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Pledge Your Vote for Tara

category national | environment | press release author Tuesday April 24, 2007 13:42author by Campaign to Save Tara Report this post to the editors

Happening now.

Launch Of Campaign to Save Tara and Political Strategy campaign calls on
Electorate to 'Pledge Their Votes for Tara'.

An Bord Pleanala gave permission for the four lane , twice-tolled M3 Through
The Gabhra (TaraSkyrne) Valley in 2003 and since then there has been a huge
campaign to have that section of the road re-routed.


The Campaign to save Tara is an alliance of voluntary groups involved in this lobbying.
The Campaign was officially launched on Tuesday the 24th of April 2007 at an event in the
Cultivate Centre, Temple Bar beginning at 1pm. The campaign also announced their
electoral strategy and approach to the upcoming general election.

The electoral strategy was outlined by Michael Canney who said that they are asking
for a re-route of the section of the M3 that runs through the Gabhra Valley. He said
"We are asking people to consider each candidates and party's position on the
route at the ballot box. We will encourage people to vote for the candidates who provide
written commitments that they will support a review of the route, if they are elected to
government."

Dr Muireann Ni Bhrolochain, senior lecturer in the School of Celtic Studies,
National University of Ireland in Maynooth and long term campaigner on the
issue, said 'The Tara issue is the line in the sand. If the Gabhra Valley
is not safe- nowhere in Ireland is safe from future development in the spurious name
of progress. It is physically distressing to see huge sites being excavated in such haste".

She quoted Duncan Stewart's evaluation of the proposed road, 'The M3
is the worst example of unsustainable development- this artery will
encourage more sprawl and development in Meath. The developers
will be the only ones to benefit and it will delay, if not prevent the re-opening of
the more desirable railway line'

Professor Daithi O Hogain of the Dept of Folklore, National University of Ireland, Dublin
spoke of his long standing concerns regarding the project and said " Tara is the focal centre
of Irish Heritage and culture- there is an extraordinary rich complex of myth
and symbolism associated with the site"

The bardic poet from Cork, Diarmuid O Dalaigh, summed up the significance
of the Tara Valley for the majority of people in Ireland with a recitation of
his poem 'Tara'

[ends]

email : info@savetara.com

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by C Murraypublication date Tue Apr 24, 2007 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors



The election strategy launch is ongoing now and the Campaign will upload
the images later this evening.

author by Michael Canney - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Tue Apr 24, 2007 19:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The number of people at our launch today reflects a deep concern among the general public about the route of the M3 through the Tara/Skryne Valley.

What we intend to achieve in this campaign is to translate this unease into a positive statement on election day. Our election campaign is about placing the Tara/M3 issue at the top of the political agenda in Meath and a high among voting priorities nationally.

We are very appreciative of the varying degrees of support we receive from a number of the parties; notably Labour, the Green Party, Sinn Fein and many independents; we are concerned to ensure that Tara remain a priority for these parties after the election. At least one of them is assured a place in any new Government.

Each party’s explicit position on the route of the road through the Tara/Skryne Valley must be clear to the electorate. This Campaign is asking for written commitments to a post-election review of the route. These party positions will be publicized through the local and national media along with our arguments for re-routing the proposed motorway. Our election literature contains a comprehensive summary of these arguments and also outlines viable alternatives to the transport problems of Meath. 100,000 of these pamphlets will be distributed locally by a very active and committed campaign group and nationally, by a network of groups and supporters.

The anti-Tara parties and their candidates - Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the PDs – will be forced to deal with the Tara issue through constituent’s questions and our publicity effort. It is our experience on the ground in Meath that there is annoyance and discomfort over what is happening in the Valley among supporters of all parties and of none.

Tara and the M3 will be an election issue, with votes to be won, and votes to be lost.

There is a tangible feeling that we are faced with real and important decisions on polling day: economic and environmental dangers are mounting up and are universally recognised. This election, for the first time in twenty years, is about the political, economic and environmental direction of the country over the longer term.

We would hope, and are confident, that Tara being firmly on the political agenda will inspire the electorate to focus on questioning what is of true and lasting value. Of the kind of community we want to build and what kind country we want to live in.

Locally, there are many different sides to the issue. On the one hand, there is deep concern at the archaeological and heritage implications of the motorway given the cultural and historical significance of the area.

The increasing dormitory role of the county to Dublin and the haphazard nature of much recent development is a burning issue. We will set out to convince the local electorate that the motorway will exacerbate these problems and actually hamper the creation of local jobs in the county with perhaps the greatest potential for a thriving heritage sector in the whole country.

Although it is common knowledge in Meath it is less well known nationally that there are deep, longstanding…. personal, political and business connections between certain individuals involved in land speculation, members of the Government, and members of the board of the NRA. A considerable amount of land speculation took place prior to the public announcement of the route.

Such connections and strange coincidences are not peculiar to Meath and we believe this message will resonate nationally as well.

