I've posted this on another Tara thread - but I feel it belongs here as well, as not everybody may see the other thread....
Tara update - 6th Feb 2008
Demolition works continued today at the Lismullin national monument, which lies in the middle of the M3 motorway route, near the Hill of Tara, despite the filing of High Court action yesterday by Gordon Lucas.
A large protest is planned for 8.00 AM tomorrow morning, beside the
Lismullin site. Demonstrators are travelling from different parts of
Ireland to object to the demolition works proceeding, while the matter is before the courts.
Smaller demonstrations have been taking place on a weekly basis, and today two more demonstrators appeared before Judge Brophy in Navan District Court, charged with trespass, after being arrested last week.
Rhiannon Curtis from the UK had her case dismissed, because it was a first offence. Marcin Sawicki, from Poland, who previously worked as an archaeologist on the M3, had his case adjourned until next week, when an interpreter was ordered to be present.
06 February 2008
High Court action seeks to protect site near Tara
By Dan Buckley
A HIGH COURT action was launched yesterday aimed at protecting the Lismullin national monument near Tara.
The action is being taken by Gordon Lucas, who is seeking to enforce EU directives on national monuments. He is seeking an injunction and a declaration that the National Monuments Act 2004 is in breach of EU law.
Lismullin was declared one of the top 10 most important archaeological discoveries in 2007 by Archaeology magazine, published by the Archaeological Institute of America. The Hill of Tara has also been placed on the 2008 list of 100 most endangered sites by the World Monuments Fund.
Last year, archaeologists working on the route of the motorway stumbled on a vast Iron Age ceremonial enclosure, or henge,
surrounded by two walls.
The 2,000-year-old site is about 2km from the Hill of Tara. The discovery of the henge, measuring about 260ft in diameter, confirmed the long-held belief that the area contains a rich complex of monuments.
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.
Lismullin and other sites that stand in the way of the new motorway
are now approved for destruction. Although archaeologists are
rallying support worldwide for the protection of the Hill of Tara, the iconic site remains in great peril, according to the lobbying group Tara Watch.
The European Commission has initiated legal action against the
Government over the M3, charging Ireland with failing to protect its
A Red C opinion poll has found that almost two-thirds (62%) of Irish
adults agree that the current format set down for the M3 is wrong,
and that alternatives should be found to protect the heritage sites.
More than half (58%) support a proposed heritage park solution, while 31% agree they would prefer to keep the M3 running through the valley as already agreed.
Vincent Salafia of protest group TaraWatch said: "This is a parallel
case to the case being taken against Ireland by the European
Commission, which states the Irish government is in breach of EU law. Work should cease immediately within the Tara archaeological complex, until this matter is resolved.
"It is ironic that the Irish government is pushing its citizens to
adopt the Lisbon Treaty, while they flatly refuse to obey current EU
law with regards to protection of the environment and the national
monument at Lismullin," said Mr Salafia.
High Court challenge to Gormley on M3 site
Irish Daily Mail
6 February 2008
by paul Caffrey
ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley faces a potentially embarrassing High Court challenge over a decision made by his predecessor to allow the M3 motorway to be built over an historic site near the Hill of Tara.
The Green TD claimed when he came to office last June that he was powerless to over-turn a last-minute order made by outgoing Environment Minister Dick Roche for 2,000 year old ruins discovered last year near the Hill of Tara to be destroyed to make way for the M3.
The civil suit is being taken by one Gordon Lucas a resident of
Limerick, who is seeking to enforce EU Environmental Assessment
directives and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Lucas, who filed his Statement of Claim with with court officials
yesterday, is seeking an injunction and a declaration that the National Monuments Act 2004 is in breach of EU law.
He is taking his case against the Environment Minister, the National Roads Authority, the State and the Attorney General.
Last night, opposition politicians and environmental campaigners said the High Court action signals fresh embarrassment for Mr Gormley, and only highlights his failure to stand by his priniciples sinec entering Government with Fianna Fail.
In a turbulent first day in office last June, Mr Gormley declared he had no authority to revoke his predecessor's order, despite his
commitment to protecting heritage.
But Labour's Eamon Gilmore claimed the Minister could reverse the decision, citing section 22 of the Interpretation Act 2005.
Fine Gael's Fergus O'Dowd made the damning charge against the Green Party chairman back then that the reason he had not done it was because he was politically emasculated by his new Fianna Fail masters. Former Environment Minister Dick Roche signed an order last year which allowed the archaeological site to be studied and then destroyed to make way for the motorway.
Last night, Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd launched a stonging attack on Mr Gormley, saying that his 'credibility is zero at this stage'. and that he 'stands for nothing'.
Campaign group TaraWatch, which is demanding that the site be preserved says the case is being taken as a last resort, after the Government opted not to perform a new environmental impact assessment on the proposed demolition of the Lismullin national monument.