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Tara Vigil Camp Being Evicted

category international | environment | news report author Thursday May 08, 2008 10:38author by TaraTaraTara Report this post to the editors


About a half an hour ago 20 Gardai, 20 OPW and 10-15 MD Security descended on the Hill to evict the Vigil Camp.

2 Loader lorries and 12 other vehicles are currently there . The Temple structure has been dismantled, chopped into pieces and removed. They are now dismantling the A Chairde hut and the Tipi. The seven Vigil Keepers on site were not given time to remove their personal items and there is no channel of communication open as the workers turn their backs. There is no negotiation .

The OPW Archaeologist said that she would PERSONALLY put out the fire . She is referring to the Vigil Fire that has been burning for the Valley since Summer Solstice June 06.


Phone credit is urgently needed on the Vigil phone. Also urgent is the need for cameras and witnesses to document this. Please do whatever you can NOW. Send credit , bring help.

VIGIL PH: 086 1758557

Related Link: http://www.tarapixie.net
author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Thu May 08, 2008 10:49Report this post to the editors

One of the structures dismantled during the eviction. The phone number for the Vigil keeps disappearing. I will find out how to put it up here and be back shortly.

Tara Temple
Tara Temple

author by Joanne Corbettpublication date Thu May 08, 2008 12:58Report this post to the editors

Vigil keeps have managed to get some time.

The Gardai were not able to quote specifically any law that would
allow them to estinguish the sacred fire, they have given them a days
grace to ceremonously remove the fire, but as it is specifically the
Hill of Tara sacred fire, it would have to be moved to another site on
Tara!!!!! This in itself creates a conundrum.

No method statement has been provided.
People are now allowed to remove personal possessions.
A recognised Ferrovial employee was assisting, but was wearing MD

There is approx 20 vigil keepers surounding the Temple Ti-Pi/Fire
adamanent that they have the right to continue holding the Vigil.
There is a good atmosphere, music + drums, kids and laughter.
Energy is high and spirits are positive.

author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Thu May 08, 2008 13:03Report this post to the editors

Earlier Gardai were not recognising The Right To Worship or practise of Spiritual Beliefs. The Temple was consecrated on Tues night's New Moon. It is on video and can be used as evidence. We will not be taking this lightly.

author by Gearoidpublication date Thu May 08, 2008 14:29Report this post to the editors

Hello all,

Please wake up and be aware that the whole M3 at Tara protests were started on the basis of a quite selfish lie which whipped up the enthusiasm of well meaning and decent, but grossly misinformed people.

The plans for the various possible routes were available for public scrutiny long before the current route was chosen.

No one raised any objections whatsoever, even though 4 or 5 of the possible 6 routes DID actually threaten the integrity of the area!

IT WAS ONLY AFTER THE ROUTE WHICH WENT CLOSEST TO THE OPUS DEI RETREAT AT LISMULLEN AND THE REAR OF DALGAN PARK THAT ANYTHING WAS SAID AT ALL!!!! Please read this several times and do the math. There are other connections to the protests between Opus Dei and Dalgan Park but I will let readers of this post do their own research, as the judiciary did, thank goodness.

My daughter and I went to the first presentations of the 6 possible routes at the Ardboyne Hotel, took the forms and selected our preferred route - the one eventually chosen as it happens.

We favoured this route because it wound unobtrusively, and as far as we could see, inoffensively through the valley.

Motorway building will always be a catalyst for archaeology anywhere and everywhere in Ireland. As long as there is transparent monitoring and reporting coupled with the appropriate time to do the work we as citizens should be pleased.

With regard to the archaeological opportunities directly realised by the M3 programme, they are as I understand it, the sort of shallow dig that is removed by exploration in any case. If anything more substantial was found I would personally have protested to have the M3 rerouted.

All the best,

Citizen Gearoid

author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Thu May 08, 2008 14:47Report this post to the editors

The OPW did not produce any paperwork for this eviction. Nothing signed and dated by a Judge.

The Protectors are currently blockadeing their vehicles and not allowing them to LEAVE the site. Shortly after this happened, the OPW agreed to negotiations and are now at a meeting with members of the Vigil.

