I was told officially, when I went for tea at the Tara Tea Rooms grand
There was a major excavation, beyond my expectation, so I went with my
cap in my hand...
And when I got to that Sacred spot, well, I could only admire the view
High above that money-mad-mile under the Tara sky so blue...)
When the earth sheds it’s skin, the energy within is unstoppable
creative force
And if you’re driving a machine through the Tara-Skryne your race has
run its course
We’re singin’ up the land, not afraid to take a stand to let Creation
shine through
High above that money-mad-mile under the Tara sky so blue...

We’ve all been awoken, the Word has been spoken ‘Stop the work on the
And people get ready, keep the Spirit steady, we gotta raise the roof
up for a while
It’s the Spirit of the Land or the Plan of the Damned, and it’s a hell
of a thing to do
But we’re gonna fly high above that money-mad-mile under the Tara sky
so blue...

Do you hear the sound through the holy ground where the ancient Fianna
In their gravelly beds, the Spirits of the dead and the Lia Fáil weep
And wherever we rest, in this world or the next, we will have learnt a
thing or two
High above that money-mad-mile under the Tara sky so blue!

The cynical-clinical clones of construction seem to think that we’re
some kind of clowns
So we’ve got to pull together through this stormy weather
to make those money-mad-men back down
And if they take us all away, we’ll have to watch and pray
over this wreck of the Ship Of Fools
High above that money-mad-mile, under the Tara sky so blue...

There’s a solution to this cultural pollution that’s goin’ on in Gabhra
Take the route to the West, the short road is best, no Toll through the
Born wild and free, people like me are not gonna see this road go
And soon we’ll being flying high above that money-mad-mile under the
Tara sky so blue...

There’s no need to panic, we’re a natural organic dynamic, rekindling
the ancient fire
So politicians rethink, step back from the brink, and listen to the
dawn choir
These are timeless rights, so we’ll sit here through the nights
and we will fight for what is true
High above that money-mad-mile under the Tara sky so blue!
Copyright © Steve Cooney 2007
Liam Ó Maonlai - vocals, piano
Laoise Kelly - wire harp
Odhrán Ó Casaide - violin, uilleann pipes
Steve Cooney - guitars, bass, percussion, ditjeridú, production

Liam is probably best-known as the lead-singer of one of Ireland’s most popular groups, ‘The Hothouse Flowers’ . Liam and his family have strong links with the West Kerry Gaeltacht

TARA - THE GREAT GOVERNMENT INSULT AND betrayal - the green party minister contributes to our history book of MacMurrough
25 July

'Categorical Rejection of Claims by Minister Gormley that he is
Powerless to Save Tara'

TaraWatch categorically rejects the claims made today by Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to the effect that he is powerless to save the heritage under threat by the M3 motorway at the Hill of Tara.

The Minister makes a number of claims in a question and answer type document that have been addressed in a detailed response document (attached) prepared by TaraWatch, after taking independent legal

The Minister is understating and downplaying his options, as well as the significance of the Lismullin henge. We are releasing a document to he media today that shows he has the power to act. The Minister is ignoring the fact that a new souterrain or underground complex has been discovered in the pathway of the M3 (as reported in the Irish Times on Friday 20th July).

TaraWatch also calls on the Minister to intervene in the situation at Tara immediately, to ensure the safety of both workers and demonstrators. The acceptance of the bail conditions today by the seven Tara demonstrators in Navan District Court should not be seen as an acceptance of the legaility of the M3 works. If Meath County Council wants to prevent further demonstrations, it should seek a civil injunction instead of allowing construction workers to physically remove demonstrators.

Vincent Salafia said:

"Not only does the Minister have the power to protect the monuments at Tara, but a number of factors now legally require him to do so. "The discovery of a very significant new site, the Reasoned Opinion of
the European Commission and the inclusion of Tara on the 100 Most Endangered Sites list are 'changes in material circumstances', which now empower and compel him to act.

"We are asking for an immediate meeting with the Minister, who has stated he has an 'open door' policy, in order to present these arguments in detail and avoid litigation and further direct conflict over the issue.


Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365


[Please visit for a copy of 'The Status of the Archaeological Monuments in the Core Zone of Tara' by Conor Newman, Joe Fenwick and Edel Bhreatnach.

TaraWatch Response to ‘Tara information note’

Questions and Answers

Can the Minister change the route of the M3 motorway?

