The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, TD, has announced details of an online consultation process where the public can give their views on the Hill of Tara in County Meath as part of her Department’s proposals to develop a new plan for the future preservation and management of the State-owned lands at the hill.
The Hill of Tara is one of the richest archaeological landscapes in Ireland. The hill contains around 150 archaeological monuments, which span over 5,000 years from the Neolithic to modern times. Tara is a place of great cultural importance. It was the focus of prehistoric burials and rituals and the ceremonial landscape of powerful medieval kings. It attracted the attention of Irish leaders throughout the ages and became the symbolic capital of Ireland in literature. The hill is also an amenity enjoyed by the local community and by visitors.
The Minister said that “with the numbers of visitors increasing all the time, there is a pressing need to have the management of the State-owned lands on the Hill of Tara supported by sustainable long-term policies that will guide national and local authorities/agencies in the preservation of this significant landscape. The first phase in developing a new strategy is to produce a Tara Conservation Management Plan that will clearly define Tara’s significance, identify issues and vulnerabilities affecting the complex, and draw up policies that will inform a future implementation phase. This public consultation process is a central component of the drafting of this Plan”
The consultation process is intended to be an open and effective way for members of the public to engage in a constructive dialogue on Tara. The feedback received will be carefully assessed and analysed and will feed into the final text of the Plan. The Plan will be a dynamic document that will be open to regular evaluation and updating as policies are developed in the future. It will be drawn up by a Steering Group set up by the Minister that includes representatives from her own Department, the Office of Public Works, Meath County Council, the Heritage Council and the Discovery Programme.
The Minister said that she ”hopes for the greatest possible participation by the public. The Hill of Tara is an invaluable cultural asset that is there for everyone to enjoy. The more people that take part the more ideas and views will be taken into account in shaping how we conserve it for future generations.”