Email:norahbk@eircom.net

      Ruadhán Mac Eoin Tel: +353 86 814 6077, Email: ruadhan.maceoin@gmail.com

      * * *

    • #789304

      A few images to illustrate some of the Case Studies as set out in the Charter. [Please pardon the different sizes of snaps, as some are procured from the internet] :

      Clondalkin Round Tower, where the local auhority initially granted permission for a disco and a pub –

      Had the disco project succeeded, an appropriate name might have been “Tower Heights (of stupidity)”… I kid you not – down in Trim, the newly opened hotel is now known as “Trim Castle Hotel” – as seen during construction here;

      …with the finished product here:

      Meanwhile at another castle, Carrigaphooca, in Co. Cork, it hasn’t got an unsuitable development abutting it – yet. But it will. NRA plans are for a dual carraigeway 200 metres from the structure, setting to be complete with 2 flyovers:

      Another case in which the NRA is chief protaganist is with the Aughrim Battlefield in Co. Galway. Being a battle site, physical ruins above the ground are not the main issue, that said as follows is a small snap of the remains of the castle site at Luttrell’s Pass:

      While back in Dublin, another cause for concern is at 1 Mountjoy Square, as documented above –

      And of course, the now somewhat infamous ruin of Brinsley Sheridan’s house on Dorset Street (as also discussed elsewhere on this site, at this thread: https://archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=448&page=2 ). It does throw up the optimum question as to why designate a structure as “protected”, only for the building to be slighted, made derelict, and for permission to be given to demolish. Protected my ass.

    • #789305
      Paul Clerkin
    • #789306

      @Paul Clerkin wrote:

      Better picture of Clondalkin round tower here

      ‘Tis indeed a much better shot 🙂 –

      Another site as featured in the Case Studies above is the Black Pig’s Dyke. The quarry company, Nulty Quarries, has faced a lot of local opposition for their operation at Ardkillmore in Cavan. The red line shown in the photo denotes both the surviving and the pre-existing site of the dyke. For more on this case, a browse on indymedia reveals a number of pieces, such as at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/73663

      Nulty Quarries sited on what was the Black Pig’s Dyke

    • #789307

      would it be viable to add corks 1831 bonded warehouses to this list?these buildings are in dire straits and the will or interest to save them is gravely lacking.Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated.

    • #789308

      @yotty wrote:

      would it be viable to add corks 1831 bonded warehouses to this list?these buildings are in dire straits and the will or interest to save them is gravely lacking.Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated.

      It might well be Yotty. From what I am hearing a number of previously unknown sites are now being brought forward, and there are some real horror stories I can tell you 🙁

      Cork’s bonded warehouses would seem to be of particular architectural interest, and it is noticable how much comment they have created on sites such as this.

    • #789309

      Campaign to Save Tara supports the Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland
      The Campaign to Save Tara welcomes and supports the announcement of the Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland and their call to repeal the National Monument Act of 2004. Ireland had the best protection of heritage in Europe until Minister Cullen amended this act and effectively gave ministers the power to destroy National Monuments in order to facilitate the agenda of unbridled and unsustainable development in the name of progress.

      Archaeology must be taken back into the care of the state and away from the NRA and the private archaeological contracting companies that it employs. Dúchas, or a body of its kind, must be put in place with an independent voice for archaeology.

      The practice of “preservation by record” is the order of the day and this is what faces the new National Monument at Lismullin. Why declare the appearance of a National Monument one week only to order its destruction the next? The Campaign to Save Tara asks that this site be fully investigated and then covered over and left in peace. The Campaign also asks that the whole area between it and Rath Lugh and its environs, including what used to be Lismullin Wood, be fully investigated by independent archaeologists and not those associated with the NRA. The Campaign also demands that the full extent of the associated finds at Lismullin be given and published immediately by the NRA.

      Dr. M. Ní Bhrolcháin said: “Tara is the line in the sand. If the Government are allowed to destroy Tara’s landscape then nowhere in Ireland is safe. The aerial shots taken by the Campaign clearly show that the whole Gabhra Valley is a monument and the road cannot be moved within it without destroying another possible National Monument. Sites such as Collierstown, Roestown and Baronstown should also have been declared as National Monuments”.