Yes. The Minister has both the power and duty to reroute the M3. The Minister is aware that another monument has been recently discovered in the pathway of the M3’ a souterrain or underground series of chambers and passages from the circa 10th century approx 80 metres from the Lismullin henge. Excavations are being monitored by the Lismullin Advisory Committee, as the extent of the site continues to grow. If
Minister Gormley were to declare it a national monument, he would then have the power under section 14A of the National Monuments Act to give directions for preservation ‘in situ’.

The Act specifically provides for rerouting a motorway where the Minister makes this decision, and details how An Bord Pleanala can order a new Environment Impact Statement if the decision results in a ‘material’ change to the project. The European Commission has now
indicated that the decision to demolish a national monument is a
material change to the scheme, which necessitates a new Environmental
Impact Statement for this section.

In a recent Reasoned Opinion to the Minister the Commission has
indicated that the National Monuments Act 2004 is contrary to EU law
because it allows for demolition of a national monument, which is a
material change to the scheme envisaged by the original Environmental
Impact Assessment. This is in fact noted in the ‘First Report’ of the
Committee to the Minister; “The Committee was also advised that certain
legal issues have been raised by the EU and must be responded to by the

The Minister claims he cannot move the M3 because; “The route of the
motorway was chosen by Meath County Council and the National Roads
Authority five years ago, and approved by An Bord Pleanala in 2003.”
The Minister is now on legal notice from the EU that there has been a
material change to the approved scheme and must require a new EIA for
the Navan to Dunshaughlin section of the M3.

The Minister also has the power to legislate, and has already promised
a major review of heritage regulations. The current situation is not
unlike the Carrickmines Castle situation, where the Minister for the
Environment, Martin Cullen, introduced new legislation, dictating the
route of the M50. Section 8 of the National Monuments Act 2004 was
entitled “South Eastern Route and National Monuments Acts 1930 to
As Minister for Heritage, the Minister has a constitutional duty to
give the highest level of statutory protection possible to national
monuments, and has the power and duty to legislate to protect them, if
necessary. Since the EU has stated the Act is contrary to EU law, the
Minister should immediately expand the Lismullin Advisory Committee to
contain independent legal experts, who can advise on this matter.

Why does the Minister not impose such a preservation order?

The Minister misunderstands the call for a Preservation Order.
TaraWatch has called for an Order to be placed on all newly discovered
monuments in the Tara complex, which will then allow time for
conducting a new Environmental Impact Assessment.

The National Monuments Act provides for a Preservation Order; “Where it
appears to the Minister … that a national monument is in danger of
being or is actually being destroyed, injured, or removed, or is
falling into decay through neglect…”

The Minister has been supplied a Report by Conor Newman, Edel
Bhreatnach and Joe Fenwick, which states that the entire Tara complex
is a single national monument, and that every monument within it is
also a national monument, due to its context alone. This report is
being released to the media today by TaraWatch.

The Minister should place a preservation order on the Lismullin
Souterrain Complex, in light of the fact that it is a national
monument, which was not identified in the EIA and the An Bord Pleanala
planning permission of 2003 did not contemplate demolition of any
national monument. This will allow for conducting a new Environmental
Impact Assessment for the affected area of the route, as is required
under EU law.

What about Lismullin. Why does the Minister not impose a preservation
order on that site as it has been declared a national monument?

The Minister today states: “Minister Gormley has received legal advice
that he cannot reverse that decision unless he receives important new
additional information on the site, which was not in the possession of
the previous minister”
The Minister misstates the legal advice he was given by the Attorney
General. In the Statement by Minister Gormley on the M3: directions to
NRA’ 15/06/07 he states: “Without a change in material circumstances
affecting this case, there is no basis for amending the quasi judicial
determination recently made.”

TaraWatch maintain that there have been a number of changes in
circumstances, which were not considered by Minister Roche, including:
(1) The inclusion of the Tara complex on the World Monuments Fund, List
of 100 Most Endangered Sites (2) The Reasoned Opinion from the European
Commission, to the effect that the planning permission for the M3 is
fundamentally flawed, since it did not contemplate demolition of
national monuments, and (3) The discovery of a souterrain complex,
which was not excavated nor mentioned in the Directions given by
Minister Roche. (4) Expert advice shows that the site is a very rare
royal ceremonial enclosure, that sits in a natural amphitheatre. While
some of the features may be delicate, the site itself could easily be
preserved intact. Now being on legal notice of these circumstances,
Minister Gormley can and must take action to protect the surviving
monuments under threat.

What advice has Minister Gormley received on Lismullin?

The NRA has failed to designate the souterrain complex in Lismullin a
national monument, but a Report by Conor Newman, who sits on the
Lismullin Advisory Committee, shows it ‘should’ be designated as a
national monument.

The Minister was given a copy of the letter from Pat Wallace to Dick
Roche, congratulating him on designating Lismullin a national monument,
and saying that Baronstown should also have been designated such. This
should have put the Minister on notice that there is a problem with the
methodology being used by the National Roads Authority in designating
monuments national monuments.

TaraWatch has supplied the Minister with the Report by Conor Newman,
Edel Bhreatnach and Joe Fenwick, entitled ‘The Status of the
Archaeological Monuments in the Core Zone of Tara’. This Report states:

“In addition to these two sites or monuments of superior importance,
(Baronstown and Collierstown) there are a number of less well
understood sites, some whose remains are possibly more ephemeral, that
acquire their significance as National Monuments within the meaning of
the Act, because they fall within the core zone of Tara landscape as
The Report criticises the methodology of the NRA in assessing
monuments, and notes the Chart prepared by NRA archaeologist which
states that the Cultural, Historical, Architectural and Group Value of
all 38 archaeological sites in the Tara section of the M3 as being
“None”. [Chart at:

What exactly is at Lismullin?

The present description of Lismullin by Minister Roche is a disgraceful
exercise in misinformation. Describing some physical features of the
site and ignoring others, as well as its age, use, rarity, and context,
is no description at all. Even the NRA report, released in the
Lismullin file by the Minister, described the site as “very
significant” and compared it to the few known surviving royal
ceremonial sites in Ireland like Eamhain Macha in County Armagh and Dun
Ailianne, County Kildare.

TaraWatch has retained international expert Dr Ron Hicks, of Ball State
University, Indiana, who inspected the Lismullin sites on Friday 20th
July. Dr Hicks is the expert who endorsed the World Monuments Fund
nomination. He is of the view that the site was a natural amphitheatre,
as it still is today. The post holes were for stakes that were low, and
allowed the surrounding audience (who may have sat on bleachers), to
view the royal rituals. This is where downs of Irish kings performed
their most sacred rites. Even if you remove the post holes and the
delicate features, the site is STILL a national monument because of
what happened there, in plain view of the top of the Hill of Tara. The
physical shape of the site is still intact, and could and should be
preserved, as it lies at the very heart of the Tara complex, where the
kings performed their rites.

What is John Gormley doing to protect our archaeological heritage?

The Department of the Environment today states:
“Minister Gormley has launched a major review of archaeological
policies and practices, arising out of controversies such as Tara. The
aim of the review is to identify measures to further strengthen our
heritage protection measures, and ensure best practice in the field of
archaeology. It is the most wide-ranging review ever to have been
carried out in this area.”

TaraWatch welcomes the review of archaeological practices, but this
response only reinforces the truth of the current situation; that the
Minister has the power to preserve the national monuments at the Hill
of Tara. Not only can he issue orders and declare sites to be national
monuments, but he has the power to draft new legislation. If the former
Minister could draft a specific section of legislation pertaining to
the route of the M50, then the current Minister can draft a similar
piece pertaining to the route of the M3. He also has the power to
require a new Environmental Impact Assessment for the Navan to
Dunshaughlin section of the M3. Indeed, EU law now requires that he do

TaraWatch calls on the Minister to draft a bill which provides for the
preservation of the greater Tara archaeological complex, as a national
monuments, and for the rerouting of the M3 motorway, after a new
Environmental Impact Assessment is performed, which takes adequate
account of the national monuments in the region.
[Press Release] 'Categorical Rejection of Claims by Minister Gormley that he is Powerless to Save Tara'

"We will be the first generation in 5,000 years to deface Tara. This motorway will cut us off from our past"Prof.Sean Duffy Dept od Medaeval History TCD..
(actually British "Israelites" dug there looking for the Ark of the Covenant one time)
Poorly Advertised - I found only one poster in a back alley of Temple Bar and mentioned on RTE(Radio Eireann) who excelled themselves as salesmen of dumb cynicism - during that Saturday morning interview with concerned callers from Chicago and elsewhere, these callers were referred to as Leprechauns. When reminded by a caller that all our great writers who had consolidated Ireland as a free nation, were also conservationists of our Heritage and perceptible History - our bold man in the radio station declared that they were all dead and we didn't need to think about them anymore. The march occurred, poorly attended - the populace was at the Law Courts attending a murder trial so there were only Asians and East Europeans in the streets or staid bus queues.JB, editor.
Gathering news of desecration:

a previously unknown national monument was discovered at Lismullin".

