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Parliamentary Questions asked about Garda 'Operation Bedrock'

category national | history and heritage | news report author Tuesday December 11, 2007 13:47author by TaraWatchauthor email info at tarawatch dot org Report this post to the editors

TaraWatch has asked for an investigation into Garda 'Operation Bedrock'

An Oral Parliamentary Question, regarding Garda 'Operation Bedrock' - which now appears to be an ongoing investigation into Tara campaigners, has been submitted to the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan. If the Minister chooses to answer, it will take place on Thursday afternoon. If not, a written answer will come early next week.
Gardai at Tara
Gardai at Tara

The text of the Oral question submitted by Martain Ferris, nominated by Aengus ÓSnodaigh, TD to the Minister for Justice is as follows:

To ask the Minister for Justice, equality and Law Reform if "Operation Bedrock" is being commissioned or monitored by his Department or any particular Department or Minister; if it comprises or is part of an ongoing investigation into Tara campaigners ; what the scope of the operation is, and if private data is being shared between Gardai and private security or investigators involved in the construction of the M3; and if he will comment on the matter.

Martin Ferris, TD


Proof of the existence of Operation Bedrock first came to light in an article in the Meath Chronicle, about a court hearing in Navan concerning demonstrators at Tara. It said "Mr Finucane said there had been a reference to "Operation Bedrock" in material he had received and he wished to obtain additional information on that." (Meath Chronicle 10/11/2007)

Then, after a later hearing, RTE made the following report:

Tara link to garda documents sought
RTE News: Monday, 3 December 2007 15:00

A district court judge is to review documents relating to a garda operation codenamed 'bedrock', to see what relevance it has to campaigners opposing the route of the M3 motorway through the Tara / Skryne valley. At Navan District Court today, Judge John Brophy refused a defence request to step aside from hearing the case, telling barristers that they could go to the High Court if they were dissatisfied with his decision. Before the court were ten campaigners who face a variety of public offences arising out of protests at site works on the route of the motorway.

Judge Brophy told the court that after he reviewed the documents relating to Operation Bedrock he would decide if they relate to the defendants. If they did he would allow only their legal teams to see the documents.Barrister for some of the defendants, David Whelehan, asked the judge to disqualify himself from hearing the case when it does go ahead, saying he had already dealt with other similar cases. However, the judge rejected the request and set 21 January as a date for the hearing of the case.


On 4 December 2007TaraWatch sent a letter to the Taoiseach, and issued a press release. A response was received from the Minister's Office the next day, which said that he had referred the matter to the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan.Confirmation came from Minister Lenihan's office yesterday.

Also, on December 5, the following article appeared in the Irish Independent:

Gardai ‘not spying’ on motorway protesters

Irish Independent

6 December 2007

GARDAI have rejected claims they are “spying” on campaigners opposed to construction of the M3 motorway.

The Tarawatch campaign last week asked Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to launch an investigation into whether the so-called ‘Operation Bedrock’ involved the surreptitious monitoring of anti-motorway campaigners.

In September, a district court judge also adjourned a criminal case being brought against a number of campaigners, asking gardai to provide details about the operation. Yesterday, a garda spokesman said there was nothing “sinister” about the operation.

“It is local operation dealing with the construction of the M3. It ensures the right of workers to go to work unimpeded, and the right of people to protest,” he said.


So, now we know that there is an ongoing investigation into Tara campaigners, and that it was not just a one-day operation. Let's see what the response is on Thursday to the questiosn that have been asked.


TaraWatch letter to Taoiseach -

RTE News: Tara link to garda documents sought -

Meath Chronicle: Three plead guilty to offences at Lismullen site - 10/11/2007

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by M. Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Tue Dec 11, 2007 23:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The original story is well told here with photographs of those involved

author by A Friend of Tarapublication date Tue Dec 11, 2007 23:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Actually only two of those 12 or 13 people arrested while protesting against the M 3 construction were members of CST at the time of their arrest. The rest of them were/are independent campaigners.

But operation 'Bedrock' will not only effect those currently campaigning for Tara, but each and every one of us participating in similar campaigns in the future. So let's keep that 'CST vs TaraWatch' scenario out of this thread, please!

author by Equally Frustratedpublication date Tue Dec 11, 2007 23:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is quite clear now that Operation Bedrock is an 'ongoing' investigation, not a one day operation. This is serious business, that concerns all of us, so please don't drag your petty rivalries onto this thread. This is bigger than you, believe it or not... But now that you mention it, it is odd that you have been so quiet about it, instead of warning people. A lot of things about this campaign are suddenly becoming very clear, and we may in fact be getting closer to the real story of what has in fact been going on...

author by Bam Bampublication date Wed Dec 12, 2007 06:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If the you believe the Gardai are "spying" on you why are you discussing it in an open public forum where anyone can monitor what you are saying or planning.

GOD HELP TARA if these are the fools who come to her defence."

As someone wants said (was it patrick pearse?)..."for the silence of the wise, we as fools must speak". So God help the "fools" who have come to Tara's defense.

It might not be the Garda who are spying, everything gets privatised these days, spying, jailing, soldiering etc. The group that was exposed running 6 agents in the '90's in "Campaign Against the Arms Trade" (England) and one in the extended Liverpool Catholic Worker community were a private company. They had an earlier history of infiltration of the large & effective anti-roads movement in England.

Check this website for an analysis of thie history and work practises....


Someone else also said "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean their not out to get you". By extension, just because they're out to get you, doesn't mean you're being effective. They're are profit driven motives for private companies to spy and budget defense motives for state employees to inflate and spin and exagerate the "threat to the project" of the movement to their state superiors.

Related Link: http://www.evel.nl/spinwatch/TRReport.htm
author by Correctorpublication date Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Minister does not choose which Oral Questions he or she replies to. They are drawn randomly in the Ceann Comhairle's office and politicians are welcome to observe if they wish.

author by abcpublication date Tue Dec 18, 2007 15:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

could someone define heritage for me please? i believe it to be an arbitory term and i would like to know what you all think it means.

author by Mike Stonepublication date Sat Jan 05, 2008 01:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors


“I am informed by the Garda authorities that a policing plan has been
prepared in respect of the obligations on An Garda Síochána to
prevent any breaches of the criminal law during the construction of the
M3 motorway.
The policing measures in place are deemed necessary by local
Garda management who are satisfied that sufficient Garda
resources are available to prevent any such breaches. The
allocation of resources for this operation will be closely
monitored and kept under review.
I am further informed that the Garda authorities are satisfied
that no private data is being shared between An Garda Síochána
and private security or investigators as referred to in the
Deputy’s question

Well that is about as informative as this.....

The Flintstones Lyrics

Flintstones. Meet the Flintstones.
They're the modern stone age family.
From the town of Bedrock,
They're a page right out of history.

Let's ride with the family down the street.
Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet.

When you're with the Flintstones
you'll have a yabba dabba doo time.
A dabba doo time.
You'll have a gay old time.

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