      Michael Canney said: “This new heritage protection alliance is absolutely necessary if we are to stop the increasing trend of seeing our heritage as a obstacle to progress; as some kind of inconvenience to a glorious concrete-covered future. The time has come, and the public are way ahead of the political classes in this regard, where we must recognize environmental protection and economic development as a shared goal, because it is only through thoughtful management of our environmental and heritage resources, that future prosperity is guaranteed”.

      For further Information call:
      Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, 087-9249510 or
      Michael Canney, 086-8528200
      17 May 2007

      From http://www.savetara.com/statements/051707_alliance.html

    • #789310

      Support for Heritage Protection Alliance of*Ireland
      by Mark Garavan* May 23, 2007

      I wish to fully support the call by the newly founded Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland to repeal the National Monument Act 2004.

      It is a matter of great importance that the rich archaeological heritage of the country be fully protected and preserved. It is clear that the consequence of the 2004 Act is that this is not happening in an appropriate and comprehensive manner.

      The maintenance and preservation of our diverse cultural resources is a mark of a civilized society. However, these resources include not only our physical artefacts and remains but also our communities. Of particular importance are our Irish-speaking communities as these contain such an immense and important cultural wealth for all of us. All of our communities need to inhabit a humanised physical and cultural space where historical continuity and modernity exist in harmony.

      For this reason I have called for a mandatory pre-planning phase whereby developers of large infrastructural projects must engage in real dialogue and agreement with communities affected by their projects. This pre-planning stage would include identifying the cultural features – both physical and psychological – which must be preserved from possible damage. In this way development and cultural sustainability can be better reconciled.

      Found here:

      *From the summer of 2005 Mark Garavan was*spokesperson for the Rossport Five and subsequently acted as spokesperson for the Shell to Sea campaign until earlier this year. He has written widely on the issue of the Corrib gas project and also on wider issues of sustainability and democracy.

    • #789311

      Gormley to review State’s heritage sites policy

      An extract from Irish Times article on 7th July 2007 by Frank McDonald, Environment Editor

      Minister for the Environment John Gormley is to carry out a complete review of the State’s archaeological policy and practice and may propose amending or even repealing the 2004 National Monuments Act.

      This Act, introduced by Martin Cullen, invested the Minister with sole discretion to decide the fate of any national monument that might be in the path of a motorway. It was specifically designed to facilitate earlier delivery of the Government’s roads programme.

      Yesterday, after releasing a file showing how his predecessor Dick Roche made his decision to permit the “preservation by record” of a prehistoric henge at Lismullen, Co Meath, Mr Gormley said he was already consulting archaeologists on what should be changed.

      “I want to be as open as possible, to find the best way of going forward”, he said.

      Asked if he would consider amending or repealing the 2004 Act, he said: “If changing legislation emerges from this process, I will look at that.”

      (For full article see The Tara Bypass thread https://archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=4022&page=8)

    • #789312

      Carrigaphooca Castle (Caisleán Carraig a’ Phúca in Irish, meaning Castle on the Rock of the Fairy ; the word Púca may mean a Ghost, Fairy, or some other type of Spirit) is a ruined five storey rectangular tower house, situated on a steep-sided rock, and located 6km west of Macroom, County Cork, Ireland. Carrigaphooca was built in 1436, reputedly by Donal McCarthy of Drishane.[1] In 1602, the castle was attacked and taken by O’Sullivan Beare.[2]
      During the 1970s, the Office of Public Works undertook restoration of the site, and added a fight of steps leading over the rock base, joining with the main entrance.[3] The ground floor chamber is lit by small off-center windows, and is flanked by a straight mural stairs which rises as a spiral to the 4th floor level.
      A stone circle lies two fields to the east of the castle.
      Sources: Denis Power (1997). Archaeological inventory of County Cork, Volume 3: Mid Cork, 9467 ColorBooks. ISBN 0-7076-4933-1

      Carrigaphooca Castle from http://www.irelandseye.com
      Perched on a high rock overlooking the Sullane River this tall tower house commands truly panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Built by Dermot Mor MacCarthy sometime between 1436 and 1451, it is a very simple building with a single room on each of its five levels. The windows are very plain in form, small and narrow, and like other early tower houses, there are no fireplaces or chimneys.
      The MacCarthys of Carrigaphooca were constantly engaged in internecine warfare. They sided with the Crown in 1602 and their stronghold was consequently attacked by Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare. After a difficult siege the huge wooden door of the castle burned down. The garrison was set free and O’Sullivan Beare retrieved a chest of Spanish gold he had presented to the MacCarthys some months earlier in return for their support against the English. The castle was subsequently owned by the MacCarthys of Drishane until forfeited in 1690.
      5km (3 miles) W of Macroom.

