13/06/12 – Minister Deenihan condemns suspected vandalism at Tara national monument
The National Monuments Service, a division of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has reported suspected acts of vandalism to the Lia Fail Standing Stone at Tara, County Meath, to An Garda Síochána.
The Lia Fail Standing Stone is an extremely important national monument and features extensively in ancient texts. The granite stone is associated with the inauguration rites for the Kings of Tara and was moved to its current position in the early nineteenth century.
Last weekend it was noted that the monument appeared to have been damaged. An archaeologist from the National Monuments Service undertook an examination of the monument and concluded that it had been struck – possibly with a hammer or similar instrument – at eleven places on all four faces of the stone. Fragments of the standing stone have been removed. Following receipt of this information a report has been made to An Garda Síochána.
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht commented:
‘Vandalism – by definition – is a mindless act. The national monuments at Tara, which include this standing stone, are nationally and internationally renowned. These monuments are a fundamental part of our shared heritage and history, and I condemn in the strongest terms the damage that has been caused to this monument.
‘The matter has been reported to An Garda Síochána and officials from my Department will be examining ways in which additional surveillance of these monuments can take place. However, we all have a role to play. I would ask all people to respect and appreciate the importance of our national monuments, and to keep a watchful eye on any in their locality.’