Minister for the Environment John Gormley pledged to release to the media the entire file about the national monument found at Lismullin on the controversial M3 route near the Hill of Tara.
Tara Watch said that it had called a meeting at the Custom House yesterday to demand that the Minister halt works on newly-discovered sites along the route of the M3 motorway.
Conservationists opposed to the route of the M3 motorway have expressed disappointment after they failed to meet Minister for the Environment John Gormley at the Custom House in Dublin yesterday.The conservationists said they were told that the Minister, one of two new Green Party members of the Cabinet, was too busy preparing for his appearance in the Dáil to answer parliamentary questions today.They also said they were told he would later be busy preparing for an EU meeting.They said they were particularly disappointed to have been told that the Minister had an "open door policy" only to be informed subsequently that gardaí would be called if they refused to leave the building.

The Irish Wolfhound found atlast? O! But the bones were trashed...No one took this amazing chance to check the DNA?

The Meath Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS) said: "This is not the only national monument that has been discovered on this section of the motorway, it is simply the only one that the roads authorities have so far recognised as such".Julitta Clancy, archaeological officer with the MAHS, said the find raised questions about the National Monuments Act 2004, "which leaves the decision on whether to report the discovery of a national monument entirely up to the developers on road schemes"."The act does not set out any objective criteria for the determination of what is or is not a national monument and one must ask how many national monuments are being destroyed along road schemes simply because they are not recognised as such".

She said a complex of sites had emerged in the core Tara area, with evidence of human settlement and activity from the Mesolithic (Middle Stone) Age at Blundelstown just north of Tara, where a major intersection is planned.She said other sites provided evidence of "very impressive settlement during the first and second millennium AD, including some outstanding ring forts - the complex could be best described as an archaeological mosaic".© The Irish Examiner, 7th. May 2007.

"The monument is located in the valley between the hills of Tara and Skryne and in the vicinity of Rath Lugh".The site was the seat of Ireland's pre-Christian High Kings and marks the spot where Irish myth and Irish history intertwine.

With its passage tomb, earthworks and prehistoric burial mounds, it is viewed as the mythical and ceremonial capital of Ireland, dating back 5,000 years.

Historians have long been baffled by its mysteries, with only partial, unconnected ruins found to date, leading experts to believe there may be many more undiscovered treasures.

"Following an inspection of the monument by the chief state archaeologist and discussion on site with the project archaeologist, it was agreed that the monument is of national importance", he noted. "A formal report should be submitted by the National Roads Authority to the minister. Following an evaluation of submissions in the matter, the view of the minister is that the enclosure at Lismullin is a National Monument".He writes that under law, where a previously unknown national monument is discovered during a road development-the minister may, at his discretion, issue directions to the road authority to do one or more of the following: preserve, renovate, excavate, make a record of, or demolish the monument.

Mr. Roche elected to make a record of the monument and demolish it.

He said,"The minister has consulted in writing with the director of the National Museum and has received the written comments of the director in reply".
"The minister has also taken into account that the monument has been degraded by ploughing in the past, that the surviving features are shallow, that the monument is in a fragile state and that there is a risk of degradation of the monument by natural elements".
************************************************************Since the work began, they have found human bones and other material crushed under mechanical diggers.
Sunday World 3rd June******************************************Meanwhile, three reports warned the Minister and the NRA that the current route of the M3 would devastate an area that is recognised internationally as unique in its historical and archaeological richness.
Two stone souterrains, or underground structures, were uncovered approximately ten metres apart close to the newly discovered stonehenge in Lismullin.It is possible that many more underground chambers and passages dating back to the Iron Age may be uncovered, as the area is being excavated for the first time.
"This is a spectacular underground complex of chambers and connecting passages with very high-quality stone-work", said Laura Grealish of the TaraWatch campaign, who will now be guarding the area while reports are made to the National Museum and the new environment minister, John Gormley.
A "material change in circumstances" would be required to reroute the M3 motorway, which is due to go through the heritage site. TaraWatch campaigners now hope this find will be substantial enough to have the road re-routed."We are reporting this discovery to the minister and the National museum this morning", campaigner Vincent Salafia said yesterday. "We want to know if the National Roads Authority reported the discovery to the minister or the museum and if not, why not?" The NRA said yesterday that the find was not a unique feature.© The Sunday Tribune, 24th. June 2007. *************************Three weeks ago, the Minister for Transport turned the first sod on the motorway, oblivious to the fact that his colleague, the Environment Minister, already knew that a large and ancient site lay directly in the path of the new road.
© The Irish Independent, 22nd. May 2007.

