29/05/2014 Minister Deenihan condemns vandalism to the Lia Fáil national monument
The Office of Public Works has reported a further incident of vandalism to the Lia Fáil Standing Stone at Tara, County Meath, to An Garda Síochána. The Gardai are understood to be arranging a forensic examination of the site.
The Lia Fáil 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.
When OPW Guides arrived at the site this morning, they discovered that it had been vandalised with paint at some point since yesterday evening. The monument had previously been damaged in 2012, when it was struck by a hammer or similar instrument. The National Monuments Service, a division of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is on site with OPW personnel and will be providing every possible assistance, by way of archaeological input and expertise, to ensure that the damage is appropriately addressed as speedily and effectively as possible.
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht commented:
‘I condemn in the strongest terms the damage that has been caused to one of our most iconic ancient monuments. This act of mindless vandalism, on one of our premier archaeological sites, is truly shameful.
The national monuments at Tara, which include this standing stone, form part of our national heritage and history. Not only are they cherished here in Ireland, they are also nationally and internationally renowned. I call for anyone with any information about who may have been responsible to inform the Gardai.”
Images of the Lia Fáil National Monument, both prior to the damage and following the damage, are available at this link: