Upcoming Events

National | Miscellaneous

no events match your query!

New Events


no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds



offsite link The Wholesome Photo of the Month Thu May 09, 2024 11:01 | Anti-Empire

offsite link In 3 War Years Russia Will Have Spent $3... Thu May 09, 2024 02:17 | Anti-Empire

offsite link UK Sending Missiles to Be Fired Into Rus... Tue May 07, 2024 14:17 | Marko Marjanović

offsite link US Gives Weapons to Taiwan for Free, The... Fri May 03, 2024 03:55 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Russia Has 17 Percent More Defense Jobs ... Tue Apr 30, 2024 11:56 | Marko Marjanović

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Alternative Copy of thesaker.is site is available Thu May 25, 2023 14:38 | Ice-Saker-V6bKu3nz
Alternative site: https://thesaker.si/saker-a... Site was created using the downloads provided Regards Herb

offsite link The Saker blog is now frozen Tue Feb 28, 2023 23:55 | The Saker
Dear friends As I have previously announced, we are now “freezing” the blog.  We are also making archives of the blog available for free download in various formats (see below). 

offsite link What do you make of the Russia and China Partnership? Tue Feb 28, 2023 16:26 | The Saker
by Mr. Allen for the Saker blog Over the last few years, we hear leaders from both Russia and China pronouncing that they have formed a relationship where there are

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2023/02/27 ? Open Thread Mon Feb 27, 2023 19:00 | cafe-uploader
2023/02/27 19:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link The stage is set for Hybrid World War III Mon Feb 27, 2023 15:50 | The Saker
Pepe Escobar for the Saker blog A powerful feeling rhythms your skin and drums up your soul as you?re immersed in a long walk under persistent snow flurries, pinpointed by

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTEs Sarah McInerney ? Fianna Fail supporter? Anthony

offsite link Joe Duffy is dishonest and untrustworthy Anthony

offsite link Robert Watt complaint: Time for decision by SIPO Anthony

offsite link RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony

offsite link Waiting for SIPO Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Netanyahu soon to appear before the US Congress? It will be decisive for the suc... Thu Jul 04, 2024 04:44 | en

offsite link Voltaire, International Newsletter N°93 Fri Jun 28, 2024 14:49 | en

offsite link Will Israel succeed in attacking Lebanon and pushing the United States to nuke I... Fri Jun 28, 2024 14:40 | en

offsite link Will Netanyahu launch tactical nuclear bombs (sic) against Hezbollah, with US su... Thu Jun 27, 2024 12:09 | en

offsite link Will Israel provoke a cataclysm?, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Jun 25, 2024 06:59 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Lismullin in the Gabhra Valley

category national | miscellaneous | news report author Thursday April 05, 2007 13:55author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tara Report this post to the editors

The site of the last battle of the Fianna

This contains a series of photographs taken over the weekend 30 March - 2nd April of the area of Lismullin, the Gabhra Valley. This is how the most important area in Ireland is treated with the permission of Meath County Council and the National Roads Authority.
Skryne in the background
Skryne in the background

The Campaign to Save Tara is very disappointed that the An Taisce case, taken on transport grounds, failed yesterday in the High Court. It show how the judiciary in this country has become increasingly politicised. The political route is now the only option left for Tara and this will be mounted by the Campaign.
Funds are necessary for such an exercise and the banking details are found on the website but they are given here as well.
Target is €10,000
To date the campaign has been funded primarily by the campaigners themselves. If you wish to make a donation to the campaign our Bank Account details are as follows:

For Donations from within Ireland:
Bank: Bank of Ireland
Account Name: Campaign to Save Tara
Account No: 42869724
Sort Code: 90 34 37

For Donations from outside Ireland:
Campaign to Save Tara Current Account
IBAN IE12 BOFI 903437 42869724

You can also send funds to:
Campaign to Save Tara,
PO Box 30,
Co. Meath,

or to:
Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin,
School of Celtic Studies,
National University of Ireland,
Co. Kildare,

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com

Rath Lugh, road track and the Gabhra River
Rath Lugh, road track and the Gabhra River

pottery from spoil heap Lismullin
pottery from spoil heap Lismullin

Partial extent of the site
Partial extent of the site

Diggers at Lismullin
Diggers at Lismullin

author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 14:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here are further photographs - large as the site is it stretches outside the road take and this will not be excavated. There are reports of 17 postholes at the edge of the site, they are only a quarter of the area to be excavated so the integrity of this feature will be destroyed.


