Petition to European Parliament
(Text of letter dated September 22nd 2003 reproduced below)
New N6 Road to go through middle of Turoe & Knocknadala Celtic Oppidum
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Mr. William Patrick Finnerty
September 22nd 2003
Dear Sir / Madam,
Re: Heritage sites in Turoe / Knocknadala area of East Galway, Ireland
I am concerned about the protection of heritage sites which I believe are now under serious threat in the area I grew up in as a child (in New Inn, East Galway, Republic of Ireland).
This is because of a major new road which is at present in the planning stage.
I strongly suspect that the heritage sites in question were constructed by Celtic peoples during the Iron Age period. (For Ireland, the "Iron Age" roughly covers the period 500 B.C. to 500 A.D..)
As Volume III of the Archaeological Inventory of County Galway has not yet been published, I do not have the benefit of knowing what the professional archaeologists responsible for producing the inventory know about the ancient monuments in question. (Volume III is scheduled to cover the Turoe & Knocknadala area, and the closely associated Athenry area as well.)
It may be worth mentioning that, under the terms of Section 12 of our
NATIONAL MONUMENTS (AMENDMENT) ACT 1994, it seems to me that Volume III
should have been made available to the general public quite some time ago.
For further information on Section 12, please see Internet location:
The part of the new road mentioned above is referred to in Galway County Council "Public Consultation" paperwork as the "N6 Galway to East Ballinasloe" section.
Galway County Council (i.e. Local Government) has recently confirmed (to me) that they intend to begin the "Compulsory Purchase Order" process for the land they require for the "Emerging Preferred Route" by the end of this year - which is just 14 weeks or so away.
Legal advice I have received suggests that once Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) have been issued, it will be virtually impossible to halt or reverse the building of the new road through the Turoe & Knocknadala area. Consequently, I now feel a sense of URGENCY regarding this appeal.
"Knocknadala" - "Cnoc na Dála" in the Celtic language - LITERALLY means "Hill of Parliament". As far as I know, there is no other place in Ireland (or anywhere else in Europe) called Knocknadala at the present time.
Knocknadala is just a few hundred meters from where the world famous Turoe Stone is located. Several well-informed people speculate that the original location of the Turoe Stone represented the centre of the Celtic world during some part of the Iron Age period, just as the "Omphalos" Stone in the oracle at Delphi in Greece represented the centre of the ancient Greek world in the first Millennium B.C.
There are numerous reports which suggest physical and cultural similarities between the Turoe Stone and the Delphi Stone. In addition, there are several accounts of at least one very historic visit (uninvited) by a group of Celts to Delphi around 278 B.C., which was led by a person named Brennos apparently.
A growing number of people now seem to believe that the Turoe Stone is
the most important piece of Celtic stone-art in the world. Further
information can be found at:
Maps based on information provided by the Greek mathematician Ptolemy
(circa 87 to 150 AD) show two Celtic royal sites in Ireland, both of which
are indicated by the word "Regia". The "Regia" in the south (shown on the
map at the Internet address immediately below) is very OBVIOUSLY in the
Turoe / Knocknadala / Athenry area of East Galway:
A recently published book titled "Turoe & Athenry: Ancient Capitals of Celtic Ireland", written by Fr. Tom O'Connor, suggests that Turoe & Knocknadala, and Athenry, were at the centre of a vast oppidum which was surrounded by a large system of earthen embankments which extended outwards through the whole of the eastern half of County Galway (and beyond), and that these fortifications are similar to other defence systems built by Iron Age Celtic peoples in places such as Belgium, Northern France, and South East England.
Though 40 or so major oppida have so far been identified across a broad zone of Europe stretching from England to Hungry, in places such as Hengistbury Head, Paris, Namur, Heuneberg, Basle, Budapest, and Trísov (for example), the one identified by Fr. Tom O'Connor is the very FIRST to be identified in Ireland (as far as I know).
I am including with this petition a copy of the "Turoe & Athenry: Ancient Capitals of Celtic Ireland" book - which, I would like to stress, is a very heavily edited version of a much larger work by Fr. Tom O' Connor titled: "Hand of History, Burden of Pseudo-History" (which he has compiled over a 40 year period of painstaking research apparently).
I believe that a considerable amount of what remains of the earthen embankments in and around the Knocknadala area will be damaged (or completely destroyed possibly) if the present "Emerging Preferred Route" route for the new road goes ahead.
