Corrections and additions from Fr Tom O'Connor to the
 text of Tara / Skreen e-mail dated February 4th 2004.

  To go directly to the start of the  corrections  text please click here 

  To go directly to the start of the  Royal complex  text please click here 

Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2004 3:14 AM
Subject: Re: >>> Pointing out some serious errors
Dear Fr Tom,
Thank you for correcting the errors.
Please know that I have no problems at all about publicly passing on the corrections (in the way you have set out below), and in fact I believe it might be generally very helpful if I did?
I could, for example, just send an e-mail like this one to the Tara / Skreen Group, and the other people involved?  However, I will wait to hear from you before doing anything regarding this.
While I naturally regret the errors in question, I did the best I could with the time available to me, in circumstances whereby the Government N6 Upgrade Road Project - which is scheduled to go right through the very heart of the Turoe/Knocknadala set of ancient monuments - appears to be all going "full-steam-ahead" at the present time: in spite of the mountains of important historical information you have produced regarding them. There is also, among SEVERAL other things, the matter of the information contained in the petition dated September 22nd 2003 to the European Parliament at the following address (none of which has been disputed by anybody that I know of):
It seems to me that NOBODY else (apart from myself) who is associated with the Turoe Celtic Society Group has tried to do ANYTHING at all to point out to the Tara/Skreen Group that Turoe and Knocknadala ever even existed, and that a major part of the Hill of Tara's Iron Age "history" appears to have come from there.  From my viewpoint, I was simply trying to address this problem (as best I could) - as and when opportunities to do so arose. 
Assuming you are willing to have me forward this e-mail as soon as possible to the people in question, I personally do not think that any huge amount of damage will have been done as far as the facts of history (or anything else) are concerned.  I certainly hope not, and it certainly was not my intention to mislead anybody. 
As always, and as can clearly be seen from my Internet web sites, my concern and my efforts primarily relate to the prevention of unlawful damage by Government to the ancient monuments of Ireland: as well as to the more important of the heritage landscapes of Ireland (which I consider BOTH the Turoe/Knocknadala, and the Tara/Skreen areas to be).
Finally, I would like to make it clear to all involved that I personally have no concerns whatsoever about being charged with libel - either by the Government, or by anyone else. 
Best wishes,
Billy Finnerty.
---- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: Pointing out some serious errors
Dear Billy,
I thank you for all the many e-mails you have forwarded to me full of very interesting information on many issues and of your own unrelenting efforts to put things right. I always read all of them with great interest and have not deleted any so far. However, in your latest email, particularly relating to the "Five Great Roads", there are a number of very serious errors which will not do your own cause any good, are a serious insult and hurt to the Tara/Screen group, and will have my book "Hand Of History, Burden of Pseudo-History" condemned and laughed to scorn before ever I get it published (you ascribed the information you provided to my book "Turoe and Athenry, Ancient Capitals of Celtic Ireland" p. 49-61). It seems you were replying to Dr. Zion's request for information on the 5 Great Roads of ancient Ireland. The false information you have provided may be due to some misunderstanding or because you have not seen the full text of my larger book. However, whatever the cause, I give the correct information here, and I hope you get a chance to put it right with Dr. Zion, the Tara/Screen Group, and any others concerned before it is too late.
Nowhere do I state, nor does anyone else for that matter as far as I know, that the "5 great roads of ancient Ireland were centred on Turoe and NOT on Tara". That would be an enormous blunder and draw the wrathful fire of all the historians and archaeologists and all the friends of Tara down on our heads with very good reason. On the top of p. 50 of my "Turoe and Athenry..." is a list of the 5 great roads of ancient Ireland alleged to have radiated out from Tara by all the medieval records (for what they are worth). They are Sli Dala, Sli Midh Luachra, Sli Coolan, Sli nAssail and the Escir Riada. Two of these were well known ancient Cruthin highways emerging from Tara, namely, the Sli Midh Luachra to Emain Macha (Armagh), and the Sli nAssail to Rath Croghan of Roscommon. They have left slight traces in the vicinity of Tara hill. The whole northern half of Ireland, including Tara and Rath Croghan of Roscommon were part of ancient Ulster at the time of Queen Medb. Several traces of the Sli nAssail were well known in the Midlands. And there may well have been a Sli Coolan too running from Tara to the Coolan district in SE Dublin although no trace of the latter has been found, as far as I know. However, the Bruiden Da Derga story attempting to link Tara and that Dublin bound Sli Coolan to the alleged Hihgh King Conaire's travels and death is altogether out of place. It seems to have been plundered from Conaire's travels along the Sli Coolann of Turoe. 
