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Tara SOS to protest at All Ireland Football Semi-Final
Sunday August 28, 2005 20:50 by Tara SOS - Tara SOS - M3 to The West +353863213755
Heritage Week Protests 3rd - 11th September, 2005
"Cú Chulainn is the mascot of the TARA SOS campaign. When Cú Chulainn was slain during his last battle, his head, sword-arm and Golden Shield were taken to Tara. Today, his statue commemorates the heroes of 1916 in the GPO. We aim to commemorate Cú Chulainn by preserving Tara, and to save the Irish people up to €60m in the process."
Cú Chulainn's remains are said to be buried at Tara
Press Release: Tara SOS - M3 to the West is to protest at All Ireland Semi-Final at Croke Park - Heritage Week Protests 3rd - 11th September, 2005
From: Tara SOS - M3 to the West (www.tarasos.com) , Navan, Co. Meath
To mark Heritage Week, Tara SOS will be organising a series of protests at heritage events throughout the country. The aim of these protests and leafleting of events is to highlight Tara's unique place in Irish history and lore, and to communicate that Tara is not being maintained and protected in a manner befitting a site of such national importance.
According to Proinsias Mac Fhearghusa, a spokesperson for Tara SOS - M3 to the West "Tara relies on its rich literature and associations, whilst those that are insistent on the current M3 detour through the Gabhra valley rely on our ignorance of this same rich literature and associations."
Tara SOS - M3 to the West point out that whilst there is an almost unique abundance of history and lore associated with Tara, Tara has been neglected whilst sites such as the Céide Fields and Brú na Boinne have flourished, been respectfully developed and protected. "There has been unprecedented investment in both the Céide Fields and Brú na Boinne in recent years. Whilst this has to welcomed, it must also be pointed out that both Newgrange and the Céide Fields were buried for thousands of years, and there is little or no lore or recorded history attached to them."
"Tara is the complete opposite - throughout Ireland's history, Tara has featured in every century, and in many historical events. Yet it is the single most neglected of all of our major heritage sites - the detouring of the M3 to run it through the Tara (Gabhra) valley is simply the latest act in the state's history of reckless abandon towards Tara, which up until now has simply meant neglect but which has lately meant destruction."
It is the belief of the Tara SOS - M3 to the West group that the current route (http://www.meath.ie/roads/M3_EIS/maps25_02_03/fig3_2.html) is unnecessarily longer than one of the other considered routes, the Orange Route (http://www.meath.ie/roads/M3_EIS/maps25_02_03/fig4_2.html). It is estimated that the alternative Orange Route (which does not pass through the Tara valley) is up to 3.5km shorter, could pass Tara 5km away, and be €60m cheaper than the current route. It also offers the possibility of linking Trim to the M3, and would not act as a physical barrier to reopening the Dublin Navan Rail Line. The Tara Valley is currently being excavated to facilitate the M3's construction. The plans include a 28 acre interchange in the Tara Gabhra Valley which will be visible from the Hill. Our aim is to have the M3 rerouted to the west of Tara, and embedded in the landscape. It is cheaper, shorter and more cost-effective, and would not be visible from the hill.
Tara SOS - M3 to the West say the NRA and the government must be swayed to reroute the M3. According to Proinsias Mac Fhearghusa, Fianna Fáil of all parties should be sympathetic to rerouting the M3: "Another little known piece of Tara's history and lore is that of the last battle of Na Fianna. They were decimated in the Tara Gabhra valley. It is ironic that modern Fianna Fáil could have a hand in digging up the final resting place of Fianna Fionn Mac Cumhall. Hopefully Cú Chulainn, and Na Fianna may yet be saved from turning in their graves, literally, during the valley's excavation."
Tara SOS explain their motivation as follows, "Many of us in the group are commuters that travel the N3 every day. We see the traffic, where the bottle-necks are, and we know that they are not at Tara. And we also know that the M3 diverts unnecessarily into the Tara Gabhra Valley at an additional cost of up to E60m the Irish Tax Payer. We feel that Meath needs Infrastructure but Ireland needs Heritage too, and this current meandering route is a waste of Tax Payer's money."
Heritage Week - Main Event Time - 2pm, Sunday 4th September at the GPO, Dublin, to leaflet the All Ireland Semi Finals at Croke Park
Photos attached - M3 Archaeological Digs at the foot of Tara and Cú Chulainn GPO Memorial. Higher Res photos available.
Proinsias Mac Fhearghusa, Spokesperson Tara SOS - M3 to the West
Tel: +353 86 321 3755
Visit - www.tarasos.com