      Photo posted by J. Smith on http://medievalist2.blogspot.com/2007/07/carrigaphooca-castle-county-cork.html

    • #789313

      see vincent brown owes michael smith money for the village so he’s going to lend him the magazine, hopefully he can stir something.
      heres his blog

    • #789314

      One of the problems with dealing with ‘Heritage’ in Ireland is that everyone involved seems to use the de Valera (Eamon, not Sile) method of evaluation:

      The ”I only have to look into my own heart to know what ‘Irish heritage’ is” method!

      This can make for great entertainment, as in the ‘destruction of Tara’ debate, but it also allows genuine Philistines (who appear to include a disproportionate number of politicians in their ranks) to exploit the inevitable confusion in the ranks of the heritage conscious.

      What we seem to lack most in our heritage value judgements is the ability to say:

      ‘This is the significance of the relevant building / place’, and then follow that sentence with a coherent assessment, free of emotional outpouring, spurious side arguments (often involving bats), and limited to no more than ten adjectives.

    • #789315

      you put the destruction of tara in quotes?

      i can site experts to show you its not ‘destruction’ but Destruction if you wish.

    • #789316

      lostexpectation: It might be Destruction, but it’s not of Tara!

      Before you come at me for putting things in quotes, I don’t hold with this ‘Sacred Landscape’ argument. Roads, even motorways, are part of the landscape, they can be done well, or they can be done badly. If the M3 is done well and the archaeology is up to standard, and it stays a couple of miles away from Tara, I don’t have a fundamental problem with it.

      It’s a different argument whether they should have up-graded the rail line first.

      I also find it hard to get excited about the Lismullen former circular something that was apparently so intangible that it seems to have been outside the creative range of photographers to record.

      For some reason, I have no emotional attachment to Tara, it is like a lumpy version of Sandymount Strand, with grass.

      I should probably stop talking now.

    • #789317

      Tara is an area not a hill

      the motorway goes through Tara
      http://www.nuigalway.ie/archaeology/Tara_Archaeology-Ireland.html by Conor Newman Joe fenwick Edel Bhreathnach the 3 experts in this area.

      The evidence for a royal demesne around Tara is unequivocal. It is attested to both archaeologically and historically. The Hill of Tara, which is the religious focal point in this landscape, is situated a little west-of-centre. The high concentration of archaeological sites suggests that the Tara-Skryne valley was an important axis through this landscape and a primary settlement from prehistory to the Middle Ages. The genesis of the royal demesne (Ferann Ríg) lies in prehistory and comes into sharp focus in the later Iron Age when a series of defensive earthworks was built to create a cordon sanitaire from Ringlestown around the north of the hill to Rath Lugh, a promontory fort that guards the northern end of the Tara-Skryne valley and, of course, the Hill of Skryne itself.

      None of this is new. This analysis was published in various places during the mid 1990s and was central to the archaeological assessments of the route options procured by Meath County Council and the NRA. Both firms of consultants reported, in unambiguous language, that the route options between Tara and Skryne risked encountering a multitude of sites and threatened the integrity of the Tara landscape.
      One of them reported that in recognition of the Discovery Programme’s work in identifying this landscape, the zone of protection around Tara had been extended to an area about 6km in diameter and that some of the route options ran through this zone.

      maybe should stop talking about things you know nothing about.

    • #789318

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      Tara is an area not a hill

      . . . the motorway goes through Tara

      . . . maybe should stop talking about things you nothing about.

      Tara is an area not a hill! Sorry, I don’t accept that.

      Tara is a hill, it might be a miserable hill, but it’s still a hill, and I know enough about Tara to know that the motorway is not going through it, and that you’re missing the point.

      The question we should be asking ourselves is: What is the significance of the place?

      Nobody disputes that, both archaeologically and historically, the Hill of Tara is a very significant place.