Related Link: http://www.tarapixie.net
author by Joanne Corbettpublication date Thu May 08, 2008 17:51Report this post to the editors

Press Release on behalf of the Tara Solidarity Vigil Camp
8th May 2008
At approx 10:30 this morning, the Office of Public Works launched an eviction attempt on the Tara Solidarity Vigil Camp, which is in situ on public land.
The Vigil is “a non-hierarchical peoples' solidarity vigil, here in support of local people and all individuals and groups in the campaigns to Save Tara. We are adamant in our non-affiliation with any particular political or religious parties but welcome any friends of Tara to the sacred Vigil Fire, which has been burning continuously since the Summer Solstice, 21st of June 2006”.
This morning, 20 OPW employees, up to 15 MD Security Workers and 20 Gardaí entered the camp and began to dismantle temporary structures which are used daily by the Vigil Keepers. The structures include a Temple, several dwellings and meeting huts. The Temple, which was made of wood, was desecrated by chainsaw as the Keepers looked on in shock. Their priority was to hold their ground protecting the sacred flame within the Vigil TiPi. To add insult to injury, hidden within the group of MD Security workers, wearing their logo was a known Ferrovial employee.
Ferrovial Agroman, a Spanish company, are one of the companies, in conjunction with SIAC, who are contracted to build the controversial M3 motorway. This begs to further question the repeated cooperation between the Gardaí and private security for SIAC/ Ferrovial Agroman, on the back of the demolition of the Direct Action Protest Camp at Rath Lugh on 17th Apr2008.
The OPW Archaeologist onsite stated, and has been recorded that she would “personally put out the fire”. Both the OPW onsite and the Gardaí were initially refusing to acknowledge the sacredness of the fire and in doing so are not upholding an individual’s right to religious worship/practice. The OPW have also admitted on camera that this was not an official eviction, and that they didn’t even have the official documentation or method statement to carry out the activity.
When negotiations were finally possible, the Gardaí were not able to quote specifically any law that would allow them to extinguish this sacred fire. Talks since have produce a guarantee from Ms Fionnula Parnell, Archaeologist from the National Monuments Department OPW, in the presence of a Gardai, that no attempt to remove the fire, or the TiPi housing it until the outcome of an agreed meeting on 19th May 2007. There are approx 30 vigil keepers surrounding the TiPi housing the fire adamant that they have the right to continue holding the Vigil and practice their individual and collective beliefs. Several of these people were assaulted by the privately hired security company in the presence of Gardai, and will be filing charges. Otherwise, there is a great atmosphere, music + drums, children’s laughter in the air. Energy is positive and spirits are high in the Summer sun. This is why the Vigil has attracted visitors from the 4 corners of the world in the 23months of it’s existence.
Ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has in the past forewarned of dangerous trends in modern society “So much of what is happening within our society and in the wider world is bound up with questions of religion, religious identity and religious belief," he said, "that governments which refuse or fail to engage with religious communities and religious identities risk failing in their fundamental duties to their citizens." The Irish Constitution (Article 8) recognises that citizens have a right to “Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen, and no law may be made either directly or indirectly to endow any religion or prohibit or restrict the free exercise thereof or give any preference, or impose any disability on account of religious belief or religious status”. The European Constitution (Part II - The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union) Article II-70 recognises ”Freedom of thought, conscience and religion: 1) Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance”.
We, the Vigil Keepers, call on Minister John Gormley, as Minister of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government responsible for State Managed Visitor Services, to officially acknowledge the sacred Vigil Fire on the Hill of Tara.

For verification call Debbie Reilly on 086 175 8557

Issued on behalf of the Tara Solidarity Vigil
Joanne Corbett 086 6030389 www.savetara.com

Related Link: http://www.tarapixie.net
author by Mr Manpublication date Fri May 09, 2008 01:18Report this post to the editors

"Archaeologist from the National Monuments Department OPW, in the presence of a Gardai, that no attempt to remove the fire, or the TiPi housing it until the outcome of an agreed meeting on 19th May 2007"

Well then ye had all better be ready for an early morning push !

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Sat May 10, 2008 11:35Report this post to the editors

The NRA and the OPW ignored all Expert Archaeological advice, then ploughed through the Tara Complex claiming that only FIVE sites would be impacted upon. To date FORTY TWO sites have been demolished and our Ancestors ripped from their Sacred burial grounds, to make way for a road that would have cost 50 million Euro less had it have been diverted from the valley ( not including the huge expense of the, totally inadequate, archaeological work).
I have done the Maths and it adds up to vested interests, brown envelopes and the usual FF corruption and web of deciete.
I hope you enjoy paying the TWO tolls that will be forced upon you and your children and grandchildren for the next forty years, because you can be damn sure that they will be laughing (at our expense) all the way to the bank.
You have to take anything the NRA, or their cronies say with a bucket of salt. They have lied from the outset and still continue to hide the truth. So much for democracy and transparency, In all independent polls the vast majority of people wanted the M£ rerouted, but the voice of the democratic majority was ignored.

