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What Price Heritage?

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Wednesday August 29, 2007 16:30author by Susan Isabella Sheehan-Repasky - Flicker Light Studioauthor email art at tomandsusan dot us Report this post to the editors

In our disposable society, what value do we place on our ancestors?

There is a battle ensuing in Ireland, and it has been for several years now. This is a battle not unlike that of 1793, or even more recently the Easter Rising of 1916. Born of the Republic, this battle has at its core the finest champions, whose love lies deep in the Heart Of Ireland, the Tara Complex.

The Tara Complex has a rich, ancient, and honorable history. It is where the seat of the High Kings of Ireland was, the center of ancient Irish Spirituality, and the inspiration for the writings of an abundance of poets and scholars. The Celtic Twilight was born from this setting. It is told in mythology that the Tuatha Dé Danann made their home there, and that their descendants remained in the complex for centuries. It was a place of birth, marriage and death. Feasts, rituals and ceremonies were held there. It was on the Hill of Tara itself that the Beltaine Fire was lit by the head Druid. After extinguishing the old hearth fires, the people would carry a new spark, a token flame, back to their homes as a symbolic blessing from Deity. Beneath her hallowed ground rests the remains of ancestors to many, copper and bronze age villages, relics of antiquity, archaeological wonders, and perhaps the greatest prize known to humankind.

On April 1st, 2007, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Noel Dempsey, turned over the first spadeful of soil, declaring the beginning of the destruction of the Tara Complex, and the construction of the M-3 Motorway. No sooner had the bulldozers begun their violation of the grounds than a wonder began to come forth. On May 1st, 2007, the day of Beltaine, before them they saw something taking form. Little by little, a wood-henge, the size of at minimum three football fields, began to emerge. This wood-henge dates from about 2500 B.C.E. to 1800 B.C.E., some say perhaps older than the Pyramids of Giza. This ancient henge includes earth enclosures, timber circles, and many banks. The surprised workers had uncovered a Sacred place of gathering. A cessation was called until archaeologists could determine if the work should proceed.

And proceed it does. On June 14th, 2007, then Minister of the Environment, Dick Roche, signed an order to allow the motorway work to continue. His successor, John Gormley, states that he is not able to countermand that order. On August 22nd, 2007, the An Bord Pleanala gave the go ahead to the National Road Authority of Ireland to commence archaeological work on the site. The artifacts and ancient ruins of Lismullen will be “noted” or recorded by the archaeologists, with anything they feel should be at the National Museum carried away. The plan is then for the NRA to continue the ground work and paving over this Irish National Monument. This decision is under review by the European Commission, who plan to conduct an Environment Impact Assessment this Autumn. On Thursday the 30th August the NRA are holding a conference at the Gresham Hotel in conjunction with National Heritage Week. A ploy? Perhaps. It is with great hope that a change will come.

Protesters, all heroes, have been working diligently to protect this important historical site for many months, spending countless hours writing letters, speaking endlessly to the public, and meeting with representatives who they still hope have the valor and courage to stop this “scheme”. A team of legal experts led by the esteemed Vincent Salafia have spent several years preparing authoritative documentation to prevent this planned motorway from going through. Will all of the blood, sweat and tears that have been poured into the protest be to no avail? The bulldozers seem eager to destroy this land, all for the comfort and convenience of the good people of Ireland, those who bought the dream of the “Celtic Tiger. These are those who are forced to live many miles from where they work, since they cannot afford to live in Dublin. It is very little thanks that we give to those who created the concept of the “Celtic Tiger”, for in this they have given the people more of a nightmare than a dream. The heritage of the people is being ripped away.

What price does heritage carry? Is it worth nothing in this disposable society that we find ourselves living in? Some day we too will become ancestors to someone. Will they remember us with love, or will they plow over our tombs, building rodes over and upon the ground in which we rest? It is with hope that they will remember us with honor and respect.

author by Susan Isabella Sheehan-Repasky - Flicker Light Studiopublication date Fri Aug 31, 2007 23:11author email art at tomandsusan dot usauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

A correction.
It was April 30th, 2007 that Minister Dempsey turned the spadeful of soil.

author by Scepticpublication date Sun Sep 02, 2007 00:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The issue of the M3 has nothing to do with our ancestors or with doing anything that undermines Tara. Important historical things happened at Tara but there is nothing left – no built heritage because the buildings were wooden. There may be some traces from aerial photos but in any case the hill is to be left quite unmolested by the road. Its quite different at Stonehenge where a major and busy road is right beside the henge and to so extent spoils the effect. I suspect much of the Tara thing is protest for the sake of protest. The lack of substance retailed in the arguments about Tara like that we have seen here above confirms that. Incidentally it was different at Wood Quay in 1978. In that case there WAS a rich historical site which was built over.

author by Carmel Ni Dhuibheanaigh - Hibernian Order of Druidspublication date Sun Sep 02, 2007 18:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi,
So you didnt see the souterrains then? Hold human bones robbed from their Clearly Defined stone slab- lined graves? Did you pick up the fired rocks from the corn kilns in the settlements , red and charchoaled from thousands of years ago? What about the flint in abundance ? Living proof of our ancestors and their way of life. DNA! DNA!