      Herity says that Tara is one of at least six Royal Sites on the island. Most of these Royal Sites, as well as having their elevated status recorded in subsequent literature, were physically distinguished from other sites by having the ditch on the inside of the enclosing earth bank. This feature has been interpreted as signifying that these Royal Sites may have had a demonstrably ‘ceremonial’ rather than defensive function. Most of these Royal Sites from the Iron Age, including Tara, incorporated, and possibly re-used, existing earlier features from the Bronze Age.

      The earthworks at Tara are more complex than those at any of the other Royal Sites, but, on the other hand, Tara did not seem to have had the huge circular wooden structure that was uncovered at Eamhain Macha.

      Finds from Tara, as in the case of other Royal Sites, confirm the site’s high status.

      Nobody disputes any of that, or that Tara in particular entered popular folklore in the 18th and 19th centuries, and that Tara was the ancient site most associated in the popular imagination with kingship and the notion of Irish sovereignty.

      I also fully accept that the Tara-Skreen Valley has been demonstrated to have been a location of particularly dense occupation in the Iron Age, and that consequently it is a landscape littered with archaeological sites.

      All of this speaks of the significance of the place. I’m not attempting to diminish that in any way. This is why you should never build a B&Q, or a McDonalds anywhere near Tara.

      However, none of this agreed significance, in my opinion, constitutes any good reason why you should not build a better public road through the valley.

      This is not a Carrickmines Castle situation, where the motorway cuts through physical enclosures of a medieval castle and demolishes up-standing structures. The M3 ploughs it’s way through fields devoid of any actual structures. I accept that, depending on your sensitivities, it might seem brutal to put a concrete and tarmac scar across a landscape, but it should be acknowledged that motorway construction does largely confine itself to re-making the landscape, it’s not about dumping structures on the landscape. The fact that the process itself reveals the archaeological richness that we would not have otherwise discovered, should also be acknowledged.

      What I don’t understand in this debate, is in what way you believe that the ‘significance of the place’ will have been been reduced by the presence of the road?

      Is the contemplative nature of the Hill of Tara, or of the church enclosure at Skreen, actually reduced by the fact that somewhere behind the trees in the valley below, there’s a motorway, where there used to be just a trunk road?

      Is a valley, where a hierarchically organized Iron Age community once farmed, built huts, and held occassional social functions / ceremones, necessarily a ‘Sacred landscape’?

      Is a public motorway necessarily profane?

      You know where I stand on this. Personally I’d prefer to fight to save our built heritage, the stuff that the experts you refer to refuse to get involved with until all the structures have been knocked down, and let them get on with recording the stuff under the ground, the archaeology that can’t be revealed any other way.

    • #789319

      you’re simply wrong, its ridiculous to suggest you know better then all the experts on tara, all who said it was an area and the road shouldn’t go through, even the ones that eventually dug the place up. the m3 goes through a number of sites, like lismullin and baronstown, you can try to throw out words like emotion and sensitivities and try to be condescending about the people that tried to protect it but that just shows your bias. built heritage, tara was built,manipulating and adding to the landscape is building.

    • #789320

      You feel very strongly about this. I respect your opinion.

      There’s a TG4 program, apparently all about Tara and the M3, on the box tonight, I’ll have a look at it and, if I’m persuaded to your view, I’ll post up a full retraction, is that OK?

      I hope there’s going to be sub-titles

    • #789321

      I respect your opinion

      i don’t think you do,you are just being condescending again, telling me its only ‘my opinion’,and that is simply a ‘strong feeling’.

      stop playing that game, please.

      Its not my opinion I’m trying to convey but the experts considered research.

    • #789322

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      i don’t think you do,you are just being condescending again, telling me its only ‘my opinion’,and that is simply a ‘strong feeling’.

      stop playing that game, please.

      Its not my opinion I’m trying to convey but the experts considered research.

      in my experience ALL ‘experts considered research’ is based on opinion….. granted, highly educated opinion, but opinion nonetheless….

      and i think you are being a unfair to gunter… hes said he will inform himself better before offering further ‘opinion’ so allow him to do so.

      and this mess of a situation clearly shows what can hppen when opinions differ.

