Wednesday 5th September 2007
News Release
For immediate release


On Saturday 22nd September 2007 at 3 p.m. the harpers of Ireland will gather at Dáil Éireann to demonstrate publicly the strength of their opposition to the destruction of historic cultural sites at the
Tara/Skryne Valley as a result of the current route of the M3 motorway. The harpers will assemble with their harps along Kildare Street, and will submit a petition to Minister John Gormley insisting he implement alternatives to the continued destruction which is taking place.

Ireland is unique in having a musical instrument, the harp, as its national emblem. This indicates the primacy of the harp in Irish culture. The sites currently under threat are inextricably linked with
the harping and bardic traditions for more than 2,500 years.

Tara was the gathering place for thousands of harpers to 142 kings, and the harp was an integral part of the ancient Irish parliament at Tara. The harp has been used in the coat of arms of Ireland since 1270 and is the symbol of the Irish State today. It is found in the seals of the President, Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Government Ministers, on State currency and is the insignia of the Irish Law Courts.

It is an outrage that the Irish people should be forced to choose between infrastructure and heritage. As a country we are embarrassed internationally by profit-driven, shortsighted planning as exemplified by the fact that World Monument Fund has placed Tara on its list of 100 most endangered sites worldwide.

Many can rightly point out that it would be an archaeological loss, and a historical one. It is also a spiritual loss, since even before the conversion by St Patrick of Ireland’s High Kings it was a place where the Irish sought to express their spirituality. And significantly for us as a nation, it was the place of birth of Christianity in Ireland. The gathering of harpers says that it is also a musical and cultural loss and asserts that the sound of Tara’s harp will not be drowned by traffic jams and the cash registers of toll plazas.

Further information from
Laoise Kelly Tel. 086 2603405 or
Anne-Marie O’Farrell 01-2966222 or 087-2348964 or

05 September 2007

'Government Must Publish European Commission Lismullin Complaint &

Media reports today indicate that Fianna Fail MEP, Liam Aylward, is to
this week make a "robust" response to the European Commission regarding
the warning issued over the decision to demolish the Lismullin national

TaraWatch is challenging the Government to release a copy of the
Reasoned Opinion sent from the Commission to the Irish Government two
months ago, as well as the written response being made this week.

It is understood that the European Commission sent a 20 page document,
in which they criticised the decision to demolish the Lismullin
national monument, which lies in the pathway of the M3 motorway. The
Commission is understood to be demanding that an Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA) be prepared, which would entail a new public
consultation process for the contentious section of the M3 motorway.

It is also understood that the National Development Plan 2007-2013 is
the central bone of contention for the Commission, because it was also
drafted without proper consultation.

But the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley has refused to
release the Reasoned Opinion. The Department of Transport are blocking
a Freedom of Information request from TaraWatch by charging 2,000 euros
for the documents.

Vincent Salafia said:

“The Government must publish the Reasoned Opinion from the EU, along
with their reply. They owe the Irish people an explanation too.

"This is tyrannical behaviour by the Government, concerning public
money being spent demolishing a national monument, in order to build a
public road a little faster.

"The Irish people have a moral and constitutional right to know exactly
what the Government are being accused of, and what their precise
response is. Instead, they have been excluded from every step of the

"The denial of this critical information is itself a breach of EU law
on access to information.

"People are being criminalised in the courts for protesting the works.
But who are the real criminals here, if the works are illegal?


Contact: Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365

03 September 2007
'Another Tara Demonstrator Arrested This Morning'

Another demonstrator has been arrested this morning at Rath Lugh, near
the Hill of Tara.

Rick Finley was demonstratoing against works taking place on the side
of the national monument called Rath Lugh, close to the newly
discovered national monument at Lismullin.

He has been taken to Navan Garda station and it is said he will be
appear in Navan District Court later today.

Rath Lugh is a massive hillfort, designed to protect the Hill of Tara
from northern attacks, and is a recorded national monument.

The works at Rath Lugh have been condemed by campaigners since the
Minister for the Environment never gave any directions for works to
take place on the national monument.

In addition, it has been discovered that the National Roads Authority
has widen the approved route in this area, significantly impacting the
national monument.

TaraWatch condemns the actions taken by the construction company, SIAC,
and the National Roads Authority/Meath County Council who are
instructing the Gardai to arrest demonstrators for civil trespass,
instead of following normal procedures and going through the Court
system and seeking an injunction on trespass.

Further updates will be released later today.

Darren Delahunty 00-44-791-766-2249 (on site)

Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365

(just to remind you a letter sent to some weeks ago:
Road-builders chip away at the edges of a revered old fort Rath Lugh

MUCH has been written about the effects the proposed M3 will have on the Hill of Tara, but little about the effects it will have on the other monuments in the Gabhra Valley.
On August 7th, after observing a protest at the Lismullin henge, I visited Rath Lugh, just across the valley.This old and revered fort was named after Lugh, the solar deity of ancient Ireland who gave his name to Lughnasa, the month of August. It was also the base of Na Fianna Éireann - the mystical warrior band set up to protect Tara.
The new road cuts between the Rath and the Gabhra-Gowra river which was the scene of their last great battle against a corrupt high king in 280 AD.
Rath Lugh is, or was, a national monument, but despite the peace and quiet of this heavily wooded place, filtered this day by wonderful sunlight, it was impossible to overlook its neglected state.

Many trees are dead or dying and left lying where they fell. Sadly, the area is littered with used shotgun cartridges and of course the edge of this historic monument, with its great trees, has been removed to facilitate the M3.
Coillte, the State forestry body which "manages" the woods on the Rath, cut down these trees for the benefit of the road-builders. Observers have noted how markers, placed to designate the edges of this proposed road, are being moved deeper into Rath Lug.
Some trees have been marked 50 metres into the forest.
It seems there are plans to push the road further into Rath Lugh.)

What kind of people are there in government, local authorities, planning boards, legal profession and business, that would boast - as they do - of doing such a thing?
Certainly, it is not a surprise that a prime minister who takes large sums of cash off people he hardly knows, would do so.
But to ignore the appeals of people from all over the world? To spit on the views of the majority of people in Ireland? To snub international archaeologists? To offer two fingers to the Europe that actually built Ireland?
You would have to be an ignoramus. You would have to be a boor. You would have to be a Philistine and an fool.
Sadly, that’s what we have in charge.