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Campaign to Save Tara disbanded
history and heritage |
Saturday December 08, 2007 12:56 by indyreporter
What is happening with the Tara campaign?
Campaign to Save Tara (CST) began as a genuine effort to bring all the Tara campaigners together, in a positive and unified way, in late 2006. Now a year later, it has silently disbanded. What now for Tara?
Campaign to Save Tara - split and
Campaign to Save Tara (CST) has disbanded. A meeting was held in the County Club, Dunshaughlin, on Wednesday 5th December, at which the organisation was wound up. No details have been presented to the public on either mailing lists, or Indymedia, usually their chosen platform for dissemination. Instead, a veil of secrecy surrounds the demise of what claimed to be a democratic group, acting in the public interest.
Originally called Save Tara Campaign, in December 2006, the name was changed to CST to avoid confusion with the savetara.com web site. The founding vision of the group was: “... to keep Tara’s landscape protected for future generations.” The mission statement was: ".. to integrate and harmonise all levels of this campaign, under a grass-roots umbrella, in order to avoid doubling up of work and to sharpen focus."
By early 2007, there had already been division, and the vision radically changed to:
"The Campaign to Save Tara is a voluntary group who have come together to raise the issue of the route of the M3 through the Gabhra (Tara-Skryne) Valley during the general election, which is scheduled to take place on May 24th of this year. This body is an amalgam of many disparate groups, some have been involved for a very long time and others have only just joined the campaign – many members of the old Save the TaraSkryne Valley Group, those involved in the Vigil on the Hill since June 2006 and the newer Save Tara Valley Group." http://campaigntosavetara.blogspot.com/
The political campaign, which involved getting people to vote for Green Party, Labour and Sinn Fein candidates failed. Not only that, but it stirred the wrath of the Director of the National Museum, who wrote to the Irish Times to complain about being included in the political literature of CST:
CAMPAIGN OVER TARA AND M3
Irish Times - Letter to the Editor
Friday, May 25, 2007
Madam, - May I express my amazement and horror at the Campaign to Save
Tara's use of my name and official position in their campaign to
politicise efforts to re-route the proposed M3 motorway at Tara.
My role has been, and is, to advise the Minister for the Environment,
which I have done. My position precludes my ever becoming engaged in a
politicised public controversy. My name has been used without my
permission, or without any reference to the National Museum of Ireland.
- Yours, etc,
PATRICK F WALLACE,
National Museum of Ireland,
The group was largely quiet for some time, and then a new initiative, a law suit, was announced, amid great fanfare. On August 29, we read of 'New court challenge on Tara' -
"The Campaign to Save Tara today announced details of a legal challenge to the proposed M3 Motorway through the Tara/Skryne Valley in Co. Meath. The Campaign claims that this case is being taken in the public interest and only after all other democratic avenues have been exhausted."
There have been no public details of the court case since, and the demolition of the Lismullin henge, marking the end of excavations at Tara, is maybe days away.
This week's demise of CST was largely precipitated by the recent removal of Kevin Hayes as co-ordinator of the group. A majority vote was taken at a meeting. The minority, who supported Kevin, refused to accept this democratic decision, and have now engineered a rebirth, as 'Save Tara Campaign', while the majority are left with no organisation.
A press release under the name Save Tara Campaign was sent to Indymedia, on Saturday 1 December by 'anon', four days before CST officially disbanded, without the approval or knowledge of most CST members. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85303
As the name denotes, the new group claims to speak for the entire Tara campaign, and act in an Official Capacity. But they do not have the support of the Vigil, the Rath Lugh Camp and are not known to be working in co-operation with any other group.
Who are they? Who do they speak for? Many questions remain unanswered. Will the democratic forum of Indymedia will tease them out?