Paul Sheehan did his bit for St Pat's day and quite likely his Irish heritage here (as we do too):
It's all about the expansion of the air travel market by Ryanair.
But we've read a bit about the combined effect of the spiv real estate speculation in Eire with the greater access of European Union common currency and economic synthesis.
In the first category is this sad, sad fate for the wonderful cultural heritage of Hill of Tara:
Mairead writes, and see the postscript below that in particular about the real estate spivs and vandals:
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 9:33 PMSubject: Tara update - and amazing SOS news
Hello again, friends,
On my way home this morning, after meetings in the city, including leafleting over 250 'high flying' people at the "official" Melbourne St. Patrick's Day breakfast with the Irish Transport Minister, I listened to John Faine on ABC Radio discussing, of all things, corruption in local councils –with enthusiastic talk-back-radio feedback proposing that developers should not be allowed to have business dealings within their council, if they want to be Councilors. –the talk back phones and instant messages ran hot!!
After more than two years of observation, I've come to believe this is what happened at the Hill of TARA, in Ireland. The Transport Minister 'celebrates' the fact that he was the "youngest ever Chairman of the Meath County Council" - where the Hill of TARA is situated. You'd think he would have a good working knowledge of the secret goings on. The Irish gov. Flood/ Mahon tribunal report tells a terrible story of deep corruption (details on the website). Most interesting revelation is that the Chairman of the National Roads Authority owns the biggest Real Estate Development company in Co. Meath.
What hope is there!? ...well, for a very good start, "conflict of interest" laws should be strictly applied, especially at local government level, –from the ground up, so to speak– where it all begins. I think this would go a long way toward insuring accountability - and better later than never. :)
An SOS went out from the Hill of Tara, on the Rath Lugh site, yesterday.
Passionate young protestors have dug a 21st-century souterrain (cave or underground passages or storage spaces) at Rath Lugh, within the Hill of Tara precinct. They've dug a tunnel under the route of the M3 freeway construction site... they have sealed themselves inside indefinitely to prevent construction traffic from passing overhead. ... laying their very lives on the line to protect and preserve Tara's landscape from the destruction wrought by their own Government. There is an injunction going into court this morning at 10.30am. Read the details on the website...btw, there is someone in the tunnel!
The beat goes on: Sunday at 3pm, we'll gather for a brief photo-op for TARA, – byo SAVE TARA banners. We'll meet next to the James Joyce Chair in the State Library of Victoria sculpture garden, after which we will head over to the Normandy Hotel, in Queens Pde. Clifton Hill (for the best trad. music!). Please join us, and invite/tell your Melbourne friends!
Pauline Bleach, from Sydney, and I were interviewed by the Australian Irish Echo last week. Pauline is organising an entry in the Sydney St. Pat's Day parade - more below, in the subsequent 2-page article:
for the Anam Cara for Tara arts action campaign
The Australian Irish Echo, March 12 – 25, 2008 –
‘Tara Road’ opponents to launch Oz protests
–By Aaron Dunne–
GROUPS opposed to the construction of a motorway near the historic Hill of Tara in Co Meath are planning to picket a range of Irish events in Australia over St Patrick’s Day.
Save Tara campaigners have planned protests in Melbourne and Sydney to coincide with the arrival of a number of Meath County Council of?cials and Irish Transport Minister Noel Dempsey, who is also from Meath.
A group called globalartscollective.org is running a worldwide campaign for St Patrick’s Day in conjunction with the Save Tara campaign in Ireland. Convenor Mairéid Sullivan, who is based in Melbourne, has told the Irish Echo of the group’s plans to attend events in their bid to promote awareness of ongoing resistance to the planned routing of the M3 motorway through the historic site.
Sullivan, and Co Louth native Pauline Bleach, who runs the Tara Appreciation Society in Sydney, have plans to make their presence felt at a host of events that will be attended by the visiting
Irish politicians, including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Sydney.
The Melbourne group will be targeting speci?c events in the city where the councillors and minister will be in attendance, while the Tara Appreciation Society has even entered a ?amp;#8218;oat into the Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade to promote awareness about the Hill Of Tara and the Skryne Valley.
“We’re putting in a parade entry called Tara – 7,000 Years Of Irish History as part of the Tara Appreciation Society,” Bleach said.
“It’s a non-political event so we will be making no mention of the Save Tara campaign. We want to celebrate the history of this valley where so much of our history took place,” Bleach told the Irish Echo.
“We’re not rabble rousers,” Mairéid Sullivan said. “We just want to bring attention to this very important matter. We’ll be there at everything the politicians are at to get our point across. There’s still time to save Tara.”
Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2008 4:30 PMSubject: .... re. Tara update - NRA Board members
> ....> I was asked for details of the NRA Board, and went to look at the
> article "Who's Who on the NRA" on my website, and discovered it was
> written in 2004.
> So, for fun, I did some checking.
> The fellow I referred to as being a big Auctioneer and Real Estate
> developer in Co. Meath, Raymond Potterton is still on the Board.
> But the current Chairman of the NRA is also Chairman of one of the
> biggest Real Estate Development company in the world.
> Peter Malone, Chairman, National Roads Authority ...and Chairman of CB
> Richard Ellis, Ireland.
> Talk about vested interest & conflict of interest!
> Info. from their website:---------------------------
> CB Richard Ellis is the global leader in commercial real estate services.
> CB Richard Ellis is the world’s leading commercial real estate adviser.
> With 350 offices across 58 countries we have more consultants advising
> more customers than any other property firm.
> Estate Gazette Property Award Winner 2007!
> CB Richard Ellis Ireland are very proud to have been named the Estates
> Gazette "Property Advisor of the Year, Ireland 2007"
The Irish not least this writer's family have been suckers for punishment in the alcohol stakes and one imagines the disastrous Famine killing a million citizens in the 19C has something to do with it. And reading about the spivs demise of the Hill of Tara is enough to drive one to drink, though we will decline that option too: