Independent Media Centre Ireland

Police Mal-Practice at Tara.

category meath | crime and justice | news report author Thursday March 13, 2008 12:57author by Rob Henderson - Independent Artistauthor email robertghenderson at eircom dot net

Intelligence required by all involved. Citizen's life put at risk by reckless behaviour.

Ferrovial/Siac Construction with the support of An Garda Shiochána are today engaging in the reckless endangerment of the life of an Irish Citizen.

This morning at 08.45 I received a call to inform me that a force of at least 15 Gardai was approaching the Front-Line fortification on the esker of the Rath Lugh National Monument. They were supported today by approximately 25-30 Ferrovial/Siac construction workers, office staff/tunnel-tourists and security in High Visibility clothing.

They stated that it was their intent to evict the camp, beginning with the esker fortification, but had no documentation to this effect. An eviction notice has NOT been issued by a bailiff. This is highly illegal. One protestor was informed that the intent was to get it done before the High Court hearing, beginning this morning at 10.30, reaches its verdict or puts an injunction on the works.

With a serious and reckless attitude they approached the perimeter fencing and attempted to cut the air supply to the occupied tunnel system dug by Protectors to guarantee the stability of the esker. Heavy duty machinery was also employed in highly dangerous proximity to the delicate subterranean enclosures. I repeat, this tunnel system is occupied by Irish nationals, one of which is D-Locked to a jack which supports the structure above her. Uninformed and gung-ho attempts to evict this area lacks all sense of professional duty and/or intelligence, and can only amount to allegations of mal practice towards our police service. Two thirds of the officers present were not in full uniform and not displaying any form of identification.

Every Garda station in the vicinity was telephoned immediately to firmly insist that they urge their colleagues to get in touch with professionals abroad who have dealt with this kind of situation before, it is unknown of here in Ireland. None would heed warnings, insisting the Sergeant on site had full control. The outer perimeters of the structure and the hut above the main entrance to the primary D-Lock tunnel were carelessly demolished seriously destabilising and exposing the esker, and the Citizen below. It took at least 45 minutes of adamant persuasion, calls to Garda offices and eventually word from the Minister of Justice to prevent them from stopping the supply of oxygen to the enclosures beneath. Local Gardai were of little or no assistance.

After the Gardai present were made aware of contact from the minister they moved their physical presence from the primary tunnel entrance, but continued to move in closer, from the base of the mound, with Heavy-Duty earth moving machinery, further destabilising the esker and the occupied tunnel systems within. Eventually the Fire Department arrived, and though it was against their Union Rules to be involved, they demanded that the Police and the Construction Workers cease this activity. Neither Gardai nor Ferrovial/Siac Construction had a plan of action for what to do in the event of a cave-in, which seems to be what they were deliberately attempting to achieve. I personally - at risk of editorialising, fail to see what other objective could have called for such aggressive, idiotic tactics.

This is serious mal-practice if not attempted murder. Protesters, swarmed by media, continue to hold the security, construction workers and members of An Garda Shiochána at bay, as I type. The CPO line in question is still in application making the location of the esker on Coilte land not Ferrovial's private property. The National Monument of Rath Lugh including the Esker is under preservation order from Minister John Gormley.

This activity by Ferrovial/Siac Construction partnership and An Garda Shiochána IS . . . I repeat IS highly illegal and recklessly dangerous.

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Comments (21 of 21)

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author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 13:17author address author phone

This story is also covered in other threads.

author by Rob Henderson - Nonepublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 13:30author address author phone

My appologies, I'm moving quite quickly through sites and letters.

I have put down the phone now and read the others.

I also believe the figures I recieved are understated and inaccurate.

No of aggressors onsite today appears to be at least 80.

Again my appologies, for creating another thread, editors of indymedia may move the text elsewhere, if it is more fitting there.

author by arrested?publication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 13:38author address author phone

Latest news is that the protester in the tunnel has been removed and arrested - looks like its over. The whole thing.

author by Con Connor - Ireland's Druidschoolpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 13:52author address author phone

The above poster may have incorrect information

13:16 13-3-08
Heather has just been on the phone to me and says that she has been released from garda custody. She was arrested and taken away from Rath Lugh by gardai without numbers. She was charged with an offence under the the Housing Miscellaneous Act because she told the gardai - "you are rapists". She was refering to the nature of the attack by the gardai and toll pirates to destroying a National Monument before a court hearing seeking an injunction. She has to stay away from Lismullin and Rath Lugh and re-appear in court on 6 April.
She was is good form and on her way into Dublin to support Peadar Ó Ceallaigh who is asking Ms Justice Mary Lafoy at the High Court to stop the destruction at Rath Lugh. I gave her as much a report as I could and sent her my best wishes

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author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 13:53author address author phone

Previous post is rubbish. A protester has been arrested - she has been released. She is not the same woman as that in the tunnel.
Straight from the protest site: things have calmed down. The Fire Brigade are well gone, will not make any attempt to remove the girl from the tunnel.
A tent will be erected at the entrance so that one other protester can communicate with her.
No effort was or will be made to remove her.
There are still 5 other people locked on with cement.
There is a small digger and steam roller as well as 18 jeeps at the site.
Nothing is driving on the esker.
They are tripping over media and cameras!
There are flood lights being brought in.
Court case being heard again at 2pm.

author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 13:54author address author phone

I was referring to the post by "arrested" and not the one by C. Connor - his is an accurate account.

author by Con Connor - Ireland's Druidschoolpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 14:02author address author phone

Thanks M Ni Bhrolchain

author by Cael - Sinn Fein Ponlachtachpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 14:34author address author phone

The lady in the tunnel deserves the admiration and thanks of every decent Irish citizen.

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author by mondomanpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 15:00author address author phone

The woman in the tunnel deserves the admiration and thanks of every Irish Citizen?? What a load of bollix...if she goes and gets herself stuck in a tunnel...then tough luck on her! There are ways and means of dealing with this, not crawling into a hole and endangering herself and others...completely irresponsible....

author by Rob Hendersonpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 15:31author address author phone

The construction workers with the aid of the Gardai have fenced off the sensitive area surrounding the tunnel entrance, separating it from the rest of the camp and the protesters. They are in the process of driving posts into the ground, endangering the stability of the area. The protesters onsite have backed away as the presence of Gardai, security, workers and activity around the area is also posing a threat and they do not wish to add further to the human element of possible damage due to an excess of bodies on the mound. Contact with the protester underground is being maintained by one other supporter inside the fence. An agreement has been reached which keeps the Machines at a safe distance.

author by Seanpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 19:17author address author phone

I am disgusted with the way the gardai and state handle this, and the lack of larger scale protest.I would join now my self if there was any point, but it seems that it's all over. Sell the country, sell history, maybe they can build a town center over new grange next year, I'm pretty sure everyone would sit back and support them.
Complacency- the modern Irish affliction.

author by Con Connor - Ireland's Druidschoolpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 20:51author address author phone

Please Quote Ref: REP2054/JG/08

13 February 2008


Dear Mr. Connor,

I have been asked by Mr. John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to acknowledge receipt of your recent email in connection with Rath Lugh, the contents of which has been noted.

Yours sincerely,

Eddie Kiernan
Private Secretary

>>> "Con Connor" 13/03/2008 09:49 >>>
Please pass this message to John Gormley

9:40, Thursday 13-3-08
Reports just received from Rath Lugh say that the Gardai (30) and Toll road workers (60) are attacking the Protectors of Tara. They have cut off the life support system to the tunnel knowing that there is a woman deep below ground. Her name is Squeak. The front line camp is being dismantled using bolt croppers - this is exposing the tunnel entrance. Machinery has appeared and numerous toll road jeeps swarm around the edge of Rath Lugh. This outrageous act by the Gardai endangers the life of Squeak - the Gardai know this. We have previous examples of Garda incompetence in situations beyond their control that went wrong due to their stupidity - are we to see another example of their incompetence? This is timed to occur just before an Emergency Injunction is being sought to halt all works at Rath Lugh 10.30 in the Four Courts Dublin. The boundary to the National Monument of Rath Lugh seems to be about to be set by SIAC/Ferrovial toll road building crews and not by Irish Law or the Minister.
Who is in command of this stupid plan? Did the Minister sanction this attack on the peaceful Protectors of Tara? Is this the fullest expression of Operation Bedrock? How many Ferrovial and Senior Gardai are members of Opus Dei? Did the order to evacuate come from their Lismullin HQ?
All works on or near Rath Lugh must be stopped immediately until the life of Squeak is secured and a proper survey has been done and boundary lines clearly defined.

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author by lulupublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 21:38author address author phone

Thank God for the Fire crew turning up - shameful that it was because of Garda ignorance & malice. They've got away with so much @ Bellanaboy protests that they think they can do as they like, regardless of the law.

author by Reality - Green Party Memberpublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 17:51author address author phone

It's truly awful to think that a brave individual like 'squeek' has to endanger her life to get the point across.

I might be a member of the Green Party but I do not endorse this heavy handed thuggary or the destruction of our sacred heritage.. keep on striving for your cause, you will win the day.

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author by Damienpublication date Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:16author address author phone

This tunnel has apparently been under construction for months by the protestors. During this time construction would have carried on for the motorway as normal, with the tunnel underneath. If this is the case surely the tunnel was liable to collapse for at least a few months ?

From what I can see the tunnel has been a signifigant danger to everyone in the vicinity for the past few weeks. Its lucky that nobody has died already - sounds like pure luck that a dozer didn't go over it a few weeks ago, kill whoever was stupid enough to be in it, and injured whoever was driving the dozer.

author by Orla Opublication date Sat Mar 15, 2008 21:46author email xlorliex at gmail dot comauthor address author phone

While looking back to information I downloaded early last year in relation to the works at Tara, I found the following interesting piece.
It, for me anyway, once again reiterates the extent of white wash the government will hand out in the name of doing precisely what it wants to do, when it wants to do it.

