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 2nd week -JAN-2008



weekly paste-up of some news and links arising from the campaign to Save the Tara Valley NOT comprehensive -please see other sites on the Links page - but hope it may be useful ~
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 Jan 8th

International Day of Protest   
what happened -  

   details and picturesand links to interviews  -  

  Tara Petition  -   

 download as pdf -  


North - at the Giants Ring - near Belfast

click on picture for interview





Steer well clear of Tara, say MEPs





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




          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."




Of this strange pantheistical fragment, Dr. Douglas Hyde writes:--"The first poem written in Ireland is said to have been the work of Amergin, who was brother of Evir, Ir, and Eremon, the first Milesian princes who colonised Ireland many hundred of years before Christ. The three short pieces of verse ascribed to Amergin are certainly very ancient and very strange.  But, as the whole story of the Milesian invasion is wrapped in mystery and is quite possibly only a rationalised account of early Irish mythology (in which the Tuatha De Danann, Firbolgs and possibly Milesians, are nothing but the gods of the early Irish euhemerised into men), no faith can be placed in the alleged date or genuineness of Amergin's verses. They are, however, of interest, because as Irish traditition represented them as being the first verses made in Ireland, so it may very well be that they actually do present the oldest surviving lines in any vernacular tongue in Europe except Greek."






photos of Tara supporters in Japan  ---      

Click for pictures -


Meath Chronicles

Navan rail line 100% certain, says Dempsey

Ann Casey

The site of the proposed new Navan Central rail station at the rear of Pairc Tailteann. The station is to be located where the Navan-Dublin line will join the existing Tara Mines line to Drogheda.MINISTER for Transport Noel Dempsey yesterday (Tuesday) swept aside doubts expressed by Iarnrod Eireann on Monday about the viability of reopening the Navan-Dublin rail line and declared that he was "100 per cent" behind the project.
"It will happen," Mr Dempsey told the Meath Chronicle, hours after the rail company briefed Meath County councillors that the next phase of the reopening of the line, costing €578, was "not financially viable" and "would require the full capital costs to be borne by the Government".
He said that Iarnrod Eireann`s approach to the project had been "extremely conservative", and quoted the scoping study which had clearly stated that the project was a valuable one which would justify the use of public funds. The minister also said that the company had taken a very conservative view of projected population figures along the route using 2002 census figures.
Eighty-five per cent of the forecast population increase would have to be realised in Navan, Dunshaughlin and Kilmessan before the project could proceed. "Not only did they use 2002 census figures, but they did not take into account the projected population growth in Trim, which is expected to go from 7,000 to 17,000 in 10 to 15 years, and similar growth in Kells," added Mr Dempsey







    Update on this story - HERE


Ahern's Irish eyes for European job

Taoiseach admits interest in top EU role. By Pat Holland - 09/01/08

Ahern's Irish eyes for European job

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern has indicated that he would be interested in one of the top jobs in the European Union when the posts come up for negotiation later this year.

Mr Ahern was questioned about a possible position in Brussels during a newspaper interview.

He said: "I have given no great thought to that. Most people who would know me would know that I am fairly much a home bird."

 But he added: "I like Europe, I like dealing with Europe. I have been dealing in the European Council now continuously – except for a very short period – for 21 years. And I like all of that."

Mr Ahern also pointed out that he is second only to veteran Luxembourg leader Jean-Claude Juncker when it comes to experience on the EU stage and that "maybe a small minority" of his colleagues "would like to see me give some of my time to a role."

In the second half of 2008, when France takes over the EU presidency, negotiations for the EU three major political jobs – president of the European Commission, president of the council and EU foreign minister – are set to begin.