Lismullin again
Lismullin again

In the shadow of Rath Lugh - outpost of Tara
In the shadow of Rath Lugh - outpost of Tara

A huge site
A huge site

Area outside road take will not be excavated
Area outside road take will not be excavated

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 14:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Note the presence of large diggers - they are digging well below the top soil. This is then turned into huge mounds called spoil heaps. These should be searched for archaeology - they are not. There is archaeology to be found as emerged over the weekend. Further the heaps are traversed by these heavy machines possibly crushing whatever is found there.

Heavy machinery approaching Lismullin
Heavy machinery approaching Lismullin

Gabhra Valley from Rath Lugh
Gabhra Valley from Rath Lugh

Gabhra River from Rath Lugh
Gabhra River from Rath Lugh

Digger and spoil heap Lismullin
Digger and spoil heap Lismullin

Large digger at Lismullin
Large digger at Lismullin

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by M. Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 14:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bones and finds are left lying around for anyone to see. If the story of the Fianna's last battle were true?

Spoil heap taken from Rath Lugh angle
Spoil heap taken from Rath Lugh angle

Exposed bones at Lismullin
Exposed bones at Lismullin

Digger marks on spoil heap
Digger marks on spoil heap

Depth of the bucket cut at Lismullin
Depth of the bucket cut at Lismullin

Caterpillar marks at Lismullin
Caterpillar marks at Lismullin

author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 14:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At times words fail ...

Bucket mark - note depth
Bucket mark - note depth

Bones on site
Bones on site

Bagged bones on site
Bagged bones on site

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Tricky Mickypublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 14:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The public should be aware that this fundraising campaign is being run primarily by Labour / Green alliance. Initiated by Dr Muireann Ni Bhrolchain, a Maynooth Community Council member for Labour and Michael Canney, a Green Party acvtivist, it is now being assisted by Rosaleen Allen, sister of Mike Allen, General Secretary of the Labour Party. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/savetara/message/1620

While they have been fundraising for a couple of weeks, there is no election strategy, other than to get Labour and Greens elected. You might was well donate directly to the parties. The following statement is taken from their web site today:

Dáil Elections '07

"Elections to the 30th. Dáil are widely predicted to take place in May. The Campaign to Save Tara is currently formulating stratagies for the Election.

"We're not going to tell you yet!!

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com/election.html
author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 14:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Press release – Campaign to Save Tara - for immediate release

Site at Lismullin excavated with indecent haste

The Campaign to Save Tara wishes to commiserate with An Taisce after the High Court refused its case on the M3. As this case unfolded, the Campaign has received reports coming in about the archaeological site at Lismullin on the proposed route of the M3. There is grave concern that it is being excavated with indecent haste. The report of the NRA originally described this site as “eleven pit features and linear features”, now it is a huge site that is expanding daily, stretching as it does from the Rath Lugh complex to the bridge over the legendary Gabhra river at the back of Lismullin House.

The Campaign has heard that the number of archaeologists will soon reach 100 and that the time limit for excavation is one month. It is not possible to complete serious archaeological work on such a massive area with complicated features in that space of time. The work methods include mechanical diggers taking feet of topsoil and depositing this in spoil heaps that contain archaeology (pottery for example). These heaps are not examined, they are traversed by these huge machines that crush any possible deposits.

The NRA has constantly down-graded the sites on the chosen route. This was of such concern to the Director of the National Museum that he said the NRA’s description of Roestown: “amounts to the re-definition of a monument type in non-monument terms” (16 March 2005). Roestown was shown to contain spectacular souterrains and a high-class habitation site with rich finds.

Even a casual observer of the digs on the route will now see that they can be described as a mosaic of sites radiating from Tara, a complex of contiguous areas, some only 100 yards apart. This bears out what C. Newman, J. Fenwick and E. Bhreathnach said in a statement (March 2004): “the central ceremonial complex on the hill was surrounded by settlements, religious monuments, ceremonial entrances and route-ways and strategically-placed fortifications”. The Director of the National Museum stated: “Taken together, this group of monuments constitute an archaeological and cultural landscape”

But Brian Duffy, Chief State Archaeologist, denies the existence of a landscape: “These monuments cannot be considered to be part of some greater Tara monument”. However, this is the same person who stated in the same document: “It could be argued that the M3 will be a monument of major significance in the future…” (December 2004).