I honestly feel such shame that the Green party got my number one vote in the elections, that the flapping idiot who stood on my doorstep and promised me the sun moon. moon, stars and a safe passage for our heritage and history left in place for my children, got me to pop the ballot in the box with confidence.

Not only have this government scavenged every Celtic tiger golden nugget to feed their own egos and line their own nests, they have taken every opportunity to bludgeon our history into the abyss.

I watched Bertie Ahern glowing with pride as he cradled his new born grandsons, I heard him speak of wanting a good world for them to live in and a safe and economically sound future that they could achieve within.
How awful that the history he leaves for them will be so absent of anything to take pride in.

RTE REPORT.. . Source Internet search.... .. File 125/b .. Tara. Hill. Of. Proposal motorway.

Tuesday, 30 November 2004 21:37

The Taoiseach has advised people concerned about the M3 motorway going through the Tara Skryne Valley to go and visit the site.

Bertie Ahern was reacting to comments from the new chairman of the Oireachtas Environment Committee, Sean Haughey.

Mr Haughey said that putting a motorway through the valley was 'bordering on vandalism'.

Mr Ahern added that the new road would be further from the Hill of Tara than the existing one.

However, the Labour leader, Pat Rabbitte, warned that the Government was walking straight into prolonged and expensive litigation that would not allow for a faster commute to Dublin.

The Taoiseach said he wished there was an alternative route, but there was not.

He said he wished there were an alternative. I wish there was a time machine.


author by nile cartonpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 18:52author address Lisburnauthor phone

Why doint you take a personal action against the Garda Commissioner if you believ ethat what the Gardai did amounted to attempted murder? I personally believe that such comment is idiotic and shows just how biased this website is and the editorial team to allow such rubbish onto their site. I suppose they will censor this comment because they cannot accept others have different opinions to indymedia. I believe that the Gardai acted correctly and totally professionally.

author by Reading reports . . .publication date Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:26author address author phone

I agree witth the above comment, to a certain extent . . . Attempted murder might be a little harsh, however if such a thing existed then 'Attempted Manslaughter' would be much more fitting.

The action taken by those involved in that mornings events did lack all responsibilty. Having been on the ground and witnessed an open disregard for safety, on the part of all those involved in attempting to forcefully evict Leesa from the tunnel, then responsibility lay on the shoulders of the most senior Gardai present. You must be aware that the protesters who constructed tunnel built in measures to prevent a foreful eviction and informed the Gardai of these. Much of this was disregarded, initially, by those in charge that day and it took the Fire Brigade to remind them of the severity of their inexperienced actions. This is a tried and tested form of peaceful protest, it just had not been known to this Nation before. The people involved made every attemp to encourage the Gardai to deal with this situation responsibly, and contact expertise abroad. They refused to listen to reason and irresponsibly put a protesters life in serious danger.

As far as comments about indymedia are concerned. Grow up. this is an open platform, as far asd I can see. Often it is biased towards one side, but if your views are not represented then publish them. Please refrain from whinging about your own laziness . . .

author by Rappublication date Mon Mar 17, 2008 14:54author address author phone

by Reality - Green Party Member Fri Mar 14, 2008 18:51
It's truly awful to think that a brave individual like 'squeek' has to endanger her life to get the point across.
I might be a member of the Green Party but I do not endorse this heavy handed thuggary or the destruction of our sacred heritage.. keep on striving for your cause, you will win the day."

- What a load of hypocrisy! Who do you think is in large part responsible for the destruction of Tara? -
The Green Party - that's who - with your 'tied hands' bullshit and your self-serving, patronising, whining
when in reality you only want to share the FF trough.

author by On the ground 2publication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 14:01author address author phone

" Having been on the ground and witnessed an open disregard for safety, on the part of all those involved in attempting to forcefully evict Leesa from the tunnel, then responsibility lay on the shoulders of the most senior Gardai present"

Did you notice who was giving instructions to the Garda ? SIAC manager Martin Maher ! Last seen July 18th ,coincidence?

Needless to say those arrested this day can expect the same abuse of the justice system which sees judges cops and coporate managers criminalising protesters.

author by Eyewitness 2publication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 15:48author address author phone

Storys of digger on the Tunnel not untrue ,I witnessed this digger heading straight towards the tunnel

Under who`s instructions?

Martin Maher director of SIAC.With his now notorious sidekicks Mark Cleary and Marcos Hardgreves.

These individuals have repetedly assaulted protesters while the Garda stand by.

Was the plan to dig her out with a digger?

If not for fellow protectors be in no doubt Squeek was a dead woman.The digger driver finally turned back and halted at the edge of esker.



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