    • #789323

      I find the hippies that gather on the top of Tara to be far more a blight on the landscape than the proposed road.

      gunter- for what it’s worth, I’d be broadly in agreement with your reasoning there. I have serious reservations about this road, but they’re little to do with the hysteria drummed up by the patchouli oil brigade. Essentially, I’m opposed to it simply because it caters primarily for private car traffic trying to get to Dublin (or, more precisely, to the M50). This is traffic created by lax spatial planning on a grand scale, or rather by the complete ignorance on the part of the local authority of existing, reasonably sensible regional spatial planning, where Meath has effectively become a dormer suburb for Dublin. This road will attempt to solve the symptom – and fail – instead of tackling the disease at source.

      Get the rail line going asap to cater for the commuters, put future employment near the concentrations of residents to reduce the need to travel, improve the existing road to serve the traffic that actually needs a road, and tell the crusties to eff off.

    • #789324

      Jesus LE, you’re a pain in the arse!

      ‘All the experts’, don’t give me that bullshit. You’ll never get ‘All the experts’ to agree on anything, ffs.

      I wonder are you only listening to the people you agree with?

      I said I’d check out the TG4 programme and come back to you afterwords if there’s a persuasive case made that ‘Tara’ is being destroyed.

      I will do that, but if it turns out to be more wooly guys in wooly jumpers talking wooly nonsense, then I’m not going to lie to you, and tell you it isn’t so.

      . . . and you need to get a grip, if you imagine you’re being condecended to! You’re being disagreed with, grow up and deal with it.

      Edit: oops, didn’t see the other posts, should have availed of the cooling off period!

    • #789325

      @henno wrote:

      . . . and i think you are being a unfair to gunter… hes said he will inform himself better before offering further ‘opinion’ so allow him to do so.

      TG4 9.30

      Can I propose a score card!

      Key phrases:

      ‘Sacred landscape’ . . . 3 points
      ‘Spiritual centre of Ireland’ . . . 2 points
      ‘Desecration’ . . . 4 points


      Woolly jumpers . . . 3 points (each)
      Corduroy trousers . . . 3 points
      open-toed sandels . . . 5 points (a pair

      Any total over 50, gunter wins!

    • #789326

      Well, that was surprising on many levels!

      Dick Roche can read!
      Niall of the nine hostages looked like a Hammer Horror movie extra!
      St. Patrick was in the Ku Klux Klan!

      I don’t know what to say. I don’t like those concrete median crash barriers, no matter how lovingly trowelled they are. What we didn’t really get was a good overview of the impact of the road on the Hill of Tara itself, possibly because there isn’t much.

      Unlike the smug guy at the start who dismissed Tara as ‘a hill with sheep droppings’, the protesters came across as very genuine, dedicated, people and not nearly as flaky as I was expecting, except that girl playing the saxophone with the pencil pierced through her ear.

      Pretty clearly, Tara is still the focus of much mythology and emotion which, I’m afraid, goes completely over my head. I think I’ll take lostexpectations’ advice and just shut up about it. (he’ll probably say I’m patronizing him now!)

    • #789327

      dismissing my argument with sources as ‘strong feeling’ and constantly referring to emotions as the only motivation behind saving Tara is clearly condescension. gunter.
      you said the ‘destruction’ of tara was entertaining;

      its not me who is being juvenile

      it seems you’re not be able to follow your own advice which restarted this thread.

      @gunter wrote:

      What we seem to lack most in our heritage value judgements is the ability to say:

      ‘This is the significance of the relevant building / place’, and then follow that sentence with a coherent assessment, free of emotional outpouring,spurious side arguments (often involving bats), and limited to no more than ten adjectives

      ctesiphon fell foul of this too with his poor attempt at humour.

    • #789328

      Whatever anyone may think about the effects on Tara of this new road, surely people can agree that this shows an unhealthy lack of respect and consideration for our national heritage and sets a dangerous precedent for the preservation of our landscapes and built heritage. The new relief road in Kilkenny City also comes to mind.

      The Tara valley is an important part of this heritage and rather than driving roads through it – especially in the context of a credible alternative – surely we should be seeking to reinforce its sense of place and guarantee that this place retains its place at the heart of our myths and legends.

      I also don’t accept that you must completely remove emotion from an assessment of heritage value. Places are inextricably linked to emotion – becoming repositories of memory and history which can lend them significance far beyond their architectural value.

