road protests (current)
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From: "Jo Makepeace" (email@example.com)
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 17:22:02 -0000
Subject: SchNEWS 610, Friday 9th November 2007
protest actions continue at the Hill of Tara
WAR ON TARA
Back over a choppy Irish Sea to the Hill of Tara road protests where digger-diving is thriving (see SchNEWS 600). Despite an ancient ring fort being recently discovered behind Soldiers Hill, the National Roads Authority have continued work on the destructive road through the historical heritage site, building during the night to avoid the attention of cultural conservation activists - but the tactic has done them little good against the drive and tenacity of the protesters.
Construction was held up on the first of November when twenty-one protesters stormed the SIAC (the firm building the roads) offices, terrorising the guards with badly played penny whistles! The security cabin was raided by the protesters who gained up-to-date info on the proposed route, maps, keys and documents revealing the details of workers and bosses of SIAC; full names and mobile numbers - please feel free to give them a call and tell them what you think about the destruction of hundreds of ancient tress, neolithic mounds, a pre-historic wooden henge and the other 43 ancient sites along the route. (see below)
En route back from the office occupation, protesters temporarily stopped eight diggers from destroying more of the archaeologically significant landscape. The following day, two digger diving crews stopped five machines in Colliers Town and barricades were thrown up in the road's path. Meanwhile at Soldiers Hill, a number of machines were stopped around the newly discovered ring fort. One English activist was arrested for refusing to give his name and address to the police, which you are obliged to do in Ireland, but was released an hour later.
Activists busy digger-diving then received a tip-off that the Minister of Transport Noel Dempsey was opening a new headquarters of Public Works at 2.30pm in Trim. Eleven protesters got there at 3pm to discover Noel Dempsey with Top Members of Fianna Fail (Irish Government) just leaving. They gave them some grief about the illegal motorway with little response but they did admit to not caring about their heritage. Noel Dempsey then scurried like a rat down a back street to retreat but was trapped by protesters, who asked why the suggested re-route which is 50 million Euros cheaper and 7km shorter isn't being used. Sadly he refused to comment and was whisked away with a police escort.
However, the chase wasn't over as determined protesters then followed him to the Knightsbrook Hotel and Golf Resort, where they met with forty others and besieged the complex. One person scaled the first floor balcony where the reception was taking place, with everyone shouting "Shame on you!" as Mr Dempsey retreated further into the hotel. Low police numbers led to the kitchen staff being used to hold the protesters back and when Mr Dempsey tried to leave he found the front two tyres of his official black Mercedes had been let down. The transport minister was left with no wheels. Maybe he should think about using public transport?
While the EU are now taking legal action against the Irish Government, whose many environmental breaches have lead to thirty-seven different allegations of legal infringement by the canny Irish state. But all this will be of the slap-on-the wrist type of action as opposed to actually stopping the road - that battle is taking place on the ground, and as ever all comers are welcome.
Here's those contact details - drop them a line...
Head Men At SIAC UK
Mark Cleary 08681 90323
Liam Shorthall 0868274419
Wills Headman 0879101759
SIAC Spanish Headquarters
Ciaran Feieghery - Chairman of SIAC
Hank Fugarty - Director of SIAC Operations
Grupo Ferrovial S.A.
Principe de Vergara 135
28002 Madrid Spain
Tel no.+34-91 586- 2500
Fax no. +34-91-586-2677
road protests (current)
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