I was lucky enough to do that and was given a tour of Baronstown and Lismullin by the Archaeologists working there. I am sure there was much else that I didnt see there too! But that was enough for starters. Truly, have you even gone there?
Protest for protest sake, yes that happens all over But THIS is something that once you have seen it and felt it, you cannot ignore ...unless you have no heart.
You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that but give it to me again after you have gone and seen it for yourself please :) I will look forward to that. :) Good on ya if ya do go. And if you Have been there? Then I cannot understand you and we will have to agree to differ, very sorry. Myself and many many others World Wide even, deeply, deeply moved. And I have been a law abiding citizen all my life and havnt protested about anything in decades, life among the masses.

In the meantime more videos being uploaded over the next few days from UK activists that actually WENT there and were moved enough to do something about it. Indymedia.org.uk for anyone interested. Also google Shnooze. Keep an eye out as our own media aint doing next to nowhere near enough. This is a travesty against the whole of humankind. Thankfully we have indymedia, savetara , tatawatch,and tarapixie as otherwise it would all be tarred over and never a sound , apart from the diggers. Terrible.

LOVE,
Carmel

author by Scepticpublication date Sun Sep 02, 2007 20:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Carmel

I have a big, tender, historically minded heart but head rather than heart is the best way to approach Lismullen or any other practical issue of governance, budgeting and road planning. It would never have been found except for the M3 programme; its value is very limited in archeological terms and can be adequately recorded. Re-routing the road would cost millions; inconvenience thousands daily and take years. If there was objective and authoritative archeological opinion that such a drastic step was needed I would support re-routing but so far all I have read is dreamy eyed stuff about Brethon Law, High Kings, harps, The Druids, our ancestors and our hearts and much wooly thinking besides.

author by Michael Martin - TaraWatchpublication date Mon Sep 03, 2007 00:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I just arrived back home from a weekend trip to the Tara landscape. I visited both camps on the Hill and the one on Rath Lugh. The set up on the hill is very impressive. A windmill has been put on the site to generate electricity, which among other things powers the "cinema", an ex-army tent where our direct action videos from the various stand-offs in the valley can be viewed. The camp is extremely neat and clean. The people living up there have done a fantastic job over the last few months.

But our front line camp is based on Rath Lugh. Conditions are more rustic over there. The camp on Rath Lugh is our last line of defence in the Gabhra Valley, and access to it is slightly more difficult than to the vigil camp on the Hill of Tara. Therefore many supporters seem to have forgotten about the people on Rath Lugh, who made me aware of some problems they experience with getting supplies donated for their camp.
Urgently needed on Rath Lugh are fresh fruit, such as apples and oranges for example. But all food supplies are welcome.
Also needed on Rath Lugh are candles, paraffin and paraffin lamps. But also urgently needed are towels. If you can spare any of these goods, please drop them in to the camp on Rath Lugh. The people who are manning Rath Lugh the the ones who are fighting in the forefront for the protection of the Tara landscape. Please help supporting the direct action team on Rath Lugh.

Related Link: http://tarawatch.org
author by Susan Isabella Sheehan-Repasky - Flicker Light Studiopublication date Mon Sep 03, 2007 17:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sceptic, although I strongly disagree with you, I refuse to argue the point with you over the internet. It is all too easy to misunderstand anothers' view and opinion from the disadvantage of this less than personal forum. I will say that I am delighted that the attempted construction of the road revealed this monumental site. I am, however, appalled at the way the site is being “noted”.

Carmel, your observations are valuable. I, for one, am deeply grateful for the documentation of the Complex, and for the fine work many are doing in collecting the facts. Our heritage, our ancestors, our history is at stake. It is not only the Tara Complex which is in danger of being compromised. The planning of damaging and unnecessary infrastructures throughout the island is a reality. Here are three videos which should be seen by everyone concerned:

Tara Hard News One Of Three
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_cJnhqWPvM

Tara Hard News Two Of Three
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tvGWUv5kaA

Tara Hard News Three Of Three
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWJb1kFCSNw

I do hope that Michaels message for goods needed is paid attention to. If I were local, I would be on the site in a heart beat with food and supplies for all!

Blessings to all who have given effort in this valiant campaign.

Susan Isabella Sheehan-Repasky

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