A new informative and entertaining guidebook on Tara by Dr Mairéad Carew was launched on the Hill of Tara on 25 August. It was a fantastic evening on the Hill of Tara, and the fine weather helped to entice a large crowd to the event. The guidebook, which is richly illustrated, is full of fascinating facts, observations and insights into one of the most important archaeological sites in Ireland.
This book, written by Mairéad Carew, a cultural historian, archaeologist and author of Tara and the Ark of the Covenant answers many questions about Tara. Have you ever wondered who built Tara and why and if prehistoric people worshipped the stars there? Was there really a boy-king discovered and an Egyptian princess buried in a tomb with the Ark of the Covenant? Did Queen Victoria wear the Tara brooch? Was it just Irish people or did Romans come to live on the Hill of Tara? The book includes reconstructions of some of the monuments found beneath the soil at Tara as well as cartoons by the Irish artist Annie West. Click here for details of where you can buy the book http://www.discoveryprogramme.ie/publication/tara-the-guidebook
The launch was a cultural evening featuring music by Odhrán Ó Casaide from the DIT Conservatory, as well as Mairead’s children Aoife Nic Domhnaill and Fiach Mac Domhnaill. Sorcha Ní Fhloinn read Paul Muldoon’s poem Tara of the Kings. The book was formally launched by Prof George Eogan, who recounted his experience of working on the excavations in Tara in the 1950s and the many eminent international experts who visited those excavations. The music and conversation continued at the reception in Maguires, where their canapes, wine and friendly service were enjoyed.
Tara: The Guidebook is an initiative of The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland and they have been carrying out research at Tara since their foundation 25 years ago. This is the second guidebook in the current series. Dr Edel Bhreathnach, the CEO of the Discovery Programme and patron of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society, has focused their 25th anniversary celebrations on advocating the intrinsic value of our rich heritage of archaeology and history to modern Irish society. The Discovery Programme aims to enable people to become the custodians of their own landscapes and to create a vibrant community of scholars to interpret these landscapes.
Mairead was interviewed for LMFM on the day of the launch, 25 August 2016, and for the Late Lunch show on 23 September 2016. Listen here (starting at 41:20)