Plans are underway for a demo outside the US Congress
Now that a the date of 30 April has been fixed for Bertie Ahern's speech to the US Congress, mobilisation of Save tara demonstrators in the US will begin in earnest. TaraWatch is planning a large demonstration in Washington, and an intense media campaign to mark the event. We need your help.
Over the course of the campaign, TaraWatch has built a strong network of support in major cities across the US. Demonstrations at Irish Consulate offices have already been held in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The issue has also received significant media coverage in the US, including an editorial in the New York Times by Nial Toibin.
This story appeared in the papers yesterday:
Bertie’s on par with the Taliban
Evening Herald - 21 February 2008
By Michael Lavery
THE Irish Government has been described as ‘on par with the Taliban’ by an environmental group who plan to disrupt Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s address to Washington DC.
Campaigners opposed to the development at the site of tara have threatened a “large demonstration” in the US capital when the Taoiseach speaks to Congress at the end of April.
He will be only the fifth world leader to have addressed both the Joint Houses of Congress and the Joint Houses of Parliament in the UK.
‘Save tara’ protesters against the M3 motorway said that now a date has been set, mobilisation of demonstrators in the US will begin in earnest.
They claim the Irish Government’s attitude to tara puts it on par with the Taliban who destroyed the Bamiyan Bhuddas in Afganistan.
TaraWatch said that over the last years it has built a strong network of support in major cities across the US.
Demonstrations at Irish Consulate offices have already been held in New York, Chicago, LA and San Francisco.
A number of prominent American cultural institutions have already condemned the plans for the M3 motorway at tara:
- The World Monuments Fund, based in New York, placed tara on the 2008 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites last June. Bonnie Burnham, President of WMF, said at the launch of the List, that tara would be its "biggest advocacy challenge".
- The Archaeological Institute of America, with over 5,000 members, has issued statements criticising the M3, and its publication, Archaeology Magazine, voted Lismullin one of the top ten most important archaeological discoveries in the world in 2007. In March 2004, Jane Waldbaum, President of AIA wrote a letter to the Irish Times, stating
"...we are shocked that planning permission has been granted, and are particularly alarmed at the news that trial trenching is already beginning on an unusual scale, and is likely to do irreparable damage to the site. We appeal to the Irish authorities as a matter of urgency to move this section of the M3 away from the tara/Skreen valley and to save this precious legacy from our shared past for posterity."
- The Massachusetts Archaeological Society wrote to the Minister for the Environment, in October 2007, stating:
"We wish to express to you our concerns over this development proposal, since it will adversely affect the archaeological integrity of an entire significant landscape. Many of our members are
Irish-Americans, and they have particular concerns about this."
- Notable US academics in US universities like Harvard, UCLA, Berkeley and John Hopkins University have also added their names to letters of protest.
- In addition, there has been a large number of letters to national and local Meath newspapers by Americans and Irish Americans, in opposition to the M3 route.
Archaeological Institute of America - tara campaign
Archaeology Magazine top ten discoveries in 2007
Massachusetts Archaeological Society - open letter on tara
World Monuments Fund, tara listing:
New York Times editorial by Colm Toibin