    • #789329

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      ctesiphon fell foul of this too with his poor attempt at humour.

      I wasn’t trying to be funny.

    • #789330

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      you said the ‘destruction’ of tara was entertaining;

      I think I said the debate on the ‘destruction’ of Tara was entertaining!

      You can’t tell me there wasn’t an entertaining mix of colourful characters in that TG4 documentary last night, OK, as well as some pretty solid academic types, like George Eogan.

      As I said last night, I don’t doubt the convivction and dedication of many of the M3 protesters, but that isn’t to say that a good proportion of them couldn’t also be described as ‘complex and fruity,’ like the more expensive Tesco wine.

      What gets me about these situations is that so much of our built heritage is under constant attack, from ill-judged development forces and ill-informed Planning Authority decisions, and it’s almost impossible to get anyone motivated enough to even write a letter to their local councillor, and then along comes one of these cause célébres and people are running in front of JCBs and preparing to die to protect something to which the perceived threat is intangible, at best.

      The problem I see with this is that it isn’t just harmless eccentric behaviour, this type of campaign sets the context in which other conservation debates are conducted. So if I want to protect, say, an endangered 18th century streetscape that hadn’t been properly identified, the first reaction is going to be ‘ah here comes another bearded weirdo’.

      The last point I want to make is about the Motorway itself.

      The Germans (and possibly other nations too) have a concept of ‘the beautiful motorway’.

      Unless ‘beautiful’ is a dodgy translation of ‘most efficient’ the way I understand the concept, it is that an Autobahn route can itself be a thing of beauty, both in it’s engineering and in the way it reveals the landscape that it passes through. Maybe I’m wronging the NRA, but I never hear talk of this in any of the discussions about route choices, and the construction of concrete median barriers would tend to suggest that aesthetics isn’t on their agenda.

      . . . and I’m not talking about over-designing the bridges, just planning the routes with the landscape and the potential vistas in mind.

      Maybe, if campaigners didn’t always take polar opposite positions on these things, it might have been possible to influence and refine the route and design of the M3 motorway and maybe even enhance our appreciation of the Tara landscape, given it’s obvious archaeological, cultural, mythological and emotional (sorry) significance.

    • #789331

      I was wondering why ‘beards’ didn’t feature alongside sandals and woolly jumpers on your points list on the last page, but now we know!

      @gunter wrote:

      So if I want to protect, say, an endangered 18th century streetscape that hadn’t been properly identified, the first reaction is going to be ‘ah here comes another bearded weirdo’.

    • #789332

      you still need to do some reading on Tara, you’re still claiming tara is just a hill.

      so some campaigners are responsible for poor heritage protection in this country rather then the powers that be who hold all the cards. ffs

      i think you’re simply adding to that context you talk of, which is contrived by businessmen to dismiss heritage, you yourself said they weren’t as bad you’d imagined.

      most of the campaigners argued for re-routing, (out side of the valley)

      you are saying my heritage issue is more worthy then there’s. crapping on somebody else issues won’t help yours.

    • #789333

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      . . ffs.

      We’re just swinging handbags at this stage!

      I can’t help it if you’ve got a smaller handbag . . . and no, not all heritage issues are of equal importance, because obviously they don’t all have the same intrinsic value to start with, and it’s a bit unlikely that the level of threat will be the same in every case.

    • #789334

      In fairness I don’t think LE is saying more recent built urban heritage is less valuable than Tara. It doesn’t help either proponents to be unsupportive of each other’s issue, much less openly critical.

      I think the level of threat to Tara is pretty considerable; for example the story about Jo Ronayne, the NRA contracted archaeologist that claimed that she was ordered to ‘change interpretations’ so as to lessen the potential number of sites. That’s a fairly high level of threat.

    • #789335

      i don’t know why you claiming i’ve got a smaller handbag, whatever that means? you still haven’t backed up your claim that Tara is just a hill.

      here’s some reading for you.

      I think Tara’s importance was exaggerated way back then and has continued to be, which is partly why its so interesting.

      I think gunter has problem that Tara is world famous and the buildings he has in mind some of which he mentioned in other threads, aren’t as individually as well known. Still doesn’t give him the right to dismiss the ‘destruction of Tara’.

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