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Friday October 17, 2008 17:55 by Carmel Ni Dhuibheanaigh - Independent Tara Campaigner
Last night about 12 members of the Vigil and Direct Action joined forces against the appearance of Noel Dempsey at Navan Library for the Book Launch of "Where Toll roads Meet" by Anthony Holten.
Minister Noel Dempsey
Upon the request of a local and well respected member of the Tara campaign ,the
plan was for no interruption to the actual Book Launch but we were prepared to
make our presence felt when he left the building. Open season.
He arrived to some heckling accompanied by a Detective and 2 Gardai. I was
standing outside with two banners and approached by a Garda who was very
reasonable about my right to protest especially when I told him I wasnt going
in. Behind us, a few members of our party quietly made their way in to the event.
The Launch got underway and at some point Dempsey got up to make his speech
during which he praised the Author Anthony Holten for his excellent writing and then said that
unfortunately he would have to disagree with some sections, in particular the
ones regarding the NRA. He then went on to quote Voltaire's famous line about
respecting the right to free speech and dying to preserve that right!!!
" While I may not agree with what you say, I would die to defend your right to
say it". Voltaire.
However this brought a spontaneous chortle/jeer from one Protestor , something
we had endeavoured not to engage in inside the Library. He was promptly escorted
outside where I saw him being manhandled by the Garda in a way that would let
him know that he would not be going back in -under any circumstances.
After this Tara Cannon presented the Author with a Beautiful glazed clay pot
made by the accomplished local Potter Heather Buchannon. The clay pot contained a candle lit
from the flame of the Vigil Fire and Tara said a few short words about its
origin and wished him well with the book. She spoke eloquently, gently and
respectfully. I know this because I saw the video footage played back, she did a
wonderful job. She then stood and posed for photographs with the Author and Noel
Dempsey, it was hilarious to see his face squirm. She explained that the flame was from the Vigil and it burns
in remembrance of the Henge at Lismullin , the Feasting Grounds of Barronstown
and the Ritual Burial Site at Collierstown etc.This brought jeers and shouts
from some in the Audience of "Go Home".
A Video journalist who had been filming , reminded the audience about Dempsey
quoting the right to free speech. It made no difference. The event wrapped up
shortly afterwards with the Gardai having been given orders by the Detective that they were to
keep all of "them" inside- presumably until he had a chance to get Dempsey to
the safety of his car.
When Dempsey emerged after the Book Launch he was greeted to chants, hisses,
boos and the spectacle of being followed to his car by yours truly carrying a
severed pig's head following him all the way to his car-
" See what you are Dempsey? Up to your snout in corruption. You stink of it."
and so on.
I really think it was the pigs head or something but the Gardai seemed taken
aback at first , Dempsey looked rattled ( oh the satisfaction) and then the
Gardai turned their attention to the other Protesters and there were threatened
arrests under Section 8 of the Public Order Act ( well abused section of the
Law). I wished Dempsey a safe journey home on his accursed road , cursed that he
is. After a brief mellee with the Guards all those protesting to highlight his
destruction of Heritage and the Tara Skryne Valley and his failure to implement
sustainable transport solutions left the area.
PS: The Pig's head was chosen to represent Politicians Ignoring Grievances
Also, Dempsey's Pig ignorance to the consequences for future generations and
Pig headedness to have the gall to quote Voltaire while Protesters are being
dragged through the courts for defending against illegal and destructive works
No offence to the noble Pig.
Bring On The Tribunal