Allowing for the fact that there are alternative routes available to the road planners, there appears to me to be no good reason for damaging and/or destroying heritage sites in the Knocknadala area. If, for example, any of the route choices marked "1", "4", or "5" on the Galway County Council planning maps were chosen, none of the ancient monuments around the Hill of Knocknadala area would need to be disturbed.
Many of the ancient monuments mentioned in "Turoe & Athenry:
Ancient Capitals of Celtic Ireland" have already been completely
destroyed. These include the one described on Page 41 of the book as: "A
vast stadium-like embanked enclosure" which "was recently bulldozed into
oblivion to make way for the Third Millennium!!". As well as being one of
the easiest for members of the public to see, it was also one of the most
interesting (and least understood). Before-and-after pictures of this
destroyed monument, which was possibly destroyed with the use of a
government grant, can be seen at the following Internet address:
The site where the Turoe Stone originally stood has also been completely destroyed. It was called the "Rath of Feerwore", and it was just a few hundred meters from where the Turoe Stone is at present located.
There is much controversy surrounding the public consultation process which resulted in the present choice of route for the new N6 Upgrade road. One report, which relates DIRECTLY to the specific problem, is titled "Sorry, you've sent that in the wrong envelope"; and it was taken to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (in Johannesburg) in August 2002 by an Irish delegation. It contained the following statement: "The consultation model used at present can best be described as a sham". Among other things, this same report very clearly records that there was at least one instance of a government minister interfering in the decision making process in a way which was wholly inappropriate.
The "Sorry, you've sent that in the wrong envelope" story is one of 34
in a much larger publication titled: "Telling it like it is". In addition,
this document contains a section under the heading: "Inadequate Impact
Assessment". The overall feeling I get from this publication is that the
law connected with EU Directive 97/11/EC is not being taken seriously here
in the Republic of Ireland - though large amounts of extremely expensive
"window-dressing" appears to have deceived many people into falsely
believing that it is. I am particularly conscious of the fact that Point 3
(in Annex IV) makes specific reference to "archaeological heritage" - as
can be seen at Internet address:
Free electronic copies of the full text of the "Telling it like it is"
document referred to above can be found through the following
I am aware of the EU Institutions Press Release dated July 22nd 2003
(at the address immediately below) where it is stated that a "final
written warning due to shortcomings in the Irish legislation governing
EIAs" has been issued by the EU Commission to the Republic of Ireland.
Unfortunately, this action does not appear to have done any good - not
from my viewpoint at least.
I am also aware that, as stated at the Internet address immediately
below, the Republic of Ireland ratified the European Valetta Convention in
1997 (European Treaty Series 143). It seems to me that Article 5 is
particularly relevant to this petition. Unfortunately, it also appears to
me that Article 5 is very largely being ignored (in practice).
Numerous attempts have been made by me in recent years to communicate
the information regarding local heritage sites (including those at Turoe
& Knocknadala) to senior politicians. As can be seen in the
registered-letter receipt section at the bottom of the Internet page
address immediately below, which is just one example of MANY I could
provide you with, the politicians informed include Prime Minister Ahern,
and President Mary McAleese:
All things considered, it now seems to me that I badly need the help of the European Parliament and the European Commission - if what's left of the archaeological heritage in the Knocknadala area is to be kept intact.
A copy of the text of this letter will be placed at the following
Internet address within the coming few days (which it is hoped will have
translation facilities for most of the world's main languages):
It would be much appreciated if you could let me have written acknowledgement of receipt for this letter within the coming 30 days please.
Mr. William Patrick Finnerty.
Nationality: Republic of Ireland.
Copy of book titled: "Turoe & Athenry: Ancient Capitals of Celtic Ireland"
Web site associated with book: http://www.turoeandathenry.com/
COPY (INCLUDING BOOK) TO:
Ms. Margot Wallström (European Union Environmental Commissioner).
Copies of Post Office registered receipts used in connection with the above petition:
Post Office Internet tracking service for registered letters
Reply dated October 8th 2003 from the European Parliament
Reply dated July 6th 2005
Information on petitioning the European Parliament
Direct link to EU web site:
Flyers for "Knocknadala" Petition
Flyer for above "Knocknadala"
Petition to European Parliament
The Aarhus Convention
" Specifically, the Aarhus Convention aims to:
"Confucius say (on world order) ... "
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