The Campaign to Save Tara maintains that these sites are all part of the Tara landscape and that the entire Gabhra Valley is a National Monument. These sites should not be considered individually but as one continuous complex.

M. Ní Bhrolcháin said on behalf of the Campaign: “This is salvage archaeology. Why does Lismullin have to be excavated in a month? The road will take years to build. The methods used as akin to “smash and grab” and sites such as this will be seriously compromised by this type of open cast archaeology”.

Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin
Campaign to Save Tara

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Jamespublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 15:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you and your academic colleagues are so concerned about it why don't you make an affidavit instead of another press release. What do you expect the press to do, or the public for that matter? They're wrecking Tara. This isn't news!

author by TaraWatchpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 15:50author email info at tarawatch dot orgauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

We are shocked that expert opinion has not been brought to bear to stop the excavations of this and other newly discovered sites. It would seem it is the experts who have been politicised in this country. An Taisce might have succeeded on other grounds if they had expert support. An Taisce did not sue on heritage grounds because they couldn't find any experts to testify. The case they took was thrown out because the objection they raised was actually raised in 2002 with An Bord Pleanala and they SHOULD have taken judicial review of the An Bord Pleanala decision. Only people who participated in the process had standing to do so. But, An Taisce were also looking to sue on heritage grounds, and on recent discoveries. They were aware of Roestown and other national monuments under threat, and even asked TaraWatch and other campaigners if we had any experts. Now, this latest discovery will go under the bulldozer, thanks to the lack of formal expert objections.

We wish the Campaign to Save Tara the best of luck in their election campaign. However, we do not agree with them that "all other avenues" have been exhausted.

We need your help to complete complaints to EU, World Monuments Watch, Coillte and other bodies immediately.

TaraWatch is faced with the same problem as An Taisce, so we are raising money to commission an expert report from a foreign archaeological consultancy company.

There are a number of ways you can still help save Tara.

1. Sign the petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/hilltara/ - over 25,000 have
2. Donate to the Tara Archaeological Report Fund http://www.tarawatch.org - over 2,000 of 20,000 raised
3. Join the mailing list with approx 800 members: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hilloftara/
4. Attend meetings in Dublin every Monday 6.00 pm - contact info@tarawatch.org for details
5. Volunteer to do research or promotion
6. Protest!

A expert report would greatly help our complaint to World Monuments Fund - List of 100 Most Endangered Sites
A expert report would greatly help our complaint to World Monuments Fund - List of 100 Most Endangered Sites

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by Michael Martin - Independent Tara campaignerpublication date Thu Apr 05, 2007 22:49author email Wicklowwolf at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes, key-people involved with the Campaign to save Tara's election manifesto have strong links to Labour and the Greens. I have seen the draft document and can assure you that it is definitely NOT a recommendation to vote for the Greens or the Labour Party. If it was I would not support it. It is a politically neutral document and in no way linked to Greens, Labour or any other party / independent candidate.

But independent from all this, many Tara campaigners , since everything else so far has failed, seem to put a lot of trust into Labour and/or the Green Party and their participation in the next government. Apologies for destroying your little fantasy world, folks, but Labour as defenders of our heritage is a poor joke at the very best! Bear in mind that it was Brendan Howlin, a Labour Party minister, who sealed the destruction of the Glen O'Downs with his signature!
And back in the late 70's to mid-80's the Labour party participated in several governments, but failed to protect Wood Quay! And now people are trusting that lot with the protection of Tara.........?!?!

In previous election campaigns the Greens have built their strategy on exposing Fianna Fail and Fine Gael corruption and power abuse. But this time around they make it clear that they are eager to be part of the next FF or FG government, inspite of formerly condemning those two as corrupt! Like a street whore, the Green Party seems to be prostituting itself to the highest bidder so it seems. Gone and forgotten is all that Green talk of the past about government transparency and confronting political corruption when a piece of that (government) cake is offered to them! If they are prepared to make a U-turn on supporting a government they up to very recently regarded as the cesspit of corruption, what makes you so sure they won't make another U-turn when it comes to the protection of Tara.....?????

author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tara publication date Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Green Party have again targeted the major road schemes in the face of climate change. No particular road is mentioned but see below where those that will attract additional capacity will be looked at. The problem is that the PPP is signed for the M3 but actual construction has not yet begun.

