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Save Tara demo at Bertie's US Congress speech April 30

category international | history and heritage | news report author Friday February 22, 2008 13:08author by TaraWatchauthor email info at tarawatch dot orgauthor phone 087-972-8603 Report this post to the editors

Plans are underway for a demo outside the US Congress

Now that a the date of 30 April has been fixed for Bertie Ahern's speech to the US Congress, mobilisation of Save Tara demonstrators in the US will begin in earnest. TaraWatch is planning a large demonstration in Washington, and an intense media campaign to mark the event. We need your help.
Bin Bertie
Bin Bertie

Over the course of the campaign, TaraWatch has built a strong network of support in major cities across the US. Demonstrations at Irish Consulate offices have already been held in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The issue has also received significant media coverage in the US, including an editorial in the New York Times by Nial Toibin.

This story appeared in the papers yesterday:

Bertie’s on par with the Taliban

Evening Herald - 21 February 2008

By Michael Lavery

THE Irish Government has been described as ‘on par with the Taliban’ by an environmental group who plan to disrupt Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s address to Washington DC.

Campaigners opposed to the development at the site of Tara have threatened a “large demonstration” in the US capital when the Taoiseach speaks to Congress at the end of April.

He will be only the fifth world leader to have addressed both the Joint Houses of Congress and the Joint Houses of Parliament in the UK.

‘Save Tara’ protesters against the M3 motorway said that now a date has been set, mobilisation of demonstrators in the US will begin in earnest.

They claim the Irish Government’s attitude to Tara puts it on par with the Taliban who destroyed the Bamiyan Bhuddas in Afganistan.

TaraWatch said that over the last years it has built a strong network of support in major cities across the US.

Demonstrations at Irish Consulate offices have already been held in New York, Chicago, LA and San Francisco.

==

A number of prominent American cultural institutions have already condemned the plans for the M3 motorway at Tara:

- The World Monuments Fund, based in New York, placed Tara on the 2008 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites last June. Bonnie Burnham, President of WMF, said at the launch of the List, that Tara would be its "biggest advocacy challenge".

- The Archaeological Institute of America, with over 5,000 members, has issued statements criticising the M3, and its publication, Archaeology Magazine, voted Lismullin one of the top ten most important archaeological discoveries in the world in 2007. In March 2004, Jane Waldbaum, President of AIA wrote a letter to the Irish Times, stating

"...we are shocked that planning permission has been granted, and are particularly alarmed at the news that trial trenching is already beginning on an unusual scale, and is likely to do irreparable damage to the site. We appeal to the Irish authorities as a matter of urgency to move this section of the M3 away from the Tara/Skreen valley and to save this precious legacy from our shared past for posterity."

- The Massachusetts Archaeological Society wrote to the Minister for the Environment, in October 2007, stating:

"We wish to express to you our concerns over this development proposal, since it will adversely affect the archaeological integrity of an entire significant landscape. Many of our members are
Irish-Americans, and they have particular concerns about this."

- Notable US academics in US universities like Harvard, UCLA, Berkeley and John Hopkins University have also added their names to letters of protest.

- In addition, there has been a large number of letters to national and local Meath newspapers by Americans and Irish Americans, in opposition to the M3 route.

Archaeological Institute of America - Tara campaign
http://www.archaeological.org/webinfo.php?page=10245

Archaeology Magazine top ten discoveries in 2007
http://www.archaeology.org/0801/topten/tara.html

Massachusetts Archaeological Society - open letter on Tara
http://tarawatch.org/?p=560

World Monuments Fund, Tara listing:
http://wmf.org/watch2008/watch.php?id=S8351

New York Times editorial by Colm Toibin
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/25/opinion/25toibin.html

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by TaraWatchpublication date Fri Feb 22, 2008 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Post - 22 Feb 2008

http://www.irishpost.co.uk/

EDITORIAL: Tara destruction puts Government on road to ruin

THE CONTROVERSY over the Hill of Tara and the construction of the nearby M3 motorway refuses to go away.

This is an issue which has attracted worldwide attention and energised protesters both in
Britain and Ireland. Yet, it seems, the Irish Government is determined to cock a deaf ear to the dissenting voices.

This week an Irish Post poll (see page 21) showed more than 80 per cent of respondents were in favour of halting all construction of new roads around the historic site. In one of the largest responses we have ever received more than 3,000 people took part. That opposition has been mirrored in previous petitions and online message boards opposing routing a motorway past this historic archaeological treasure.

The extent of archaeological remains on the Hill of Tara—burial mounds, religious enclosures, stone structures and rock art dating from the third millennium BC to the 12th century AD — makes it Ireland's most spiritually and archaeologically significant site.

Even the European Commission has become embroiled in the argument by initiating legal action against the Irish Government over the M3 — charging it with failing to protect its own heritage.

Against this background the Government's intransigence smacks of nothing more than sheer bloody-mindedness. It seems Ministers are determined not to be seen admitting they made a mistake.

But there is little doubt that the route chosen for the new M3 motorway is a mistake of colossal proportions. It is akin to Britain's Department of Transport deciding to re-route the M4 motorway so it passed close to the world famous stone circle at Avebury.

To make matters worse the Irish Government could have easily ordered the route of the M3
to be altered to ensure it avoided the Hill of Tara but chose not to do so. Instead they decided it was worth risking the destruction of one of the world's most important archaeological sites for the sake of so-called progress.

Unfortunately, the folly of this decision will only be truly appreciated in years to come when people see what has been lost forever. The protesters still battling to stop the new highway are hopeful they may yet succeed — although time is running out. For the sake of future generations and all those who value Ireland's history it is to be hoped they do succeed.

Related Link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hilloftara/message/8004
 
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