The two most famous ancient roads of all in that list did not converge on Tara at all but on Turoe of Galway, namely the Sli Dala and the Escir Riada. They did not even go near Tara. The Escir Riada crossed the Shannon at Shannonbridge before swinging East. Roads 3 and 5 on your list, Rot na Ri and Sli Luachra, very important though they were, were never mentioned as among the 5 great roads, at least in pseudo-history. It is better put this right with Dr.Zion and the Tara/Screen Group before they rebel against you and me and rebuke the Turoe/Athenry Group altogether.
Another point I might make (made clearly in my larger unpublished book) is that all the Ui Neill pseudo-historians admit openly that Niall of the 9 Hostages was illegitimate, despite the difficulty this presented them with in projecting him as High King of Ireland. As a younger son, and illegitimate to wit, he was ordered by his elders to advance north against the Ulstermen and win swordland for himself. But even after capturing the Tara district his descendants never used Tara as an inauguration site of their kings (so called High Kings). They were inaugurated in such places as Lagore well away from Tara.
All the Irish names on Ptolemy's record, as well as on his record for all parts of the world, are in Greek lettering, not just Auteinri. The Greek letter for 'r' as in Auteinri is like an 'o' with a little tail. It was misinterpreted by some copyists as Auteinoi. The Greek ending 'oi' connotes a people, not a place. So the name was placed among the list of peoples in the west of Ireland. Several authors have tried to claim that it refers to the ancient Uaithni people. What they do not realize is the ancestors of the Uaithni were the Votadini or the Fotads of Magh Fot, Moyode near Athenry. They did not arrive in Ireland until some two centuries after the time of Ptolemy and hence he cannot possibly have been referring to them. The original was Auteinri.
Lastly, instead of saying that the Superdump is to be located at Cross a mile or two from the Turoe Stone, (which might seem far away enough for some people), it might be good to state something like: "It is located right on the E fringe of the inner ward of the Turoe/Knocknadala Royal complex", to bring out the serious environmental threat it will be to that complex also.  
That is enough for now. Thanks again. And great success with your work.
Fr. Tom O Connor  
----- Original Message -----
To: Fr Tom
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2004 7:05 PM
Subject: Fw (to Fr Tom): Judicial investigation motion (Green Party Galway Convention, March 2004)
To:  Turoe Celtic Society Membership
Please note that there are several references below relating to the protection of what many believe to be EXTREMELY important heritage sites in the Turoe/Knocknadala area (East County Galway) - which are NOW under very serious threat.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 12:27 PM
Subject: Fw: [Tara/Skreen] Additional information on the "5 great roads of ancient Ireland" ...
Dear Ciaran,
In connection with the "Judicial Investigation" motion being put forward at the Green Party March 2004 Annual Convention in Galway, you may wish to consider the information in the " 5 roads  " e-mail below (Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:05 PM.).
Allowing for developments here on the ground, I would suggest you consider widening the "investigation" so that it includes some mention of the New Inn Superdump:  as well as the very important "5 roads" issue, which, as I see it, is a matter of NATIONAL (and indeed international) importance. 
I'm not sure if the Green Party will be putting forward any candidate in the Ballinasloe area (for the county council elections) If not, the law student I mentioned to you when we met in Tuam last summer MIGHT still be interested.  However, and in so far as I can judge, the young lady in question would almost certainly feel that she would need to be completely free to speak openly in support of the Aarhus Convention principles, and, to challenge (at every opportunity) the present constitutionality of Waste Management Amendment Act 2002: which, as you no doubt know, removed power from the locally elected political representatives in a way many feel is in total breach of Article 28A of the Constitution. 
Unfortunately, it seems (to me at least) that "Aarhus" and "Article 28A" are BOTH completely taboo subjects for ALL of the political parties here in the Republic of Ireland at the present time??? - which, local problems apart, appears to me to be a VERY sad and worrying reflection on Irish society as a whole.  What is the world coming to, I find myself wondering?  And what will it take to wake people up?
