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   TARA - BELFAST

 

 

 

 

 

PAST EVENTS -

 

Feb 17th 2008

 

Expedition to the places with connections to Tara 
in the North

The Finn Mac Cool / Fionn Mc Cumhail places

also the Royal Road from Tara to Dunseverick Castle ( Dun Sobhairce )

 

Oisins,s Grave  , Dunseverick castle ( Dun Sobhairce ) and the Giants Gauseway 

  
 

First Tara Belfast day to the North Coast

 

It ended up being just a carload  and we had to leave two people at St Annes .
We left the ones who didnt come with the driver - werent media and didnt have the map
and it was sad that anyone should be left behind - apart from that it was great
 
Labhoise driving - Bronagh and Ali who was badly hungover and unwell but had to come because he had never seen the Causeway  -  Donal from Northern Visions and me with a vague plan
which we mainly ignored
 
We had a copy of the Tara CD - which I should mention is entirely brilliant and is sold to raise money for the Tara Solidarity camps and costs 11 quid from various people - I think the Culturlann  has some  - Terri Hooley at Phoenix records will soon I hope
or from Mullans Organic Egg Stall on a Friday or a Saturday ie/ me
Anyway - its a double CD - tracks diviided into Yin and Yang by a logic understood by Seano who assembled it
some details  from http://www.taramusic.net/
and we played it again and again - its great !    ........I do mean it is REally good  8-)
although on balance we liked the Yin side best
 
- the weather was perfect - the plan was and is to check out the possiblities of organising a Tara Solidarity Event at some place connected with Tara - somewhere on the North Coast ~~~
We thought we had better try find Ossians Grave - the Neolithic tomb behind Cushendal
while we were in one car
just so as not to be wandering round the Glens completely lost with a couple of buses and no idea how to find it  
we all thought we knew where it was - were all entirely wrong but we found it by asking people
There are no road signs to it at all
Labhoise braved a very angry Jack Russel terrier  - with teetht that seemed to belong to a much larger creature - to talk to the lady who runs the guest house at the bottom of the lane and we parked the car in her yard and dragged our unfit and unwell bodies up the track to the hillside with the stones
 
John Hewitt is buried here - an Ulster Poet before he was a bar in Donegall Street
- also a Socialist and a political writer - and a promoter of Regional Identity over National identities of any kind which seems reasonable enough and would have avoided a heap of trouble and this was where he chose to be ....
either buried or have his ashes scattered  , I have no idea which - but there is stone and cement beehive thing to mark the spot
 
but that is all by the by

as we were there for Ossian's ( Oisin's ) Grave

In reality the reamins of a Neolithic passage tomb but associated by local legend with Ossian ( Oisin ) - the Poet

Son of Finn( Fionn ) and Sabh , a woman of the Sidhe who he first met when she was in the form of a deer

 
SO lucky with the weather - it was sunny and warm
we walked around it three times before going inside the stones - superstitious maybe ...? it just seems polite somehow
 
 Not sure what the others did -  but I sat down and leaned against one of the stones and went off into a fever dream -
 Since becoming so involved with the Tara campaign Ive really liked being in burial places and found them friendly  which perhaps sounds morbid but its more the feeling that we are connected through the dead and though the earth
and that somehow they can move around beneath the earth in ways we cant - like moles
carrying messages
although I dont mean this entirely literally -
 
anyway
Labhoise looking fabulous - like an album cover
Bronagh like a female Che

and me - not feeling the healthiest - probably looking like a puddle

Donal - the Media Man decided to Film and the three of us talked about Tara into the machine

We talked like the the Three Witches

 - all talking about the subject - all in totally different ways - but we werent disagreeing - just looking at it from very different angles
Somebody noticed that the sun and moon were both in the sky and right opposite so that we were in an exact straight line with them
It just added to the feeling we already had of somehow being in the exact right place at the exact right time
 
Later eating an ice-cream in the carpark at Ballycastle , I realised that though the sun and the moon were certainly in a straight line with us -  they were so far away that the same would apply wherever you were on the planet  -
and not only when you are leaning on a warm rock in a stone circle on a hillside behind Cushendal
 
Labhoise said " yes , but it isnt everywhere that anyone would notice it  "
which seems probably true enough
 
 We could easily have stayed there all day - or I could anyway
but part of our Mission was at the North Coast  -- so we piled back into the car as the day was getting on -
- I wanted to see Dunseverick and Ali had lived all his life in Belfast without ever seeing the Causeway and didnt intend carrying on like that but we needed fed so we went by Ballycastle and fed ourselves on Ice Cream .
Donal is recent from Dublin and had never seen Tor Head which is a sad thing as it is quite one of the best places ever and we were very near it - but we hadnt time after all the lounging around at Ossian's Grave  so we headed across country to Dunseverick
 
Just a bit further on from the village - the castle is spectacular

or rather the location is . The castle itself now is just mainly a ring of stones and a couple of wobbly looking turrets covered with perching crows . It is on a high flat bit of land with steep sides down to crashing rocks below