Related Link: http://TaraWatch.org
author by counterpointpublication date Sat May 10, 2008 12:11Report this post to the editors

It is every motorists decision as to whether they use a Toll Road.

The NRA cannot force drivers to use them, because there have to be alternative routes, left in place - That is European Law.

In the caseof the M3 there will still remain the N3 plus other minor roads that lead to Dublin.

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Sat May 10, 2008 13:18Report this post to the editors

In most European Countries people do not pay road Tax. The Tolls go back into the upkeep of the roads. Not into the bank accounts of unscrupulous individuals preying on the needs of the people due to inadequate public transport.
Same difference: it all adds up to greed and corruption.
Most other European Governments would give their right arms to have such a potentially huge tourist magnet, and would treat it as such.
Look at the amount of tourists that visit Newgrange every year and the amount of revenue it creates.
To think that only a few miles away is an "Ancient City of the Kings" which could have been reconstructed to provide Ireland with a World Heritage Centre of unparalleled Worldwide appeal. They have been blinded by their greed.

Related Link: http://TaraWatch.org
author by dinnyw - tara solidarity vigilpublication date Sat May 10, 2008 15:16Report this post to the editors

what i have witnessed in the last few days has been a violation of our civil rights... but once again like a phoenix from the flames our strength has come thru...the tipi stands strong and will continue to do so... i wish to thank everyone who has come to lend a hand on the field in the last few days ... nil neart go cur le cheile... this is about people power and we are so strong because of this....this week coming we are still under threat..who knows if the opw will keep their word.. lets just call it high alert for the fire....

and one other point..... has it been considered that this could be the prelude to the dreaded fence around the 100 acres and the start of the hill being turned into another bru na boinne disaster???

this cannot happen.... but we need to be ready...

author by muddaearthpublication date Mon May 12, 2008 12:52Report this post to the editors

Well then Counterpoint I just cant WAIT to use the old N3 and other minor roads that lead to Dublin as I am NOT going to pay €4000 a year to any toll company especially when most of that money will not even be reinvested here!

I bet there will be a lot of others on the old roads doing exactly the same. I will be at that Meath Master Plan March in Dublin on Saturday - honk loud!

author by Tarapixiepublication date Wed May 14, 2008 15:16Report this post to the editors

As the Sacred Fire approaches its second birthday, it burns brightly and strongly in defiance of recent attempts to extinguish it by the OPW.

The Tara Solidarity Vigil Keepers were kept busy by the arrival of the OPW, Gardaí and MD Security who engaged in an illegal eviction. They succeeded in removing all temporary structures including dwellings, but failed in gaining any access to the TiPi which houses the sacred fire. The Vigil Keepers were adamant that they were holding steadfast, their guardianship over the fire which has been burning on the Hill of Tara since 21st June 2006. It would take more than a piece of paper to get past this dedicated group, and on this occasion the OPW didn’t even have the necessary documentation. The only paperwork issued to date has been a letter of warning from mid-March, which does not constitute an official eviction notification under the eyes of the law. Re-structuring of the camp was made soon after the letter was received, so that only necessary and utilised structures were standing and the TiPi which has facilitated visitors to the sacred fire from all over the world was improved, and renovated to make maximum use of the space available to guests.

The Vigil Keepers were open to and engaged in full dialogue with the OPW representatives and request that they remain “committed to providing services to all our customers on an equal status basis. This means that they should accommodate the needs of specific customers or groups of customers with a view to achieving an equality of treatment.” (OPW Customer Charter. www.opw.ie).

We request that the OPW in it’s provision of equal service to these customers “Be sensitive of the views of organisations representative of customers from across the nine categories when providing services” namely Religious Beliefs, and

“Ensure that no-one is discriminated against by virtue of their membership of any of the groups covered by the nine categories”. We expect adherence to the Civil Service Principals of Quality Customer Service (as outlined in Appendix 1) OPW Customer Service Action Plan 2004 – 2007. www.opw.ie.

We, the Vigil Keepers, ask that the OPW honour their word and commitment to meeting at their offices 19th May 2008 at Dún Scéine, Harcourt Lane, Dublin 2. At this meeting the Vigil Keepers will lodge an official complaint about the illegal eviction of the camp on Thursday, 8th May 2008. We have requested that an OPW Liaison Officer be appointed to deal with members of the Public, Vigil Keepers and other community groups on the Hill of Tara.

