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The 11th hour for Tara

Written by Claire Oakes   
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
After 7 years involvement with the M3/Tara issue and with all the learning and experience that that entailed, I have become ever more baffled as to how the Tara landscape, with its inherent complexity, was ever chosen as a preferred route for a four lane motorway. The choice was shown to be clearly wrong from the beginning and as each new bit of information unfolded, it became even more wrong and nonsensical.

However with the latest discovery of a major national monument directly in the way of the road at Lismullin, the Minister Dick Roche now has a golden opportunity to reconsider and, at the 11th hour, properly fulfil his role as protector of our National Heritage.

With the first and most crucial section of the M3 (which includes the Dunshaughlin by-pass) already underway with no problems, there need be no delays to commutor relief. In fact, the long predicted difficulties in the Tara section should spur us on to demand the only real solution for commuter misery, i.e. the fast-tracking of the rail to Navan.
So let us hope that both the Minister and election candidates will desist from using the “delay” argument as justification for another wrong decision. The only delay to construction of this road was due to the amount of archaeology present which the authorities knew from the beginning.

The Minister has two choices regarding Lismullin. If he chooses wisely and responsibly he will allow time for proper independent assessment of  this national monument in its contextual setting of the Tara landscape. If on the other hand, he bows to pure expediency (i.e. what suits short-term rather than what is right) and gives the order for excavation followed by destruction, he will demean not only the office of the Minister for Heritage, but all Irish people everywhere. Such an order would be a gesture of contempt to generations of scholars who have  sought to understand the nature of Tara, as well as to  the large and growing numbers of ordinary Irish people whose genuine concerns have simply been ignored.

It is to be hoped that the electorate will use their votes in the forthcoming election to support those candidates who have the courage and integrity to call for a review of this controversial section of motorway. This will  not be a question of winners and losers. When truth is the winner we are all enriched. 

Without it we all lose.


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Alexis de Tocqueville saw the America of his day as the most advanced project in modern democracy. It was then the best example of democracy that was available. And though democracy has much about it that is good, de Tocqueville argued that it would always be characterised by the triumph of mediocrity. A glance around our current cabinet table leaves us in no doubt about the sharpness of Tocqueville's mind. And Mr. Roche is the supreme embodiment of that mediocrity. - Ciaran MacAonghusa

Birth is a good thing!!

The Fianna are supposed to defend Tara not drive a stake through the Ancient Heart of Erin. Gone with the wind! Those lunatics are away with the Fairies. There is no financial justification for the M3. W B Yeats Nobel prizewinner put it correctly when he said

 "Yet could we turn the years again,
And call those exiles as they were
In all their loneliness and pain,
You'd cry `Some woman's yellow hair
Has maddened every mother's son':
They weighed so lightly what they gave.
But let them be, they're dead and gone,”…….

Like SIAC's idea to build the road through Tara.

NewGrange is a symbol of the reincarnation of MAN it is a passage grave, but it is also a symbol of birth. If you do not believe me, have a look at the way that it is constructed. It is a mound with one way in and one way out. The idea behind it is that when you pass away that you return to the Womb of the Earth to be reborn. It is Mother Nature's filtration system. It is specially constructed so that on the shortest day of the year that the light shines through. I wonder could SIAC capture the light in the way of those unsung heroes whose spirits were to be pulled asunder by JCBs and Lorries. I notice that in all of this frenzy of construction and in the blaze of genetic engineering and pharma philosophy, the ancient art of living and dying has been forgotten. If we live as if we are approaching the end it becomes self-fulfilling.

Tara watches over NewGrange, it was where they lived, those who constructed NewGrange. It may look like some fields with hills to construction engineers, but houses look like stacks of bricks to insects who prefer to live in trees, or birds that prefer to fly or live in nests.

If another sod is turned on the M3 construction, I will not be able to control what comes out. Let sleeping dogs lie. Let the Fianna defend Tara. Do your duty lads, no more sitting on hands. Do the walking, knock on doors, and find out if you can help, so many people suffer in silence. Stop the Silent Slaughter. Romantic Ireland lives and dies, and with the Spring Equinox it is reborn again behold the spring and bear fruit in the Summer.

 - Dott.ssa M FitzPatrick Davey