Wednesday 5th September 2007
For immediate release
HARPERS OF IRELAND AT DÁIL TO SAVE TARA
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
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 Irelands 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 Taras harp will not
be drowned by traffic jams and the cash registers of toll
Further information from www.myspace.com/TaraHarpers
Laoise Kelly Tel. 086 2603405 or email@example.com
Anne-Marie OFarrell 01-2966222 or 087-2348964 or firstname.lastname@example.org
05 September 2007
'Government Must Publish European Commission Lismullin
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
TaraWatch is challenging the Government to release a copy
Reasoned Opinion sent from the Commission to the Irish
months ago, as well as the written response being made
It is understood that the European Commission sent a 20
in which they criticised the decision to demolish the
national monument, which lies in the pathway of the M3
Commission is understood to be demanding that an
Assessment (EIA) be prepared, which would entail a new
consultation process for the contentious section of the
It is also understood that the National Development Plan
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
release the Reasoned Opinion. The Department of Transport
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
"This is tyrannical behaviour by the Government,
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
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
Contact: Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365
03 September 2007
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
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
The works at Rath Lugh have been condemed by campaigners
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
has widen the approved route in this area, significantly
TaraWatch condemns the actions taken by the construction
and the National Roads Authority/Meath County Council who
instructing the Gardai to arrest demonstrators for civil
instead of following normal procedures and going through
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 www.tarawatch.org
(just to remind you a letter sent to www.savetara.com 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
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
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
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, thats what we have in charge.