Irish Examiner, Friday, 6 April 2007
Greens target major road schemes in ‘radical’ bid to tackle climate change
By Paul O’Brien, Political Reporter
THE Green Party yesterday confirmed it would seek to cut or delay a number of major road projects in favour of public transport schemes if returned to power.
The party also said it would urge the EU to introduce an “individual travel carbon quota” for every citizen. Any citizen who breaches their quota by travelling extensively would have to pay a penalty to offset the additional carbon emissions for which they are responsible.
“If you use too much, you would have to purchase it, but conversely, if you don’t use up a quota, you can sell it on to somebody else,” said party TD Ciarán Cuffe.
The Greens said such measures were necessary to tackle climate change. At a press conference on the issue yesterday, the party urged all political parties to commit to reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions by 30% over the next 10 years.
As part of a wider EU agreement, the Government has already committed itself to reducing emissions by 20% by 2020.
But the Greens say this won’t go far enough and a more ambitious target needs to be set.
Referring to a report being published today by the UN-established Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), party leader Trevor Sargent said: “The time for gestures, for greenwash and for party politicking on climate change is over.
“In just 70 years’ time, it is likely that at least an extra billion people worldwide will experience water scarcity and several hundred million will be threatened by hunger.
“There is a national and global climate emergency and we need a position of consensus from all of the parties within the Irish political system to effectively respond.”
His colleague, Eamon Ryan TD, criticised the lack of “honesty” from the Greens’ possible coalition partners — Fine Gael and Labour — on the issue.
“Fine Gael are calling on the Government to set climate change targets but they have failed to set any such targets for an alternative government. Labour has committed to a 20% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020, but they have not given any indication as to how this will be achieved.”
Mr Ryan said the Greens would re-assess the roads plan in the Transport 21 infrastructure scheme.
“Some of the roads would not be built or would be delayed,” he said. “The simple fact was that tackling climate change is not going to be easy. This requires radical change.”
Mr Sargent, meanwhile, refused to state that his party would make the 30% reduction target a precondition for entering government. But he said it would be a “top priority”.

Irish Times, Friday 6 April 2006
Carbon emissions an election issue, say Greens
Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour must show voters before the general election how they will cut Ireland's carbon emissions, the Green Party has said.
Proposing a 3 per cent cut in emissions in each of the next 10 years, the Green Party leader Trevor Sargent said all political parties must unite to tackle the crisis.
However, the Greens acknowledged that under its plan, some road projects would "not be built, or delayed", while billions would be spent on public transport.
Fine Gael, said Green Dublin South TD Eamon Ryan, had called on the Government this week to set a national target, and to cut State organisations' emissions. "It doesn't matter what this Government does, it matters what the next government does. We are asking Fine Gael to be honest and come out and say what they will do.
"If we are to have a contract with the people, we have to be honest with the people about how difficult this will be," he said.
In post-election talks, the Greens said they would push for a 3 per cent target to be set, although it is not yet a pre-condition for such talks.
The performance of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the Minister for the Environment Dick Roche on climate change had been "atrocious", he added.
The Government has acknowledged that "unquantified further measures" will be necessary to bring Ireland's emissions down.
"They could not be bothered working it out in advance. If they are serious, let them produce it before the election," Mr Ryan told a Dublin press conference.
Some planned roads "would not be built, or would be delayed", he accepted, particularly in cases where they created additional capacity.
"[ Given] the need to reduce our emissions by 3 per cent per annum, you cannot do that when our transport emissions are growing by 7 per cent per annum.
"I am sorry, that is insane. For other parties to pretend that you can keep growing and growing at 7 per cent, and say at the same time that you are taking climate change seriously, does not stack up. We stand our ground on that one. And let the electorate decide. We will build additional Luas lines, we think that that will work. The current system isn't even working. The electorate has a choice: if it wants that system vote Progressive Democrats and vote Fianna Fáil. If they want better public transport, more Luas lines around the country, vote Green."
Under the Green plan, offshore wind farms, wave and tidal projects would be State-supported, while householders would be encouraged to produce domestic energy and sell any excess to the national grid.
Stamp duties on well-insulated homes would be cut, large cars would be hit with tough Vehicle Registration Tax penalties, while mono-filament electric bulbs would be banned within two years.
Ciarán Cuffe TD said the State must act quickly. "Dick Roche is feeding the dinosaurs. He is saying that if we go for a low-carbon economy there will be problems for employment. Low-carbon industries will create thousands of jobs in Ireland, as they already have in Germany."