Another national issue is the need for alternatives to car transport. The re-opening of rail lines and investment in other forms of public transport is an issue that goes to the core of the M3 debate. We intent to push home the strong message that there are more efficient, less destructive and much more sustainable alternatives to building massive motorways.

There are many infrastructural problems throughout the country and we are feeding into an educated electorate who know what PPP stands for and understands the cost of buying out these short-sighted deals. The so-called ‘local issues’ – from hospitals to incinerators, pipelines to prisons, water-quality to unwanted commercial and motorway developments are really National concerns. Each of these campaigns will be feeding into the others.

Of course Tara is much more of a National issue in every sense. The campaign for its preservation can embody many more difficult-to-articulate concerns. Where will we be as a society in twenty years time? What will happen if we continue to abuse our environment? Continue to allow short-sighted profiteering masquerade as proper planning?

It is no coincidence that it was at Tara - the site of ancient political, religious and cultural power that a hugely symbolic meeting took place between the Norman settlers of the Pale and Gaelic kings of the provinces in the 16th century. It is considered by historians to be birth of modern Irish nationhood. In 1843 one of the largest monster meetings of the Land War took place on the Hill. Tara has played a pivotal role in the political history of our island. The very iconography of the Nation derives from the Hill – both the Harp and the Shamrock as symbols of Nationhood were first employed at Tara.

It is often said that an individual must love himself if it he to love another. Is it not the same with a people and our environment and heritage? Tara can be the place we again have a National dialogue – as at so many other times in our past.

The only properly commissioned poll, undertaken by Red C market research in 2005 found that a massive 75% of a national sample wanted the Valley to be left intact, and World Heritage Site status to be declared for the area.

We are asking people to consider each candidate’s and each party’s position on the route at the ballot box. We will encourage people to vote for the candidates and parties who provide written commitments that they will support a review of the route if they form part of the next Government.

Related Link: http://savetara.com
author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Tue Apr 24, 2007 22:47author email muireann at savetara dot comauthor address author phone 087-9249510Report this post to the editors

The speakers from the launch of the Campaign to Save Tara and its electoral strategy today in the Cultivate Centre.
Also launched were the campaign flyers that will be distributed throughout the constituencies of Meath East and West in the next number of weeks. They will also be distributed in other key constituencies in Ireland.
The campaign has produced a 16 page newspaper, 8 in colour, for information and as a fund raising tool. Tara News will cost €2 and there will be an initial print off of 5,000 copies to be sold at key venues in the next number of months. There are two pages on archaeology with photographs of the various sites.
If you are interested in getting involved in the Campaign please contact us through the website address.

Michael Canney speaking at Launch
Michael Canney speaking at Launch

Dr Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin
Dr Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin

Debbie Reilly
Debbie Reilly

Diarmaid Ó Dálaigh bard
Diarmaid Ó Dálaigh bard

Kevin Hayes, Campaign to Save Tara
Kevin Hayes, Campaign to Save Tara

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Wed Apr 25, 2007 09:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times, Wednesday, 25th April 2007
Frank McDonald, Environment Editor

The Campaign to Save Tara is to distribute about 100,000 flyers in advance of the general election with the aim of making the M3 motorway a "make or break" issue for parties who would form the next government.
Outlining the campaign's election strategy in Dublin yesterday, its spokesman Michael Canney, said it was asking people to "consider each candidate's and party's position on the route to the ballot box".
"We will encourage people to vote for the candidates who provide written commitments that they will support a review of the route [ through the Gabhra Valley, east of the Hill of Tara] if they are elected to government".
It was not "just another road through a scenic place, but something that will alter an entire archaeological landscape".
An independent poll in 2005 found only 25 per cent of those surveyed wanted the M3 to go ahead as planned.
Mr Canney said the campaign aimed to "translate the deep unease people feel about this issue into a positive outcome in the election", adding that the "anti-Tara parties - Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the PDs - will be forced to deal with it on the doorsteps".
Although the group was pleased with support from the Labour Party, the Green Party and Sinn Féin, he said it was vital these parties maintained their position if they entered into talks to form a government.
Dr Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, senior lecturer in Celtic studies at NUI Maynooth, said: "If the Gabhra Valley is not safe, nowhere in Ireland is safe from future development in the spurious name of progress."
Architect and broadcaster Duncan Stewart called the M3 "the worst example of unsustainable development" because it would encourage more sprawl.

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by W. Fiinerty.publication date Wed Apr 25, 2007 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Copied from Máirt Aib 24, 2007 19:00 above:

"The only properly commissioned poll, undertaken by Red C market research in 2005 found that a massive 75% of a national sample wanted the Valley to be left intact, and World Heritage Site status to be declared for the area."

I would not be in the least surprised if the above statement was highly accurate.

The well balanced and well rounded arguments put forward in the rest of the same posting appear - to me at least - to make much sense. I just hope that many of those who vote in the upcoming general election will feel the same (or nearly anyway!!).

All things considered, the overall approach of your group seems brilliant to me. Like many others, in locations all over the world I suspect, I wish all those involved with your campaign every success.

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