A petition to re-inter the remains of those whose graves were “desecrated” during excavations for the M3 motorway through the Tara Skryne Valley, was handed in at Dáil Eireann on Monday.
Campaigners are demanding that the remains removed from their ancient sacred burial grounds now be re-interred in a respectful and dignified manner as closely as possible to their original resting places and as closely as possible to their original ceremonial layout. This campaign was given the backing of the World Archaeological Conference (WAC) held in Dublin in 2008 and attended by over 1,800 archaeologists, native peoples and international scholars from 74 nations.
The WAC said: “Recognising that the reburial of ancient remains in Ireland is subject to the provisions of the National Monuments Act and the agreement of the National Museum of Ireland, the World Archaeological Congress also draws attention to the Vermillion Accord on human remains and suggests that any human remains excavated from the cultural landscape of Tara should be re-interred with due respect as close as possible to their original locations, as this is where these people would have wished to be buried.”
It is estimated that between 60 to 90 remains were removed from Collierstown, the reputed burial site of the Fianna after the Battle of Gabhra in 284AD. Over 27 were removed from Ardsallagh and many more were taken from individual sites along the route of the M3 motorway route.
The organisers of the petition, Tomás Mac Cormaic and Carmel Diviney, thanked all supporters worldwide for adding to the call to put pressure on the Irish Government and the National Museum of Ireland to show due respect to Tara’s ancestral remains.
“We hope that the thousands of other remains unearthed during construction works throughout the country, which are not being held for scientific research purposes, will likewise be given dignified and respectful reburial without delay,” they said.