Two out of three say move the road
Two out of three say move the road

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Mick Eganpublication date Fri Apr 06, 2007 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I fail to see what Tarawatch is trying to say in this contribution. Is it the CST's fault that An Taisce failed?
Have you read anything about or listened to any of this case?
To be quiet clear. This case was taken quiet simply on the issue of compliance with Section 18 regarding tolling.
"An Taisce was not seeking to stop the
development of the M3 at the moment, but a point would
come where, if the courts declared the NRA had acted
beyond its powers, there would be "certain consequences
in relation to the construction of the motorway". John Rogers SC.
As for expert help on this particular issue. Is John Rogers SC not good enough in your view!!!!
Perhaps they should have used an American trained lawler!!

Michael Martin: There are three possible ways the M3 can be stopped and only three.

1. By the Courts.
2. By Ministerial Directive
3. An Archaeological "show stopper"

1. I think everyone must be aware by now that the Courts are at best unsympathic.
3. We can only hope for the "show stopper" - not much of a strategy.

Therefore the political front is the best and only way to proceed with this campaign for now. There is no other avenue worth expending time and resources on right now.

James: Affidavits have already been sworn my Conor Newman, Muireann NiBhrolchain and others.

Tricky Micky: Should CST give the Government enough notice in order to mobilise their considerable resources to counter.
You must be very very niave or plain stupid.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Fri Apr 06, 2007 13:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Statement copied from above: "The problem is that the PPP (public-private partnership) is signed for the M3 but actual construction has not yet begun."

The PPP agreement may have been signed, but is it legally valid in terms of Bunreacht na hEireann (the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland)?

Or, is this "agreement" a worthless product (in legal terms) of unconstitutional legislation and closely related unconstitutional actions and inactions by our "public servants"?

Consider for example the situation with the "Aarhus Convention Agreement", which was signed by the Republic of Ireland in 1998, and which has still not (as far as I know) ever been "laid before Dail Eireann (Republic of Ireland Parliament)" - as is required under Article 29. 5. 1°. of Bunreacht na hEireann. What is this piece of legal inaction all about? Whatever it is about, it certainly very much favours the global pack of "PPP Swindlers" described in articles such as that at http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2006/site_packages/eco....html . I find it very interesting that this article is in part titled the "The Mussolini Model for Infrastructure", on account of the fascist origins of PPP schemes.

Had the Aarhus Convention Agreement been "laid before Dail Eireann", as required by "basic law", which is what the word "Bunreacht" actually means, it seems highly unlikely (to me at least) that ANY of the important ancient heritage in the Tara / Skreen Valley would have EVER been damaged or destroyed. (More on the Aarhus Convention Agreement can be found at http://www.google.com/search?q=Aarhus+Convention+Agreem...earch , and more evidence of the amazing Bronze Age historical, cultural, and archaeological importance of the Hill of Tara can be found at http://www.kingollamhfodhla.com/ .)

This matter of "unconstitutional legislation" was one of a number of issues raised with Minister for Justice Michael McDowell TD in a letter sent to him by registered post on August 6th 2006 - which he appears to be completely ignoring. The letter text can be seen at
http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.co...r.htm .

Further information, regarding much more recent efforts to make unconstitutional legalisation a General Election 2007 issue, can be found via http://www.indymedia.ie/article/81757&comment_limit=0&c...88965

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com
author by anonanonpublication date Fri Apr 06, 2007 23:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not a lot but someone must have provided affidavits for this one? It say that the experts didn't agree with Salafia - strange one

