1/ At Tara
Much drama at Rath Lugh this week - the protesters have been quite successfully holding the SIAC people back
- there is deal of confusuion about where they are and are not legally
allowed to be - where the boundaries of the TPO are and the like -and everybody
is bluffing somewhat and waving around bits of laminated paper
which don't mean a lot as nobody really knows what the coordinates are
For those of you who don't know the layout - Rath Lugh is one of the ancient defensive forts surrounding Tara that the path of the M3 goes inside .
It is built on an " esker " a kind of gravel ridge left behind by a glacier and is covered in woodland now .
The path of the M3 goes very close to it - basically it is trying to squeeze four lanes in between a field belonging to the Ireland headquarters of Opus Dei and Rath Lugh which is a National Monument but there isnt room and since it obviously cant go through the Opus Dei field , they are slicing the end off the esker to get the road through.
But being made of gravel there are concerns that the esker - and the rath on it - may collapse .
In September 2007 John Gormley - the Green Party Minister for Environment and Heritage in the ROI - put a Temporary Preservation Order on Rath Lugh but this is due to run out in March .
At the Green Party Conference in Belfast that we picketted just over a week back - he came over and spoke to us . Jane asked him if he would make this Temporary Preservation Order into a Permanent one and he said that he would .
And also that he was minded ...- I mean was intending - to visit Tara
And though neither of us were at the meeting , people coming out told us that he repeated it inside the building in front of sixty people and there is no sign of either happening yet but the TPO doesn't run out until March
I have written to his office to mention that if he breaks the promise to make the TPO permanent then I would personally make sure that it would NEVER be forgotten inside or outside the Green Party in Belfast . I don't like being like this but I do mean it and may need some help here .
There is a whole heap of confusion though about what exactly the Preservation Order covers and this is partly to do with the wrong coordinates on the maps - wrong labelling of artifacts - that kind of thing -
And Pat McCormack is writing magnificently strict letters from London to the National Monuments Office saying that she cannot beLEIVe that in a case this important they are taking the word of the Contracters for what is and isnt going on down there - they should at least have observers and an archaeologist .
There is a souterrain that has been recorded but not excavated - because ...the coordinates were wrong/ they didnt take into account the slip road / the number on it was wrong - any or all of the above but it is unstable and the diggers are yards from it although they should be a hundred metres
Not of course that they should be anywhere near it at all -
The camps are desperately asking for more Activists - but there is also plenty to do for anyone who can do the ploughing-through-documents-spotting-discrepancies stuff
and for people who can email or make phone calls - that is SO much needed
and if you can use the Office phone - then so much the better !
write letters to papers
or who isnt shy and can go on the radio
The National Monuments Department seems to be staffed by people who know
absolutely nothing about anything
although this is probably a Defensive Posture
and exactly the tack that anyone would take if they worked there and had to answer the phone .
Although the one who asked what sort of a monument Rath Lugh might be was maybe taking it a bit far - since of course it is a rath .
But we are finally getting at least some answers - I suppose we feel that if
we can slow it down and buy time - the tide is so much against this and towards
Sustainability that sooner or later it will turn . Soon enough ...? who knows
see the Savetara and HillOfTara yahoo groups or me for what the situation is and suggestions of who to write to - or just go ahead and phone and write to who you like and say what you think !
There are also badgers involved . And bats . And at least one red squirrel . And probably other Endangered and protected Specieses which brings in other people it is relevant to - I hope .
Anyway - the people there at Tara are amazing people : )
and here is a message from Lou
RATH LUGH SESSIONS
proudly present Rob Henderson playing in our Roundhouse this Friday 29th Feb 9pm
Failte roimh chach .
and it will be good too - sorry such short notice
her phone no is 00353863600478
ring her if you want to know what is going on down there or need directions to the camp . Once in the camp I don't think you could miss the Roundhouse .
