Nobel prize winning poet Seamus Heaney has joined Hollywood actress Charlize Theron and artist Louis le Brocquy in the campaign against the M3 motorway.
The writer has donated a number of rare, signed works for sale at an auction which will also see a unique drawing of the Oscar winning actress sold off.
Money raised will pay for experts to travel to a Unesco summit in Canada next month as they lobby the body to discuss the M3 near the archaeologically-rich Hill of Tara.
Vincent Salafia, head of the TaraWatch group, said Heaney wrote to him last week offering the work for auction.
“We are honoured and inspired by Mr Heaney’s patronage,” Mr Salafia said.
“With Heaney and le Brocquy on board, and Aosdana supporting, we see this as the entire Irish arts community rowing in behind us.”
Heaney has donated a signed limited edition collection of poems and two highly collectible works: In Their Element, by Heaney & Derek Mahon; Moore’s Melodies, edited by David Hammond, with an introduction by Seamus Heaney, both of which are signed and a first edition of Selected Poems 1966-1987.
In the letter Heaney said: “The Moore selection includes The Harp That Once [Through Tara’s Halls], so it seems right for the job.”
The items will be sold off along with a unique pencil portrait of Oscar-winning film star Charlize Theron by artist Jim Fitzpatrick and a Louis le Brocquy print of ’Human Image XIII’.
Campaigners hope the UN body will designate Tara, which is already included in the World Monuments Fund’s 2008 Watch List of the 100 most endangered sites, as a world heritage site.
The public auction will take place some time in August.