General update on the contractor activities in the valley:

It is understood that Wills Bros and Howleys, key sub-contractors on the section of the proposed motorway in the Valley, have not been paid by the SIAC/Ferrovial consortium. This is believed to have resulted in hundreds of men to be let go. Spanish builder Ferrovial publically declared, in February, a 49% drop in annual profit as higher refinancing costs, slower building growth and lower exceptional gains dented the bottom line.

A private security company, MD Security, are guarding the access points of Coillte lands at Rath Lugh, with allegations on camera that the woods is now owned by SIAC, specifically Mr. Mark Cleary, Head of Security. There is a constant presence at the front entrance, and general members of the public are being approached when they attempt to gain access to the fenced off woods to walk their dogs etc. A local citizen has taken civil action against the Mr. Mark Cleary, Head of Security due to his preventing access to use the public facilities of Rath Lugh to undertake a Bealtainne Ceremony.

As a result of the OPW actions on the Hill of Tara, 8May08, we are calling on people to support the Tara Solidarity Vigil by requesting official recognition by the Minister for the Environment Mr. John Gormley and Mr. John Kerrisk, HEO of OPW. We call for the recognition of the Sacred Fire, for this Vigil as living tradition and for the continued presence of this Sacred Fire on the Hill of Tara.

All friends of Tara are welcome at the Sacred Fire, and encouraged to practice their right to worship and pray on the land. This has become an issue of heritage, as many of those who visit quickly realise the old tradition of Tara is being upheld at the Vigil. The tradition of gathering on Tara is centuries old, and the Sacred Fire is the current medium for many to learn and share verbal traditions, history, lore, legends and facts whilst gaining a restored sense of national identity.

On Double Tolls and Transport choice for Meath , Tara/ M3 dilemma:

The solution is simple: The Meath Master Plan.
This alternative was never given to the people. The corporate option was selected for the people, but not by the people.

Now, we are bringing the alternative solution to the streets of the capital. On Saturday, 17th May 2008 there will be a peoples March in Dublin, departing the Garden of Remembrance 3:00pm marching to the seat of those in power, The Dáil.
The Meath Master Plan will be introduced to the public by its creators Tadgh Crowley and Brian Guckian for the people to learn about.

The Tara Solidarity Vigil is publicly promoting and supporting this plan, as it has great integrity, is community based and appeals to the frustrated commuter, whilst maintaining a low environmental impact on the Sacred Valley. Despite the activity to date in the valley, this plan is still achievable, and can be implemented in advance of the scheduled completion of the illegal M3 motorway.

The Tara Solidarity Vigil Camp

Related Link: http://www.tarapixie.net
author by Mr Manpublication date Wed May 14, 2008 15:30Report this post to the editors

Whats a sacred fire?

author by Tarapixiepublication date Wed May 14, 2008 18:15Report this post to the editors

Donations welcome. Specifically in short supply are tents, dv tapes and cmacorders. Phone Lou for details 0863600478

Related Link: http://www.tarapixie.net
author by Stickerpublication date Wed May 14, 2008 21:25Report this post to the editors

Has the current fire been blessed? How long has it been burning? The fire in the tipi has gone out and been lit many times, so is therefore not the 'sacred' fire that was lit 2 years ago

author by Saint Patrick.publication date Wed May 14, 2008 21:53Report this post to the editors

Let's do like the hospital protesters are doing and vote No to Lisbon in protest against the M3 at Tara. And especially against these evictions which are against our constitutional right to Freedom of Religion.

author by phillippublication date Thu May 15, 2008 09:56Report this post to the editors

I dont believe that having the right to practise a particular religion, includes squatting on Tara for months on end Paddy?

If in the future a fence goes around the Hill restricting access. Then we will know exactly who to blame the f'k'n activists, who in the long run are going to make things worse for everyone; as the authorities will change the Law in order to protect Tara.

My ear has heard that a local developer is planning to open a MacDonalds on the northern slopes of Tara to coin in on the increased popularity of the place - all thanks to you know who ?

author by A Friend of Tarapublication date Thu May 15, 2008 11:30Report this post to the editors

The protesters were right to occupy the Hill almost two years ago to highlight the destruction of a sacred landscape.. The sacred fire served them well to gain worlwide attention for the various factions fighting for the preservation of Tara..
But at this stage the fire and the tipi are well past their sell-by date.. The Hill itself, where they are encamped on, is not threatened by road construction. Therefore the time has come for them the break camp, and maybe set up camp somewhere else in the vicinity closer to the actual road construction zone.

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