2/ We DID go to Downpatrick on Saturday
It WAS wonderful - we went to Ballynoe stone circle http://www.tarataratara.net/Downpatrick/TN_Ballynoe.htm
http://www.tarataratara.net/Downpatrick/myPix/index.htm - okay there wasn't a whole heap of us but we did take a banner this time
also afterwards we found out a couple of things about Ballynoe
Ballynoe is from the Irish - Baile Núadh
which means - not sure - anyone sure ...?
... the New Place ? ...or maybe the Place of Nuada
Nuada being the king of the De Danann and who came out of the Northern Mists to reign at Tara and by all accounts a good king
- this might not be what was meant but would make a heap of sense as it looks like a kings grave in the centre of the stones and also if you stand in the middle and look South towards the mountains it looks like the head of a king
well - that's what it looks like to me - but then maybe Im looking with Tara Eyes ; )
but this is a later meaning - like Oisin's grave the week before - we are looking at Iron Age ( ? ) legends attached to neolithic ( ? ) structures
and " the New Place " makes sense as well as it looks very likely that it is
twinned with a stone circle in Cumbria - nearly the same size - at the exact
same latitude and with the exact same orientation .... goodness !....there is
so much about those people that we don't yet understand .... and how
International they were -
when we have got used to thinking that anything over a couple of miles is unreachable without a car
- anyway - so the same as last week - both connected to Tara and Irish Legend - and also to places over the water
and entirely by accident - as we cant remember who suggested Downpatrick or
but it was a good idea
anyway - we are hoping to perhaps do something there at the Equinox - with a picnic and music - talk to Nuada if he is still there and perhaps contact the De Danann energy - so badly needed at Tara at this time
And if it rains unbearably we will probably go to the Mill or to Speedy Mullans bar - please get in contact if you would like to be involved with this or know anyone who might-
as usual though - it doesnt depend on numbers - we will do it anyway even if it is only one person with a whistle
Still interested in Dunseverick ( Dun Sohairce ) but realistically it is too far away for us Belfast folks to organise anything there
but it would be a great place to do something ........ with drama of some sort ...
And still seeking out places in the North with Tara connections .... however obscure
any input gladly recieved and we may be going out again this weekend - if so it would be at 11 am from in front of St Annes as usual
the Ulster Archaelogical Society is having a Public Lecture on the 10th March I think - about Niall of the Nine Hostages , which would have to be relevant to Tara
their website doesn't seem to admit to anything since 2007 and Im still trying to find out the details - but put it in your diary if you have one and like the sound of it and have an empty space - it looks like it might be a Monday
and I nearly forgot - DOCUMENTARY ON RADIO ULSTER - SAT MORNING at 11.30 am
-for those of you not at the market
and for those who are - well - its on the Listen Again thing - and probably a Podcast for all I know -
anyway it sounds great ; )
Muireann from SaveTara writes
" Diarmaid Fleming of BBC Northern Ireland has been making a radio documentary on the whole Tara situation for the past number of weeks. He has interviewed some of you. Strong stuff is will be by all accounts.
It will air on BBC Northern Ireland radio on Saturday morning at 11.30am. He just sent me this link to the radio station - to documentaries.
Try to listen in, some surprises in store. "
that's all I think PLEASE support the protests if you can - in any way you can - and with phone calls and letters please to
oh - theres a list on this page for a start ....
!I! and I forgot to mention the Editorial in this weeks Irish Post !!!!!
and that should make some impact tho - perhaps it is still too subtle
plus I have copies of the great Tara " Mighty Gather In " double CD at the market and it genuinely really IS good -
it is brilliant !
and all money raised - well , at the moment it goes to the cost of pressing and printing the covers - but hopefully will then go to the camps for socks and stuff .
Also I think there may be copies at the Culturlann .
and the usual - if you are on this list by mistake - just tell me and I will
take you off it
but if you know anyone else who might be interested - please circulate it
and Happy Leap Year !!!
7/ - an informal Tara meeting at about 1pm at Mullans Organic egg and chicken stall at St Georges Market Saturday - hope to see you there ; )