Outcry as burial ground razed
- "under cover of night"

By - Paul Melia.

AN ancient burial ground near the Hill of Tara - said to be more impressive than the national monument discovered in recent months - has been destroyed.

Bulldozers razed the Baronstown site early yesterday morning to allow construction work on the controversial M3 motorway in Co. Meath continue.

Protesters claimed that the site, a bronze age settlement described as a "multi-period archaeological complex", was destroyed overnight after machinery moved in. They claim earth movers stripped the site at about 4am on Wednesday.

The complex dates back 4,000 years and the Campaign to Save Tara group claimed it had been recommended for national monument status by archaeologists working on the M3 project. But former environment minister Dick Roche rejected the application.
A conservationist who did not want to be identified : Collierstown Dunshaughlin

she had been "trying for a week to get the NRA to do something about the gravestones".She said human and animal bones have been identified at the Collierstown cemetery as part of the archaeological excavations. But she insisted that stones which had been used to line the graves were now visible piled in heaps beside hard core, in spoil and lying about exposed to the elements.She also maintained "bones are visible in the topsoil, in spoil and around the graves". She said she had removed a number of bones to give to the National Museum.
However, the NRA chief archaeologist Mary Deevy said the claims represented typical "misinformation".
(We all know of the stupefying "competition" among peer groups in our museums that have led to the loss of artefacts,manuscripts etc in the past..........JB.editor)
***************Conor Newman, Professor of Archaeology at NUI Galway, said he was pessimistic the government would save the site.He said: "The campaign to preserve this site has become a legal battle when in fact it should be an ethical one - whether we value our heritage or not".© The Irish Post, 9th. May 2007
**************Enda Tyrrell, a member of the Eurolink M3 Ltd. consortium, said that "Contrary to the recent misinformation in the media, the 500m exclusion zone at Lismullin, required as a result of the new archaeological discovery, does not affect our day-to-day work on the project and the works are proceeding as scheduled".© The Irish Times, 7th. May 2007.



Ms Grealish writes:

"Apparently Minister Gormley is getting annoyed at people saying that
he does have the power to change the M3 route. Perhaps that explains
why there were no Green Party representatives at the march today,
unlike previous ones.

and Vincent Salafia:

"Minister Gormley obviously wants us to ask the courts to compel him to
act, even though the EU has stated the demolition of the national
monument in Lismullin is illegal.

"There is a another new national monument recently discovered by the
NRA, consisting of underground passages and chambers, as reported in
the news today.

"Now Minister Gormley must act and does have the power to reroute the
M3 as this is a material change in circumstances from the order given
by former Minister Roche.

Once the NRA picks a road, nobody can stop it. Oral hearings are held by An Bord Pleanála, but they are a waste of everyone's time and money. No An Bord Pleanála inspector has ever refused permission for a motorway proposed by the NRA. I doubt that any ever will.When it comes to tolling the proposed routes, the system is even more risible. The NRA appoints an inspector to consider its proposal to toll, but in case he doesn't agree, the authority retains the power to ignore his recommendations.The only person who can stop the NRA won't. Successive ministers for the environment have been too well house-trained to disagree with civil servants.
& elsewhere in the same edition:
Last February, a site of major archaeological significance was found at Lismullin, on the Tara complex. Under the 2004 National Monuments Act, Dick Roche should have ordered that work on the site stop immediately, but instead activity seemed to increase. Last weekend, Martin Cullen arrived on the scene like a harbinger of doom to turn the sod. The following day, work on the Lismullin site was halted, the significance of the find having become too obvious to ignore any longer.....he will consult half-heartedly with the necessary officials, announce that the site is not so important and destroy it. That would be the cowardly thing to do . . .

but should we really expect anything else?
Diarmuid Doyle.
© The Sunday Times, 6th. May

TTHE Eurolink consortium has signed a €575m contract with the National Roads Authority to build the controversial M3 motorway that will run close by the Hill of Tara.
The announcement was made in Spain by Eurolink's chief stake-holder, Cintra Concesiones Infraestructuras, which owns 95% of the consortium.