You may find it useful to know that, in connection with the two large rubbish dumps planned for my local area, a number of people here have felt a HUGE boost of hope from the fact that the Supreme Court recently found in favour of the "Carraigminers".  There is a growing feeling here that Waste Management Amendment Act 2002 is also the product of "Government fiddling" - which is very slyly changing laws that were constitutional, into laws that are not. 
It may also be worth mentioning that - from what I hear - both the Kilconnell and the New Inn Anti-Dump Groups would like to see a local candidate running in the June 2004 county council elections.  However, it seems (not surprisingly perhaps) that they have so far been unable to find anyone willing to take on the job - which in my view could be a VERY difficult one: if they were to do their job in a way that truly benefited the LOCAL community that is.
Looking forward to seeing yourself and Siobhan at the Public Meeting in Ballyfa, New Inn on Monday (February 9th) - assuming both of you can make it.  I believe you can expect a large crowd, and this is partly because of an "ANTI-DUMP NEWSFLASH" document being distributed in the local area during recent days. 
Best wishes,
PS:  You may wish to take account of the fact that a copy of the "5 roads" e-mail reproduced below can also be found at the Tara/Skreen address just beneath this paragraph; and, that the Tara/Skreen web sites thankfully (from my viewpoint) appear to be going from strength-to-strength on a daily basis - due much to the efforts of Irish lawyer Vincent Salafia.

----- Original Message -----
Further information on the " 5 great roads of ancient Ireland "   >>>  following Dr Zion's recent request ...
A number of people who have very carefully examined the situation believe that the "5 great roads of ancient Ireland" were centred on Turoe (in County Galway), and NOT on Tara (in County Meath). 
The location of Turoe & Knocknadala (meaning "Hill of Parliament" in Celtic) shown on Ptolemy's map at the address immediately below, and indicated by the most southerly of the two locations marked "Regia", compares well with modern maps:*.html
A modern map (which has ZOOM facilities) of the Turoe / Knocknadala / Athenry area can be found at the following address:
Athenry (as in the song "Fields of Athenry") is referred to in Ptolemy's Greek record as "Auteinri" - meaning "Home of the Kings".  The use of a Greek word for an Irish placename should not surprise anybody too much because the Celts were a transnational race/group of peoples, and it seems likely they had numerous interactions with the ancient Greeks: which included an uninvited visit to Delphi in 278 B.C..  Many believe that the set of linear symbols which go all around the Turoe Stone (about two-thirds down from the top) are the result of Greek influence. 
A photograph of the Turoe Stone can be seen at:
Although more than 5 roads possibly converged on the Turoe / Knocknadala area, the "5 great roads" are thought to be those listed below.
Road 1:  Went in a south-easterly direction from Turoe/Knocknadala to what is now known as the town of Roscrea (in County Tipperary), and it was known as "Sli Dala" - which in the Celtic language means "Parliament Way". 
Road 2: The Esker Riada which ran from west to east right through the middle of Ireland from the eastern part of Galway Bay, through Turoe, and then on to Dublin.  It crossed the Shannon (Ireland's largest river) in the very centre of Ireland, close to Athlone.  Further to the east it passed through the Maynooth area - which is roughly 15 miles due south of the Hill of Tara.  More information on the Esker Riada can be found at:
Road 3:  "Rot na Ri" (meaning "Road of the Kings") went WSW from Turoe to "Ath Clee Magh Ri" - near Clarinbridge.  It is thought that this road may have been for the exclusive use of kings. 
Road 4:  Is known locally as "Sli Coolan", and it is believed to have been a royal avenue which encircled the Hill of Turoe.  Part of it ran through an area named "Fearta" (which is an old Celtic word for "royal cemetery"). 
Road 5:  The road named "Sli Luachra" went through Loughrea and County Clare, and ended in "Temhar Luachra"  - a Celtic "Fir Belg Capital"  five miles south of Limerick.
Though some may be a little disappointed on first learning this, there is strong evidence - for those who study the facts - to suggest that much of Tara's Iron Age history (i.e. 500 B.C. to 500 A.D. roughly) has been "stolen" from Turoe.
The reason (very briefly) MIGHT be something like this: Although Niall of the Nine Hostages (of "St Patrick" fame) appears to have been treated as a royal prince, there is reason to believe he may have been illegitimate.  Consequently, he could not have expected to inherit very much if he stayed on in the Turoe area, and he possibly decided to go north to Ulster (sometime in 400's A.D.) - where he was very successful in acquiring both land and power, and without having to get involved in fights with his own family. 
