Tara campaign for St Patrick’s Day
Tara campaign for St Patrick’s Day

The campaign group TaraWatch says that it plans to “mobilise 50,000 supporters worldwide” to demonstrate against individual 26-County Ministers as they attend St Patrick’s Day functions around the world.

The group is hoping to embarrass individual members of the Dublin government by drawing attention to the building of the M3 highway through the archaeologically sensitive Tara Valley in County Meath.

Last week, the National Roads Authority (NRA) said that the motorway was so close to completion that calling for the rerouting of the motorway at this stage was “ridiculous”.

But yesterday TaraWatch said that it would use the schedule of Ministers’ foreign travel, recently released by the Government, to plan demonstrations.

A spokesman for the group said that demonstrations were already in place for Chicago, where TaraWatch Chicago will have a float in the city’s annual St Patrick’s Day parade.

Similar action was planned for San Francisco, and New York, where Minister for Energy and Communications Eamon Ryan will be representing the Government.

Efforts were also under way to ensure that Meath TD and Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey is picketed when he visits Toronto, and that Minister of State Trevor Sargent receives “a cool welcome” in Paris.

A TaraWatch spokesman said that the Irish abroad were “especially furious about the M3 going through Tara, and this is becoming an annual ritual, in cities around the world”.

He added that an article in the Smithsonian magazine earlier this month, which featured Tara as one of 10 must-see sites in the world before they disappear, had provoked a massive response internationally.

“Minister Dempsey and the Green Party are the primary targets, but every Minister in almost every city will be hearing about Tara again.”

“If the Government wants to engage the diaspora, they [should] seek help in finding a solution to the M3” he added, rather than travelling the globe “saying there is no problem there at all”.

Meanwhile, a separate group of protesters who have been holding a vigil at the Hill of Tara are to celebrate the first anniversary of the protests at Rath Lugh in which a woman protester called Squeak locked herself into an underground chamber.

Heather Buchannan said that the anniversary on March 13th “is a big date for us”. Among the activities will be a picnic on site during the day.

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