Challenge to M3 route near Hill of Tara rejected

A challenge by environmentalist Vincent Salafia to the proposed route of the M3 motorway near the Hill of Tara has been dismissed on all grounds by the High Court.
Mr. Justice Thomas Smyth ruled Mr. Salafia was not entitled to succeed in any of his claims because of an unjustified two-year delay in bringing them. He considered all the arguments made by Mr. Salafia, including claims that certain provisions of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 were unconstitutional, and rejected all of those.
The judge ruled the legislature is entitled to regulate land and road developments in the interests of the common good, even where that involves interference with property rights and national monuments.
The Act had introduced changes in relation to how national monument protections were controlled, the legislature was entitled to choose to give qualified protection to national monuments and the court could not strike down section 14 of the Act, as sought by Mr. Salafia, simply because a different or better balance could have been struck, he said.
Mr. Salafia had also asked the court to make a declaration that the greater Tara landscape - the Hill of Tara/Skryne Valley - is a national monument or a complex or series of national monuments within the meaning of the National Monuments Act but the judge declined to do so.
Mr. Justice Smyth said there were differences between Mr. Salafia and between Mr. Salafia's experts as to what constituted the core Tara area.
In those circumstances and in the absence of any representation in the proceedings for people in the Tara area who would be directly affected by such a declaration, it was not permissible for the court to make any such declaration.
Among other key findings of Mr. Justice Smyth was that even if the Supreme Court upheld arguments in its forthcoming judgment on the Carrickmines Castle case that section 8 of the National Monuments Amendment Act was unconstitutional, he was satisfied that protections for national monuments, which he held were built in to section 14 of the same Act, were "constitutionally sound".
He adjourned the case to March 14th. when he is expected to rule on the issue of the costs of the proceedings, which ran for seven hearing days.
Mr. Salafia, Dodder Vale, Churchtown, Dublin, had sought to overturn directions given by the Minister for the Environment in July 2005 regarding the carrying out of archaeological works on the site of the M3. He also challenged the constitutionality of section 14 of the 2004 Act on the grounds it gave the Minister an unreviewable and unfettered discretion to remove protections for national monuments.
The judge found the Minister had properly and lawfully issued his directions, which related to an "approved" road development, under the correct section of the National Monuments Act - section 14.A.2.
There was no objection to the content of the directions.
The minister was not obliged to give directions which would modify the M3 route in any material way and had carefully considered material from Meath County Council regarding 38 archaeological discoveries made during test trenching of the M3 route, he said. The Minister had also considered detailed advice from the director of the National Museum.
He rejected Mr. Salafia's argument that the directions should have been issued under section 14.A.4 of the Act.
The Minister was required to issue directions under section 14.A.4 only if a national monument had been discovered during the road project and no such discovery had been made, he said. None of Mr. Salafia's experts had made claims to that effect.
He dismissed the claim that section 14.A.4 was unconstitutional because it gave the Minister an unfettered discretion to permit interference with national monuments and failed to set out principles and policies to govern that discretion. He said principles and policies were set out in the National Monuments Acts.
Earlier, Mr. Justice Smyth said there was an obligation to bring judicial review challenges promptly.
The Irish Times, 2nd. March 2006.

And again:
Road objector must pay costs,
- High Court rules

Salafia's legal bill could top €600,000 but he will appeal case to Supreme Court.
VINCENT Salafia, the man campaigning to prevent the M3 motorway passing through the Skryne and Tara areas, has said he will appeal the High Court decision of Justice Thomas Smyth who dismissed his challenge to the motorway route.
Mr. Salafia, following the awarding of costs against him last week, said he will now appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
Last Wednesday, he was ordered by the High Court to pay the legal costs bill, which could exceed €600,000, arising from his unsuccessful challenge. His legal team is expected to ask the Supreme Court to put a stay on payment of the costs pending the outcome of the appeal.
Justice Smyth rejected arguments on behalf of Mr. Salafia, of Dodder Vale, Churchtown, Dublin, that he should be given the costs of his proceedings and instead directed that Mr. Salafia pay the costs incurred by the State, Meath County Council and the National Roads Authority in opposing his case.
The judge said it was his view that Mr. Salafia had acted out of "a personal dislike" of the proposed M3 route and there were no special circumstances in the case that would justify awarding costs to him.
While Mr. Salafia was entitled to espouse a career regarding the environment or as a "professional objector", public funds should not be spent on a case aimed at re-routing a road to protect the sources of Mr. Salafia's study interest, which were not national monuments, the judge said.
He awarded costs of the respondents against Mr. Salafia and refused an application by Mr. Colm MacEochaidh, for Mr. Salafia, to put a stay on the costs order in the event of an appeal. A stay was a matter for the Supreme Court, he said.
Mr. Salafia said that while his action was taken on an individual basis, he had the support of many people in Ireland and internationally. He said national monuments have been discovered at Tara and work there should cease immediately.
Mr. Salafia had initiated proceedings in 2005 challenging ministerial directions relating to the treatment of archaeological works on the M3 route. An Bord Pleanála had granted permission for the road scheme in late 2003 and the High Court had said Mr. Salafia should have initiated his challenge then.
Ruling on costs last week, the judge said Mr. Salafia had given an unconvincing explanation for not bringing his case earlier and he had substantially lost on all the issues raised. The litigation had cost time, money and effort and the costs should not come out of the public purse, the judge added.
Mr. Salafia said afterwards: "In July 2005, I took a judicial review of the decision of the minister for the environment, within eight weeks of it being made, and Justice Peart let me into the High Court on that basis".
"But the minister’s decision has not been reviewed. Instead, nine months and €600,000 later, I am told by Justice Smyth that I am two years too late, and I should have reviewed the An Bord Pleanála order of 2003. It would seem that the minister is above the law as a result of this judgment. But I believe the Supreme Court may take a different view, as may the EU".
He said his action, while taken by himself, on an individual basis, has been taken on behalf of a much larger body and group of opinion nationally and internationally.
Meath Chronicle, 25th. March 2006

