Development of National Museum Shelved

March 7, 2009


Long-delayed  plans to develop phase II of the  National Museum project at Collins Barracks, have been suspended because of budgetary restraints. Collins Barracks was assigned to Museum use in 1994 with Phase 1 of the planned exhibitions space opening in September 1997.


 Minister of State for Finance Martin Mansergh stated that the project to extend the museum’s exhibition space has been suspended.  In the Dail, nevertheless,  the Minister insisted that progress on the project was at an “advanced stage”.

He said the Office of Public Works (OPW) was currently finalising tender documents, which would be ready by April 2009. “However, given the current budgetary situation, it will not be possible to progress this project at the present time. The project will proceed as planned when the overall financial situation improves,” he said.

Fine Gael’s spokeswoman on tourism, Olivia Mitchell, said the suspension of the project was a blow to the tourism sector. She said the Asgard yacht, which carried guns used in the 1916 Rising, was due to be a centrepiece of the completed exhibition space. “This is a short-sighted cutback that will end up costing Ireland more in the longer term than it will save immediately,” she said.

“Alongside the financial folly of scrapping revenue-generating projects, there is also the issue that planning permission for the exhibition space will lapse at the end of this year and it is unclear as to how many hoops would have to be jumped through to receive it again.”

Ms Mitchell claimed the plan to develop the project had been “abandoned”. However, an OPW spokesman stated that this was not the case.

It would be unfair to put contractors to the expense of preparing bids without the expectation that the project would proceed immediately or in the short term,” a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, work that will enable Dublin’s Natural History Museum to reopen will be carried out this summer, according to the Office of Public Works (OPW). The museum closed to the public in July 2007 after a staircase collapsed.

An OPW spokesman said the work was now expected to be completed by September 2009.

In December 2008 it emerged that a major renovation plan for the National Museum building had been put on hold because of cutbacks. Some €15 million had been earmarked in the National Development Plan to upgrade the 150-year-old building.

An OPW spokesman stated: “We are preparing a set of works that will be undertaken to get the museum opened.” He elaborated that the OPW were “looking at options that can enable the museum to be open again to the public this year”.



Evidence of Kale Planting at Rath Maeve and Tractor Damage at Colvonstown, near Hill of Tara

July 5, 2008

” Rath Maeve, M.143, is a large circular rath and a protected national monument close to Tara. It was the mythological home of Maeve, the old earth goddess and consort of successive kings of Tara. As such it has a central place in our heritage and should be afforded all the respect and care it deserves. However yesterday when we visited it we were shocked to see that the entire rath has been planted with Kale. This involved it been ploughed up, planted and it is to be expected, later harvested. Kale is a deep growing vegetable with a long tap root. The harvesting will entail soil disturbance to a dept of at least half a metre. As far as we know no archeologically investigation has taken place on Rath Maeve and no archaeologist was present at the ploughing so priceless items belonging to our history and heritage could have been removed or destroyed. It is known and accepted that this happened in the past and much of what was of value under our soil was destroyed or carried away. That this is again happening today and under a green environment minister beggars belief.
See the rest of this article at:

John Farrelly – Independent Tara Campaigner Wed Jul 02, 2008

Professor George Eogan condemns Rath Lugh Intervention

May 14, 2008

The National Roads Authority has stated work is advancing on the M3 motorway in the area close to the Rath Lugh National Monument. Protesters and conservationists have stated that the esker, a glacial ridge, is an integral part of the 2,000-year-old fortification. Construction work on the Rath Lugh section of the M3 has continued regardless, with the north and southbound sections being excavated to foundation level. Crushed stone has been poured into this foundation to allow haulage trucks past Rath Lugh.

    Rath Lugh was already the scene of clashes in March 2008. Three people were arrested when protesters tried to stop construction workers from erecting a permanent steel fence between the fort and the proposed route that the motorway will follow. A metal palisade fence was erected between the construction site of the M3, close to the Rath Lugh national monument in Co. Meath, and a camp in which protesters and conservationists were based.

    The fence was completed by road-building contractor Eurolink on Saturday, 22nd March.

    The NRA says it is putting in place what is known as a ‘box cut’, which outlines the road’s route. It is also building a quib wall and security fencing. It says the steps are being taken for health and safety reasons, and with the advice and consent of the Gardaí.

On Friday 21 March 2008, the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, of the Green Party, was reported as stating that he could “give a cast-iron assurance” that the national monument at Rath Lugh would not be damaged by building the motorway along the current alignment.” Professor George Eogan * travelled to Rath Lugh with the TaraWatch group, and witnessed the building works there. Read the rest of this entry »