Newgrange Ireland

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Letters to the Editor - Irish Times 26/3/84

Sir, Your full-page article of Saturday, March 17th, "Before Patrick" has triggered in me an impulse to write to you. At first, when I saw the photo of the great entrance stone at Newgrange, I looked forward to reading the article. Then having finished it I experienced a perplexing "let-down" feeling. This marvellous site, one of the seven wonders of the world, is repeatedly referred to as being a mere cemetery, a necropolis, and its builders nothing more than "court tomb" building slaves. The archaeologist sees graves and undifferentiated type tombs everywhere. How easy it is for him to accept this theory and project onto this proud, ancient and enlightened race, a necrophilous orientation, an orientation towards which our own present-day culture by all accounts leans, since all our energies are bent towards war and destruction.

Before this magnificent monument, built in celebration of man's ability to free himself form the tyranny of his circumstances and dark superstition is open to the public, I would urge anyone who is seriously interested in our archaeological heritage to first read Martin Brennan's book on the Boyne Valley Geometers; then the mysterious and painstakingly carved stones may have more meaning for him. Martin Brennan has systematically scrutinised a vast number of these carved stones on site, and from his observations and mathematical experiments confidently postulates that these "stones" were "akin to cosmic clocks, telling time of day, month, year and epoch, and also show latitude, conjunction of planets, moonrises and settings, eclipses etc."

I feel very proud to belong to a species brave enough and curious enough to raise its head from the ground and ask itself the question "What is the stars?" Then through dedicated labour and trust in tested knowledge came the answer, and an inner light dawned.

The eyes of the archaeological world are certainly trained on us ­ are we as brave and dedicated to enlightenment as those ancient people of (Light)???

Yours, etc. Ursula Walsh

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Boyne Valley Private Day Tours

Boyne Valley Tours Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour: Newgrange World Heritage site, 10th century High Crosses at Monasterboice, Hill of Tara the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick let a Paschal fire in 433  More ...