An Open Letter To Bertie Ahern
I have watched, since the Autumn of 2005, the continuing battle over the M-3 motorway in the Tara/Skryne (Gabhra) Valley. I first became acquainted with the issue whilst my husband and I were on our way to the Dublin Airport the last day of our visit. It was then that we saw the “Archaeological” dig signs close by to the Hill of Tara, with “No Trespassing” written all over them. Upon our return to the U.S., I did a bit of investigating and was horrified, chilled to my very marrow, to find what this devious “scheme” actually entailed.
Mr. Ahern, Sir, I am not a native Irish-Woman, however I am Irish. I was raised from a young child to honor and respect my ancestors, both ancient and recent. I was taught about the patriots and heroes, those who gave their lives that the Republic could offer freedom to her children. Mr. Ahern, as I understand it, you have a portrait of Pádraic MacPiarais (Padraic Pearse) hanging in your personal government office. You have publicly stated that he is one of your heroes, someone who means something to your spirit and being, yet it appears that you do not stand for the same patriotism he did. When you were attending the Easter Rising commemorative celebration at Kilmainham Gaol in April 2006, did you kneel at this brave heroes execution site, saying a prayer of thanksgiving for the sacrifice that he made? If it had not been for Padraic Pearse and his fellow patriots, you, Sir, would not be holding the office you do. In fact, Ireland would not be a Republic, but rather still giving allegiance to Great Britain, or perhaps even another foreign nation.
Do you truly admire Padraic Pearse, Sir? Was he foretelling this very moment in time with the following poem? Please pay attention to the words:
Mise Eire (I Am Ireland)
by Padraic Pearse
"I am Ireland.
I am older than the Old Woman of Bearra,
Great is my glory,
I who gave birth to
Cuchulain the brave,
Great is my shame,
My own family
Have sold their mother.
I am Ireland,
I am lonelier than the
Old Woman of Bearra."
Mr. Ahern, if indeed you cannot remember our ancient ancestors, perhaps you can remember more recent history with the patriots of the Battles of the Irish rebellion in 1798. Perhaps you can remember reading about the gathering on the Hill of Tara on August 15th, 1843, when over one million Irish Men and Irish Women gathered to hear ‘The Liberator', Daniel O'Connell, speak during what were some of the bleakest years for the Irish as a nation, An Gorta Mór. Perhaps you will remember, Sir, the multitude of monuments dedicated to the thousands whose bodies were left to rot in the fields from County Meath to County Kildare, rebels who sacrificed their very lives that you might enjoy the freedom you have today. Even more recently are the efforts of Arthur Griffith, William Butler Yeats, George Moore and Douglas Hyde, who campaigned against the British-Israelites when they sought to destroy the Hill of Tara in search of the Ark of the Covenant between the years of 1899 and 1902. Writing to the Irish Times on June 27th, 1902 they declared, "Tara is, because of its associations, probably the most consecrated spot in Ireland, and its destruction will leave many bitter memories behind it." Their words are as relevant today as when they were written well over a century ago.
What all of these brave and courageous Irish had in common was the love of the Mother, the love of the Island, and the love of the heart and soul of Ireland, the Hill of Tara. This love continues in the hearts of the protesters who are risking their lives to the machinery which is rending the land apart, savaging the sacred sites, and raping the resting places of our ancestors throughout the Island.
Mr. Ahern, it is not only the M-3 which concerns me. It is the Rossport/Shell to Sea issue, the Turoe/N-6 issue, the Kilconnell/National Toll Roads Super-Dump Issue, the Poolbeg/Ringaskiddy issue, along with many more controversial and disastrously dangerous “schemes” which will most certainly lay waste to the “Ireland of the Welcomes”. It is also a fact that the M-3 “scheme” is to facilitate the transporting of the petroleum being pumped in the NW of Ireland to refineries in Dublin, there to be exported elsewhere, with little or nothing of the revenue being realized by the people of Ireland.
It is a well known fact that the government of Ireland has chosen to not disclose to the people that the European Commission has filed charges against the government of Ireland for failure to comply with the bylaws of the EU, thus making the Environmental Impact Assessment for the whole M3 project no longer valid, and therefore making it an illegal project. The government of Ireland has also not disclosed that there will be a hearing in the European Court of Justice in the Autumn of this year, 2007. It is a well known fact that the people of Ireland have been kept in the dark about the truth behind the M-3 and it's spiderweb network of roads. It is a well known fact that the government of Ireland is in complicity with a range of “cronies” the likes of whom have not been seen before. On July 20th, 2007, the esteemed Kathy Sinnott, Vice-Chairwoman of the European Parliament Petitions Committee, published an open letter to John Gormley, the most recently elected Irish Minister of the Environment. To date, he has yet to publicly address an answer to her, or to the people of Ireland for that matter, for his reasoning in hiding facts about this.
To quote from the European Unions Aarhus Convention, citizens “have the right to access to environmental information, participation in environmental decision making and access to justice. This guide aims to raise public awareness about the convention and to inform people in a simple and easily understandable way about their rights according to the convention. Its description of actual cases may also inspire public officials working with environmental information. (January 2007).”
The Hill of Tara has seen numerous battles over the many centuries, but none has presented a greater challenge than the one it is entangled in now. The government of Ireland has become her enemy, and her champions are the ones who are actively protesting, doing their utmost to prevent the violation of this royal and sacred valley, which holds the secrets and remains of our ancestors.