Not only did the descendants of Niall keep the family dynasty going in Ulster, they gradually expanded their territory to the south so that they began to have a certain limited amount of control over the Hill of Tara area - which of course already had a fabulous and extremely prestigious history of its own going back to the Neolithic period (say 8,000 to 2,000 B.C. for Ireland).  They then started using the Hill of Tara as an inauguration site for their kings, and by way of some "icing on the cake" (all be it fraudulent), their "historians" transplanted the history of Turoe - which partly belonged to them anyway - onto the Hill of Tara. 
Unfortunately, the first Millennium A.D. piece of historical trickery is now producing some unwanted consequences which members of the O'Neill Dynasty of the time might not have wished for:
a)  A major new road (the N6 Upgrade) is now scheduled to run right through the very heart of what's left of the Turoe/Knocknadala complex of ancient heritage sites.
b)  A government superdump is scheduled to be located about a mile or two from the Turoe Stone (in an area know as Cross).  Nicknamed locally as "The Mother of all Superdumps", the plan is to feed it from the new N6 Upgrade road mentioned above - which may, some suspect, mean that rubbish of all kinds will be brought into the area from all over Ireland. 
c)  A privately owned Greenstar/Celtic Waste "County Galway" rubbish dump, plus an incinerator possibly at a later date some think, is also planned for Kilconnell - which has an important Franciscan Friary dating from the 1300s that more or less sits on top of the Esker Riada, about 6 miles east of Turoe.  For further information, please see:
This particular Greenstar project also seems to destroy ALL hope of anybody ever wanting to restore the magnificent and historic set of buildings known locally as Woodlawn House - which is the ancestral home of the present Lord Ashtown.  Though several property developers have shown intense interest in restoring Woodlawn House during recent years, who in their right mind would want to live (hold their wedding reception, or play golf. etc., etc.) next door to a HUGE rubbish dump?  More information on Woodlawn House can be found at:
d)  Additional information relating to efforts by a local group (now called the Turoe Celtic Society) can be seen at:
Note 1:  Much of the above "5 roads" information comes from pages 49 to 61 of the July 2003 publication titled "Turoe and Athenry: Ancient Capitals of Celtic Ireland", which was written by Fr. Tom OíConnor and edited by Dr. Kieran Jordan.  This publication is a very heavily edited version of a much larger book called "Hand of History - Burden of Pseudo-History" - which is the result of 40 years of painstaking research carried out by Fr Tom O'Connor.
Dr Kieran Jordan's contact information can be found at:
Note 2:  The above mentioned Greenstar/Celtic Waste rubbish-dump project was the subject of a petition to the European Parliament made on February 1st 2002.  The text of the petition can be seen at: 
The above mentioned N6 Upgrade project has also been the subject of a petition to the European Parliament on September 22nd 2003, the text of which can be seen at:
In spite of these two petitions to the European Parliament, the Republic of Ireland Government it is still going "full-steam-ahead" with both of the projects in question (to the very best of my knowledge).  In connection with these projects, there has been no consultation with the local civilian population of the kind mentioned in the Aarhus Convention agreement: which both the European Community and the Republic of Ireland "signed" (as "contracting parties") in 1998.  Further information can be found at:
Note 3: Though very little work has yet been done on the web site itself, an MSN "group" facility has been set up for people interested in trying to preserve Woodlawn House.  Sadly, and partly because of a large hole in one part of the roof which is being left unattended, some local people believe this very important heritage complex MIGHT already have passed the "point-of-no-return" (in terms of cost-effective restoration). The MSN web site facility, which is now fully functional as far members of the public wishing to join is concerned, can be viewed at:
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 8:13 PM
Subject: [Celtic Party] 5 great roads of ancient Ireland
Reply to recent request (from Dr Zion) for information regarding the 5 great roads of ancient Ireland.
"Intriguingly, Escir Riada and Sligh Dala are claimed to have been among the 5 great roads of ancient Ireland."
For further information, please see:
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Those requiring additional information regarding the level of the difficulties involved in trying to protect what's left of the ancient monuments in the Turoe/Knocknadala area may wish to view the Google listing at the address provided below:



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