An update on what's going on in Leitrim to help in the campaign to save tara. Details of what was discussed at the meeting and upcoming fundraising events.
Just a quick update to let you all know what went on yesterday.
We had an informal chat about the background of the story for some people that weren't familiar with it. Lisa Feeney who has been a part of the protest was there, so she was able to give us an update on the activity at Rath Lugh over the last couple of weeks.
We talked about the government changes to legislation on the protection of national monuments, about 4 years ago, which has allowed them to begin the construction of the motorway through an area of such archaeological richness. We talked about the recent case in the EU Parliament. It is clear that Ireland hasn't done the proper environmental impact assessment, but it appears that the EU can't stop the motorway from going ahead so Ireland will have to pay huge fines. Not only will we have to pay tolls to use the road, which will be going to private companies, but we will have to pay fines to the EU as well!
From the depressing facts of the situation, we moved on to what can be done and how we can get more people to help us campaign. The importance of talking about tara in your everyday life, work, social life, etc. was highlighted. One attendee asked what do you say to people when they think it's too late? The fact is the topsoil has been removed from only about one third of the route, and this is fully reversible. This is according to experts Brian Guckian and Conor Newman.
We are planning on a publicity venture/fundraiser in Dublin on the weekend of May 3. This will be an information talk and concert. The venues and artists are being confirmed at the moment. Watch this space for updates. If anyone is interested in helping in the organisation or advertising, do get in touch with us, or come along to Cryan's in Carrick-onShannon any Sunday at 6.
Some suggestions from the attendees - approaching teachers to bring their students to see tara and surrounding areas before it's too late. It's important that children know about their rich heritage. Also a suggestion to get in touch with the local priests of the area and see what their view is.
There was also a talk about the plans to start an umbrella group to deal with the fundraising for all the different groups involved in protecting tara. There would be an impartial treasurer who would manage the funds. There would also be two agreed mediators who would help resolve possible disagreements among the groups. People are being approached to fill these positions. This would be a big step forward, as there has been some infighting and mud-slinging in the past. After all, we are all working for the same cause!
I presented a letter which we have drafted, in order to ask local businesses for sponsorship of our group. If any of you feel like bringing it to your local businesses, that would be a great help. You can get a copy be emailing leitrimprotectorsoftara at gmail dot com My details are on the letter, so if anyone wishes to donate they can get in touch with me.
Leitrim Protectors of tara
leitrimprotectorsoftara at gmail dot com