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From: "Jo Makepeace" (
Subject: SchNEWS 596, Friday 13th July 2007
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 12:16:33 +0100

Report from the Hill of Tara (Ireland)


Here's a report from a British roads campaign veteran at the Hill Of Tara protest in Ireland, protecting one of the most important archaeological sites in the world from a motorway. (For background see SchNEWS 585 and 593.) "We first arrived on Tara to dampened spirits due to rain and an exhausted but very determined Tara Vigil. These passionate and dedicated people have been getting up at 5am every morning and standing in front of the site gate and diggers till 7.30pm! In this way they have managed to hold off the destruction of Ireland's ancient heritage for 6 weeks, using non-violent direct action. Their numbers are few but they remain committed to the cause.

One recent discovery was an enormous wood henge (approx the size of three football pitches) near Rath Lugh - one of the most significant finds in Ireland this century. But the archaeology work going on is being rushed, because it is funded by the road company themselves. One of the archaeologists has walked out in outrage and is now living in the woods and is out stopping the diggers every day!

An ancestral burial and feasting ground has also been discovered, but the graves were desecrated, and bones put in bags and sent off without proper recording. The local school children were so moved that they went down to the site and made a mandala out of the bones, freaking out the workers so much that work was held off for two weeks. The burial grounds' topsoil has been left on the side of the field, containing human and animal bones and evidence of ancient civilizations.

The workers themselves are only people and are mostly friendly. They even staged their own protest at one point and jokingly stood behind our car and said we weren't allowed to leave. There has been only one arrest so far, and that person was held for only 20 minutes. But the names of the 'cultural conservationists' as they are known, are being taken by the Guardia and if injunctions are passed others will be needed to take their place. At the moment the power of one person standing in their way is enough to make the workers stop, turn the machines off and get their newspapers out.

At present there are about twelve main access gates on the central section of the route, usually being manned by half that amount of people, so YOU can make a difference. Every single person can make a big difference - it's a bit like the early Newbury days with people rushing to where the machines are out to destroy ancient sites. We managed to pass on our knowledge of fluffy direct action, and exchange stories and tactics from Britain's road protests of the 90's like Twyford Down, Newbury, and Fairmile. The Hill Of Tara desperately needs more people. All are most welcome - poets, bards, musicians, artists, mums, dads, children. Bring tents, tarpaulins, tools, food, rope, donations, warm and waterproof clothing & wellies. There is a communal kitchen run on love and donations...

If you have any time, spare resources to donate, expertise to share, please help! You don't need a passport to enter Ireland, just a form of ID. All roads lead to Tara. But hopefully not this one..."

* There will be a Lhughnasa gathering/rally/action at Tara around Aug 1st-2nd.

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From: "Jo Makepeace" (
Subject: SchNEWS 595, Friday 6th July 2007
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 20:00:38 +0100

ancient monument destroyed at Hill of Tara (Ireland)

At the Hill Of Tara, where they are fighting the building of a motorway near important archaeological sites in Ireland (see SchNEWS 585), the battle became more intense after a huge ancient monument near Baronstown was razed to the ground by machinery this week. The site, which had been recommended for National Monument status by archaeologists, is one of over 30 important known historic sites in the path of the road (and more are being discovered during the roadworks). There is a permanent protest camp at the frontline of the destruction.

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