THE ARTS AND Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan has condemned the suspected acts of vandalism to the Lia Fail Standing Stone at Tara in Co Meath.
The Lia Fail Standing Stone was noted as being damaged last weekend with a further inspection by the National Monuments Service confirming that it had been stuck in eleven places on all four sides possibly with a hammer or similar instrument.
“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,” Deenihan said in a statement today.
Fragments of the standing stone have been removed and the matter has now been reported to the Gardaí.
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said that the granite stone is an “extremely important national monument” and features extensively in ancient texts.
The stone is associated with the inauguration rites for the Kings of Tara. It was moved to its current position in the early nineteenth century.
Deenihan said: “Vandalism – by definition – is a mindless act. The national monuments at Tara, which include this standing stone, are nationally and internationally renowned.
“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.”