The agreement is to design, construct, finance and operate the toll road, with Eurolink collecting from the toll road for 45 years.

The company noted that it will begin construction next month having been announced as the "preferred tenderer" last September.

The M3 project is to include about 60km of motorway and 50km of access roads. It will cover around 700 hectares of land between Clonee and north of Kells, linking Dublin with the northwest.

The project generated controversy and was the subject of an unsuccessful High Court challenge because of its proximity to the historic Hill of Tara, a court case which delayed the start of construction.

Siac Ferrovial, the company which trades as Eurolink, had already moved machinery onto a site compound in Dunshauglin, Co. Meath.Jim McGrath.

© The Sunday Tribune, 11th. March 2007.

Fine Gael has expressed surprise that "more than 500 archaeologists, hired at the cost of €30 million, managed to miss a four-acre historical site while excavating for the M3 motorway".
The Hill of Tara was one the most powerful of Ireland's five kingdoms and tribal disputes as well as peace and defence issues were settled at national assemblies held there every three years.
The first feis (meeting) began around 1300BC. Its importance diminished as Christianity became established in Ireland and little now remains to indicate the area's one-time eminence, although it continues to attract thousands of visitors every year.
In 2002, a team of archaeologists uncovered monuments in the area, some dating back to 4000BC. One of the most spectacular finds was a huge oval enclosure the size of Croke Park, thought to have been constructed in 2500BC. One high-profile opponent to the M3 motorway, Dublin-born actor Stuart Townsend, has claimed the development "represents in microcosm of what is happening in the country as a whole".
© The Irish News, May 3rd. 2007.
Injured protester to address ‘Love Tara’ march   A protester that was hospitalised following clashes with construction workers at Tara this week, will address the Love Tara march tomorrow, Saturday 21 July. The protester received a neck injury when thrown to the ground by construction workers on Wednesday. He was taken to the Emergency Department at Navan Hospital where an X-Ray was taken to establish the extent of his injuries. He was discharged from hospital, but later recalled for further X-rays due to suspected fracturing to his vertebrae.   TaraWatch has condemned the manner in which peaceful protestors have been treated this week, and the group has offered the injured man legal advice and assistance in making a complaint to the Department of Justice.   The Love Tara march will commence at 1pm at the Garden of Remembrance, and will proceed down O’Connell Street to the Customs House. There, TaraWatch will present a petition containing 50,000 signatures to the Department of the Environment. There, a number of speeches will be made, including further eyewitness accounts of this week’s protests.   A large attendance is expected at the march, despite predicted adverse weather conditions.
please see PRESS RELEASES end page.

Defensive fortification around the Hill of Tara marked in red
Archaeological sites and monuments marked with white dots
Archaeologial sites recorded in the geophysical survey marked with yellow dots
Archaeological sites found during test trenching marked with green/blue dots

was this hypocrisy (Trevor Sargent leader of Green Party, centre)?


19 July 2007

'Complaint of Assaults and Batteries by SIAC Lodged With Navan Gardai'

TaraWatch member Laura Grealish lodged a formal written complaint with Navan Gardai at 8.00pm last night, concerning a number of assaults and batteries by SIC construction workers on demonstrators yesterday at Soldier Hill, Tara. Garda Paddy Skeehan took the complaint, but said he did not want any
photographic evidence emailed to him yet. Images showing workers manhandling demonstrators are available on the site, andsome others appear in today's papers, clearly showing personal physical abuse. Ms Grealish described how she and a number of demonstrators were pushed, dragged, lifted, thrown and generally intimidated by SIAC construction workers, while they were peacefully demonstrating.

Peaceful protests will continue today and tomorrow at the Soldier Hill site.

A large number of demonstrators from around Ireland and abroad are travelling to the 'Love Tara' march, to be held this Saturday. Demonstrators will gather at the Gardens of Remembrance at 12.30pm and march to the Department of the Environment, where speeches will be held and 50,000 petition signatures handed in.
Many demonstrators will then go to Cloverhill Prison to show solidarity with the four demonstrators who have been imprisoned there.

