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Letter Irish Examiner 3rd April 2006

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  • muireanntemair
    Letter Irish Examiner 3rd April 2006 Tara abandoned by a generation who prefer soulless symbols TARA, here I am. I have come all the way from Kerry to be with
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3 1:44 AM
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      Letter Irish Examiner 3rd April 2006

      Tara abandoned by a generation who prefer soulless symbols
      TARA, here I am. I have come all the way from Kerry to be with you
      before the vultures, with bulldozers and JCBs, open your lower belly.
      They are impatient to inflict the wounds.

      You are abandoned, forsaken and rejected. All the powers that be -
      Meath County Council, the Government, NRA, An Bord Pleanála and the
      High Court - have walked out on you. We pay them to protect you but
      they betrayed us. We trusted them too much.

      Tara, I know you sympathise with the people who are forced to commute
      to Dublin five days a week. But why are they not angry with Meath
      County Council for not putting in a bypass at Dunshaughlin and a
      proper one in Navan 20 years ago? They allowed them not only to close
      down but also to rip up the Dublin/Navan/Trim railway line over 30
      years ago. And they still trust them.

      There were so many other options for this road.

      Are you the same Tara who was magic for Master O'Connell, the
      principal of Tarmons National School in Tarbert? He instilled a love
      of you into our hearts, and I can still see the face of Fr O'Flaherty
      (our history teacher in St Brendan's, Killarney) come alive at your name.

      But that was a different generation, other times. You are no longer in

      This generation prefers soulless symbols - motorways, shopping malls,
      four-wheel drives, big trucks and, of course, the euro.

      I expected all the people in Ireland to have run to protect you. It
      would have been unacceptable, I thought, to run a motorway through the
      Tara/Skryne Valley, opening up a wound that no plastic surgery can
      cure. But this generation was not touched, nor incensed. How sad. Will
      you forgive us?

      The day Environment Minister Dick Roche sanctioned the motorway, I was
      watching the evening news in a pub. One man said, when he saw Mr Roche
      on TV, "Isn't he a pity? I wouldn't ask him to mind my chickens, and
      Bertie Ahern put him in charge of our heritage and environment. He has
      no bottle, afraid of the hawks."

      Poor Mr Roche. Maybe he has no power.

      An Bord Pleanála, which is not comprised of elected representatives,
      makes all the big decisions. Or does it? Who has real power today?

      Democracy, the people's participation in the ordering of their own
      lives, is now perceived as a meaningless facade that hides the
      ruthlessness of corporate self-interest.

      The suspicion that political ideologies and institutions are becoming
      irrelevant because politics is being reduced to following `the laws of
      the market' is creating political unease among people and cynicism
      among the young about voting.

      Tara, what else can your support groups and friends do now? Are all
      avenues closed? Has your hour come?

      Will we call the lone piper to play a dirge?

      Tommy O'Hanlon
      Co Kerry
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