'The host is riding from Knocknarea
And over the grave of Clooth-na-bare;
Caolte tossing his burning hair
And Niamh calling Away, come away:
Empty your heart of its mortal dream.'
The Hosting of the Sidhe, by W.B Yeats.
Irish Times (25/08/2012) :
'Sir, – I visited Maeve’s Cairn on Knocknarea Mountain, Co Sligo, on Wednesday. There is a sign at the beginning of the walk informing visitors not to climb the cairn at the top of the mountain or to remove stones from it. At the cairn itself, however, there are no signs whatsoever.
Every other tourist, without exception, climbed to the top of the cairn and on their descent many removed stones in order to form their initials on the surrounding ground.
Perhaps it would be advisable for Sligo County Council to erect warning signs at the cairn and, if necessary, to restrict access to this important monument as it in danger of being seriously degraded or even dismantled. – Yours, etc,
Dr CAOIMHÍN BREATNACH
MRIA, School of Irish, Celtic
Studies, Irish Folklore and
UCD, Dublin 4.'
My last post on Salon described the vandalism of the Lia Fáil monument in Tara, http://open.salon.com/blog/poethead/2012/08/11/a_turn_at_tara
At a personal level, I believe that heritage care was sacrificed to fast-track aggressive planning laws, which disavowed the necessity of stewardship and responsibility in governance.
Tara is but one vulnerable site in a country where planning laws were two a penny, and where not one Conservation Bill passed through the Irish Oireachtas during 13 years of Fianna Fáil governance.
Those readers interested in folklore should try and get 'The Celtic Twilight ', by W.B Yeats. The tales embody Maeve, whose cairn is currently being played with by children who do not understand the place of mythos and folklore in the development of their country -