Laura Grealish said: "The Gardai took the complaint very seriously and are looking into the matter. "We want to know why SIAC has failed to seek an injunction to prevent civil trespass, and has decided instead to encourage their workers to commit criminal assaults and batteries on demonstrators. "The images show workers gleefully attacking demonstrators. It is an absolute disgrace. "We may be committing civil trespass, but everything these people are doing is criminal.


'Tara Demonstrators to Appearing in Navan Court at 2.00pm'

18 July 2007 (2.00pm)

The five demonstrators arrested this morning at the Hill of Tara are
currently in custody in Navan Garda Station and will appear in Navan
District Court at 2.00pm.

The demonstrators will be charged under Section 8 of the Road Traffic
Act for causing obstruction to the traffic on the N3 this morning.

Vincent Salafia said:

"We are attempting to get legal representation for the demonstrators,
and want the charges dismissed.
"We will are also filing complaints against Eurolink Consortium/SIAC
Construction, for assault by their workers against demonstrators.
"If the private companies building this road want to prevent peaceful
demonstrations they should go to the High Court and apply for an
injunction. Committing an assault is a criminal offence, and should be
prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
"We strenuously deny the allegation that demonstrators assaulted any
construction workers.

Allison Bray
FOUR Hill of Tara protesters have been jailed for a week after they refused to comply with bail conditions requiring them to stay away from the site of the controversial M3 motorway.
The four men, who range in age from 20 to 70, were among a group of seven heritage campaigners who were charged with public order offences yesterday following clashes with security and construction workers yesterday morning.
They were remanded in custody at Cloverhill Prison pending their next court appearance on Wednesday at the Navan District Court.

Contact Laura Grealish at 087-972-8603 / Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365
[Press Release] 'Five Demonstrators Arrested at Hill of Tara'

11th July 2007

Gormley Must Halt Demolition in Tara Complex Due to EU Intervention and New Site’

TaraWatch is repeating its call on Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to immediately halt demolition works on all archaeological sites within the Hill of Tara archaeological complex, since the
European Commission has called the legality of the National Monuments Act 2004 into question.

In a response today from the European Commission, to questions asked by Kathy Sinnott MEP, the European Commission also noted that Tara had been placed on the World Monuments Fund, 100 Most Endangered Sites list. TaraWatch nominated Tara in January of this year.

TaraWatch supports Kathy Sinnott’s call for all works on archaeological sites cease immediately in the valley, until the legality of the National Monuments Act can be determined. The Commission has received a number of complaints about the directions given by Minister Dick Roche, for the demolition of the national
monument in Lismullin. It notes that the National Monuments Act, 2004 makes no provision for (second-stage) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in relation to decisions allowing for destruction of national monuments that were unknown at the time of a first-stage EIA. The Commission statement must be considered a “material change in circumstances”, which Minister Gormley says he needs, before being able to revisit the decision to demolish the national monument.

It must also be considered in conjunction to the action by the European Commissioner for the Environment, Stravros Dimas, who recently wrote to the Irish Government and questioned the legality of the National
Development Plan 2007-2013 (NDP) under EU laws requiring consultation. TaraWatch sent a complaint to the Commission in February, because the M3 is being funded under the NDP.

The ongoing daily discovery of further new archaeological sites, including the underground chambers in the Lismullin souterrain complex, described by Professor George Eogan as “very significant”, also amount
to a further material change in circumstances, giving Minister Gormley the power to overturn Roche’s decision.

Vincent Salafia said:

“Minister Gormley has received communications on the highest level from
the EU, warning against illegal action. He cannot ignore that and must
place a Temporary Preservation Order on all potential national
monuments in danger in the Tara complex.

“Minister Gormley must recognize that there has now been three very
material changes in circumstances, since Minister Roche’s decision;
World Monuments Fund Endangered Site designation, European Commission
intervention and discovery of possible new national monuments.

“It is clear from the file released by Minister Gormley that Minister
Roche did not consider the World Monuments Fund designation of Tara as
one of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in his decision. The list was
published just days before Roche’s decision was announced.

“Not only has the legal foundation for Roche’s decision to demolish a
national monument (the National monuments Act) been challenged by the
EU, but the entire funding mechanism for the M3, the NDP, may have to
be re-invented.

“We have expert opinion from Conor Newman that other national monuments
at Tara have been wrongfully classified. Those sites are now in
immediate threat, and all work on them must cease until this matter has
been resolved.