Hill of Tara must be cherished by government as the cultural asset it is – Peadar Tóibín TD
Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín today tackled Minister Madigan on the lack of progress regarding improved facilities at the Hill of Tara.
Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Tóibín said:
“The Hill of Tara is a magical place. It has a special place in the hearts and minds of Irish people all over the world.
"It’s one of the few locations in Ireland that is internationally recognised.
“1,000 buses make their way to the Hill of Tara every year. It’s conservatively estimated that a quarter of a million visitors now access the hill every year.
"Minister, you came down to Dowth House in the summer to see the newly discovered Neothlithic passage tomb there. Its 5,000 years old.
“Yet and it pains me to say this, but it’s in a mess. There is insufficient parking for vehicles, buses find it hard to navigate the area, and the hill is increasingly mucky as there are no dedicated paths.
"There is a wonderful book shop and gift shop and a restaurant, but the latter is under pressure with regards to capacity.
“There are also a lack of toilets on the hill. The Interpretive Centre is only open from June to October, and even then only for limited hours.
"The land has become increasingly mucky and the rath on which the Lia Fáil, is continuously flooded.
“I believe that the Minister should have two guiding rules. The first should be the protection of our heritage the second should be the safe, open and unrestricted access. These two are hard to achieve.
“The only reason the season is got through is because of the assistance of private citizens – whether it’s through opening fields or through the Friends of Tara organising litter collections.
"The Council have no development plan for the Hill of Tara. Essentially, nobody is taking responsibility for the Hill of Tara.
"This is something that you Minister, have a duty to address.”