 Gulls  swooped all around - and another kind of bird - whitish but not really flying like a gull
but I dont think any photograph could capture how wonderful and totally vertigo-inducing this place is
maybe with a fisheye lens

A bit like Gormenghast ,the mad castle in the book

Though some of the engravings do go the other way and exaggerate the steepness slightly

 

Some hill walkers appeared from the West and we asked them if it was possible to get along the Coast path to the Causeway itself

We knew this coud be done  , though not necessarilly at this time of year / weather / tide / state of repair of path etc

Yes - they said - A brave walk - they said - maybe an hour
so we reckoned that meant it would probably take us about two and Donal was looking anxiously at the sun disapearing and he had video left unfilmed so after taking photos of each other wrapped in L's Royal Rug we reluctantly got back into the car and set off to the Causeway  - Where we have no intention whatsoever to draw any paralels between the state-sponsored vandalism being perpetrated at Tara and any controversial Visitor Centre or anything about dodgy relationships betwen Politicians and Party supporters - not at all
 
We DID intend to draw attention to the fact that though Tara is the Mythical and perhaps Spiritual centre of Ireland - and the Archaeology shows how special this valley has been in many different Ages - the Irish Government has never asked for it to be made a World Heritage Site
which would of course involve having to look after it -
and to paint a large banner saying  " Tara for World Heritage Site " or something - drape it across the Causeway and get great photos of it
I had packed the banner - the paints and the brushes - they were in the boot of the car
but I hadnt told anyone else that that was what my huge amount of luggage was
and it entirely went out of my mind
 
The Causeway was brilliant and even more so as the sun went down - the people drifted off home - the waves got higher - the light shone silver on the pools left on the tops of the columns the sun dissappeared into the sea and the red glow in the sky behind where the Visitor Centre was became spectacular
 
and one way and another a brilliant day was had by all  ; )
 
Except that sometime on the way back we were talking about painting and I remembered that we had paints , brushes and a banner - still unpainted - in the boot of the car
 
Labhoise was utterly disgusted  - I pleaded Flu
which she didnt seem to impress her much - but I said it was a really good example of the reason not to rely on one person to remember things - especially if its me
and the exact reason why we need some sort of a Group
 
anyway
we have decided that there will be Tara meetings on Saturdays at St Georges market at 2pm ...probably starting at  Mullans Organic egg stall .....then wafting over to find a quiet table at the Markets end of the market  ie/ opposite end to the fish stalls
 
Not a Big Deal  - no Commitee - no Split
but just some way of communicating with each other
 
not exactly sure what the next plans will be  ---

When I got home there was a message from Laoise Kelly who called the Dublin Harp Gathering outside the Dail Eirreann for Tara

She asking if and when we were planning something for the Causeway

she was asking if we would like her to ask Different Drums to see if they would do something there
 
I think this would be amazing -
 I also know that we would need help with organising something like that -
 

so - this is something that we will have to figure out - and its finding the right people / person

there isnt a problem that it is Political

South of the border it probably is
.. but here it isnt - or not in a Party Political sense - but in an Eco Political sense perhaps
 
it is about preserving and respecting the Sacred Places of the Earth

and of course our own relationship with them

 

 

other possibilities seem to be opening up too

but I've realised that I can make banners and flyers and this website and that is it !
no trying to organise buses and such - it just isnt possible 

and not something Im any good at  ...but we have decided that there will be Tara meetings on Saturdays at St Georges market at 2pm ...starting at AnneMarie Mullans organic egg stall .....then wafting over to find a quiet table at the Markets end of the market  ie/ opposite end to the fish stall

 

and try to figure out ways to take this onwards  .....

......  both in Support of Tara - and to celebrate our own places here

                        ,,,,,,,,,,,    which is - in a way - the same thing -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


   

 

 

 

 

Paste up

 

Tara Belfast

 

 

 

 

Oisin     in  Tir   na  nOg     by  Amie   Dooley      

www.iol.ie/~batespd/Legweb/5amie.htm


 

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/ballycastle.antrim/bits/dunseverick.html

Dunseverick Castle

from "The Dublin Penny Journal"

No. 46 Vol. I May 11, 1833

The following description of this castle, has been sent us by our esteemed contributor, Mr. S. McSkimin, author of the History and Antiquities of Carrickfergus.

" On an insulated rock, near the centre of a small bay, three miles east of the Giant's Causeway, stand the ruins of the Castle of Dunseverick, formerly the seat of a branch of the ancient family of O'Cahan, or as they were commonly called by the English and Scottish settlers, O'Kane. Traces of the outworks of this building are visible around the rock on which it stands, while its shattered keep appears to ' nod o'er its own decay,' and is destined at no distant period to become as prostrate as other fragments of the ruins scattered about. Immense masses of the rock have been hewn away, evidently for the pur¬pose of rendering the castle as inaccessible as possible ; an enormous basaltic rock, south of the entrance, also appears to have been cut into a pyramidical form, and flattened on the top, perhaps as a station for a warder, or for the purpose of placing it upon some engine of defence."

 

 

 

 

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                          Bright Blessings ,      marcellavee

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