author by Michael Martin - Tara campaignerpublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 00:45author email Wicklowwolf at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Much seems to be speaking in favour of making Tara an election issue. But the downsides, apart from the fact that one can't trust ANY political parties. and that includes Labour and Greens, are:

1) Polling Day will take place at the earliest on May 27 .
2) We can not guarantee a change of government.
3) Even if a government willing to change or stop the motorway will be elected, it will be another few weeks till they are up and running and able to deal with the Tara issue.

We are talking 2 to 3 months minimum before a new government is able to deal with the issue. All archaeological digs will have to be concluded by April 30th. That gives the contractors a headstart of at least 2 months. A`lot of work can be done in 2 months time. Even if a new government is willing to protect Tara, till they get around to it, they might very well discover that the work has by then too far progressed to be stopped.

I went up to the Hill today, dropping off a few materials which can be used to make lock-ons. Direct action will not save Tara, that's for sure, but it will slow down work and adds to the overall construction costs. It seems increasingly likely that we will have to make a "last stand" somewhere on the proposed motorway route. I am calling on everybody for full support of a likely "direct action" scenario!

I uploaded a couple of pics of the Vigil's tipi on the Hill. It was a lovely day up there today. Vigil keepers were informed through the grapevine that a possible eviction, instigated by the OPW, may take place very soon. The more reasons for you to head up there during the upcoming bank holiday to express your solidarity with those fighting in the front line for the preservation of our archaeological and cultural heritage in the Gabhra Valley. Apart from materials usefull to construct defences, such as lock-ons, basic food, such a milk, tea, bread, butter, potatoes, etc is always welcome!

Thank you very much for your support!

The Vigil's Tipi
The Vigil's Tipi

The Vigil's Tipi
The Vigil's Tipi

author by W. Finnertypublication date Sat Apr 07, 2007 09:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More importantly, as far as the future of ancient heritage sites in the Tara / Skreen Valley is concerned, is Mr. Justice Thomas Smyth infallible?

Keeping in mind that the quotes below were written by one of the most highly regarded lawyers of all time, some may wish to consider the general ideas his quotes contain:

"I do not charge the judges with wilful and ill-intentioned error; but honest error must be arrested where its toleration leads to public ruin. As for the safety of society, we commit honest maniacs to Bedlam; so judges should be withdrawn from their bench whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. It may, indeed, injure them in fame or in fortune; but it saves the republic, which is the first and supreme law." --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:122

"The original error [was in] establishing a judiciary independent of the nation, and which, from the citadel of the law, can turn its guns on those they were meant to defend, and control and fashion their proceedings to its own will." --Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 1807. FE 9:68

"It is a misnomer to call a government republican in which a branch of the supreme power is independent of the nation." --Thomas Jefferson to James Pleasants, 1821. FE 10:198

"At the establishment of our Constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions nevertheless become law by precedent, sapping by little and little the foundations of the Constitution and working its change by construction before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life if secured against all liability to account." --Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. ME 15:486

The above quotes have been taken from a much longer list at the following address:

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com
Number of comments per page
© 2001-2024 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy