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8th Jan 2008 - the International Day of Protest against the destruction at Tara





8th January  - it DID happen and it was wonderful  - not vast in numbers but wonderful in Spirit -

Laoise was on the front page of the Irish News - more details when I get time to update this  - and when I get back to earth enough to write properly

- but this is the radio broadcast that went out on 
Good Morning Ulster 

- click to play   

  text of the poem that Roma Tomelty read   - WB Yeats  , September 1913 



click for film and interview



The baby  - Amarghain - named after the first poet in Ireland
and whose name means " Birth of Song " ,was a Year and a Day old -a very Traditional length of time - but  he mostly slept through the celebration -



Carmel Hanna - a strong supporter of Tara 
and the Assembly Member for the area  - came out to the Giants Ring 
and put the first signature on the petition

Tara Petition  -   

 download as pdf -  







9th Jan 2008

By Margaret Canning

THE plaintive melody of Thomas Moore's The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls wafted in the bitterly cold air at a prehistoric site in south Belfast yesterday. Around 15 protestors came to the Giant's Ring during a day of protest across Ireland at part of the new M3 motorway between Dublin and Cavan being built over the Hill of Tara, the seat of ancient kings of Ireland. There were poetry readings, song and harp recitals at noon as the protestors gathered round the dolmen in the centre of the Giant's Ring. The campaigners said the Belfast site was chosen because of its similarities to Lismullin, a woodhenge found near the Hill of Tara.
Stephanie Sim, joined by her oneyear-old son Amharghin, condemned the widespread building of new roads. "Is an ugly grey sprawl to replace the forty shades of green? Is Ireland to become a soulless, oil-dependent suburb?," she said.

SDLP assembly member Carmel Hanna, who joined the protest, called the hill of Tara "the heart and soul of Ireland". "It is one of the most if not the most historic sites we have," she said. "I sympathise withcommuters who face a long journey to Dublin and back but I believe the government should invest more in sustainable forms of transport such as railways by reopening the Navan to Dublin railway, or move out the motorway by seven kilometres."

Laoise Kelly said she came because the Hill of Tara was "the home of harps". She was joined by mother and daughter harpists Marie and Ursula Burns. Marie Burns said she had played at the Giant's Ring at 8am yesterday, accompanying actress Roma Tomelty as she recited WB Yeats's September 1913 , a condemnation of materialism and the death of`romantic Ireland'.

click on small pictures for larger versions





Stephanie Sim's Blog  -   

Laoise posing with the Harpers For Tara banner


Harpists Laoise Kelly and Marie Burns on the ridge of the Giants Ring

 more -  

Amarghain's birthday cake



Link to film http://www.in.tv/news296.php



The Next Day the letter from the MEPS went to the EU

Steer well clear of Tara, say MEPs

Irish News

THE Tara landscape is one of Ireland’s and Europe’s most precious historical archaeological sites, but it is now in the process of being destroyed to facilitate the construction of a motorway.

The European Commission has warned the Irish Government that its plans to build the M3 four-lane motorway through the archaeologically rich Tara-Skryne valley are illegal within European law. The commission is taking proceedings against the Government.

The Tara landscape has been placed on the World Monuments Fund of most endangered sites.

We are also aware of a joint letter signed internationally by more than 300 academics stating that the royal estate of Tara is not just a central part of Irish heritage, but is of significant importance on a world heritage scale.

We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, are alarmed at the Irish Government’s destruction in July 2007 of the large early medieval settlement site at Baronstown in the Tara-Skryne valley. Most shockingly, this important archaeological site was demolished by motorway construction workers in the middle of the night.

We also wish to express our deep concern about the future of the Celtic temple at Lismullen — a site with national monument status which is also planned to be demolished by the Irish Government.

Urgent action is needed to urge the Irish Government to prevent the destruction of more of our common European heritage.

As was the case at Baronstown, and as is planned for Lismullen, thousands of years of our shared European culture can be wiped out in a few hours, and once gone, can never be replaced.

Given that the path of the planned M3 motorway is so rich in important archaeological monuments, we strongly urge the Irish Government to alter the current motorway route and to choose from the other available routes and viable options for the M3 motorway instead, thereby balancing progress with conservation.

It is of the utmost importance that steps be taken to prevent the destruction of any further ancient monuments which are part of our shared European heritage. We believe the Tara landscape should be preserved fully intact as the European cultural and heritage treasure that it so clearly is.

Signed by MEPs:
Kathy Sinnott, Mary Lou McDonald, Marian Harkin, Bairbre de Brún
Nirj Deva, Roger Helmer, Sarah Ludford, Edward McMillan Scott, Den Dover, Timothy Kirkhope, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne
Bas Belder, Johannes Blokland
Carlos José, Iturgaiz Angulo
Witold Tomczak
Marios Matsakis
Raymond Langendries
Margrete Aukenn, Jens Peter, Bonde, Mogens NJ Cambre
Hiltrud Breyer, Helmuth Markov, Feleknas Uca, Sahra Wagenknecht
Miroslav Mikolasik
Maria Carlshamre

 Source -





Pictures from the film -












"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come."   --  Victor Hugo





Tara - the Future

In its ratification of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, the Republic of Ireland pledged to conserve not only the World Heritage sites situated on its territory, but also to protect its National Heritage.
This document defines sites as "works of man or the combined works of nature and of man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological points of view."

We the undersigned people of the North of Ireland now call on the Government of the Republic of Ireland to do exactly that.

Even at this latest hour
To cease the destruction in the Tara/Gabhra Valley which holds so many keys to Myth and to History
and which is held in the hearts of people all over the world as source of Music, Poetry and Inspiration

To use the knowledge gained from the excavations as a base of a World Heritage Park dedicated to Peace and to Learning

And to urgently address the transport issues of Meath but in a way in line with the need to reduce Oil Dependency , Traffic Congestion and Carbon Emissions , the plea from Trocaire for Social Justice, with the Kyoto agreement and with the need to create a Sustainable Future

We believe that this turnaround - difficult as it might seem - will be seen by future generations as courageous wise and

To be a significant point of change - and a beacon to the world as we address the problems facing us head on .

What better future for Tara ?




Tara Petition  -   

 download as pdf -  



 Laoise Kellly and Ursula Burns in the centre of the Giants Ring - 


Also on the International Day of Protest


Protests at M3 construction on Lismullin site

Irish Times
9 January 2007

Olivia Kelly

Protest meetings were held in Dublin and outside Irish consulates in the US yesterday against last month's handover of the national monument site at Lismullin, Co Meath, to the company building the M3 motorway.

TaraWatch, the group campaigning against the construction of the M3 motorway close to the Hill of Tara, has said that the Department of the Environment had not been due to hand over the site to Siac until yesterday but had moved the date forward to December 18th. Significant damage had been done to the site since, the group said.

Campaign spokesman Vincent Salafia yesterday called on Minister for the Environment John Gormley to explain why the handover took place early and with no prior notice.

The group also called on Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to intervene and halt the work at Lismullin.

A rally was held yesterday outside the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.
Demonstrations also took place at Stormont, as well as at Irish
consulate offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco and at the Lismullin site. Further protests will be held, TaraWatch has said.

McDonald calls on Gormley to 'comply with European Commission'
08/01/2008 - 18:42:19

Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald today called on Minister for the Environment John Gormley to comply with European Commission demands and order a new Environmental Impact Assessment on the M3 at Tara.

Ms McDonald joined several dozen demonstrators in today at the TaraWatch demonstration at the Garden of Remembrance, unfurling an M3 mock up at the gates of the garden of Remembrance.

Gardaí locked the gates of the park permission was refused to hold the demonstration inside.

Demonstrations are also taking place in Belfast, New York, Chicago  and San Francisco today, which marks the beginning of a series of  protests that will continue up until St Patrick's Day.

Ms McDonald also called on Gormley to explain why the Department of the Environment had told the public that the Lismullin national  monument would be handed over by the NRA to SIAC construction today, January 8, and then the NRA actually handed the site over on December 18.

"The Minister has flouted EU law since he came into office, by
refusing to conduct a dew Environmental Impact Assessment on Tara,"
said McDonald.

"The Green Party Minister for the Environment has completely adopted the Fianna Fáil position and rejected demands by Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas, to re-assess the damage being done to heritage there."