The destruction of
the Tara valley is symbolic of the de-sacralisation of Irish
George Orwell said to imagine the future as "a boot stamping on
a human face forever", he might well have done better to say to
imagine: "an unthinking, overweight, self-ingratiated slob of a
human stomping on everything that is beautiful and represents the
spark of imagination within the human soul". However less catchy
the alternative is, it is nevertheless precisely what is happening;
an in fact more subtle sort of oppression against humankind than the
original quote dares to suggest.
The recent push by the Irish
government to level the Gabhra valley, at the foot of the hill of
Tara, to make way for a commuter motorway emphasises this fact
perhaps even more so than the previous attempt at a metaphor.
Further, that within the political arena no individual or group has
been bold enough to effectively stand up and refuse to let the
several millenia-worth of heritage accumulated within the area
disappear into a cloud of exhaust fumes, goes someway to evidencing
just how empty our society has become.
Almost it seems the
lone unquivering voice within Ireland has been the organisation Tara
Watch and its affiliates. Desperately, gallantly, and with some
effect they have pleaded with the people of Ireland to come out in
protest against this; to see the significance of Tara as greater than
whatever petty demands they may see fulfilled within the construction
of the motorway (or at any given moment may be distracting them to
apathy, for that matter).
Tara is the traditional capital of
Ireland, having been the seat of the Ard Rí for at least as
far back as there exists written record and continued to have deep
significance to the Irish people even after the collapse of the
Gaelic social system. In the wider international setting, it is the
epicentre of a civilization known to be one of the most ancient and
continuous anywhere, though the extent of its exploits and expanses
remains shrouded in mystery.
Tara is the legitimising
spiritual centre of Ireland, symbolising the unity and vitality of
the Irish nation. That we could be so audacious and self-serving to
destroy the material symbol of our solidarity just to cut a few
minutes off a few peoples travel time on their way to their shitty
jobs in Dublin seems a mere fact after the matter that our sense of
shared transcendent purpose has long since died. Nevertheless, if for
nothing else we should at least seek to preserve the area for the
archaeological knowledge it possesses and the hope contained therein
of reawakening our sense of collective (and individual)
Being a nation so thoroughly slandered and
suppressed since our domination by the british we are left with
little realistic account of our origins or history and have only
begun to receive some clue of who we are at our deepest foundations
from what has been unearthed in very recent times by archeology and
genetics. To quote from Tarawatch.com: "As the personalities of
these remarkable people are muted by a lack of recorded literature,
archeology becomes the sole resource for understanding them.
Therefore, the destruction in Tara Valley of what is a two
thousand-year old time casket is an injury to the people of Ireland".
Whilst two thousand years may be a cautious under-estimate, we may
never know if we go through with what even to many powerful
international onlookers seems unthinkable. The value of a strong
sense of heritage is hard to underestimate. A people that knows of
its heritage is emboldened by an awareness of the connection it has
with the past and with the environment and people it is immersed
within in the present. The need of a person to know of its origins is
a fundamental part of the human psyche. Without it a person feels
isolated & empty and loses the ability to understand themselves
or the world within any significant context. In short, a loss of a
strong sense of heritage makes for broken misguided people.
battle to save Tara then is a reiteration of the same battle that has
raged in Irish political and social life for some 400 years or more.
As we have wandered further and from any natively created culture we
have disregarded more and more the things which once were sacred to
us. Continually the Irish nation has struggled inwardly to assert its
energy as a unifying spiritual force, contending always with the
reductive force of individualist materialism. It is a battle
continually lost by those backing Ireland as a force for anything
more than mutually assured indulgence.
Is there life in
Ireland yet that we might stop this injury against the substance and
object of our heritage and national consciousness? Or at last
witnessing the culmination of Ireland's lengthy Twilight Of The
The people of Tara Watch deserve as much admiration and
support as possible. For more information on them and how you can
help, visit Tarawatch.org.