Thursday, July 02, 2009

Tara Parliamentary Group Proposed, to Launch Problem-Solving Initiative

Senator David Norris (left) reads parliamentary Questions while Vincent Salafia talks to Shane McEntee, TD (FG)

Tarawatch seeks parliamentary group

Irish Times - Breaking News: 02 July 2009


Campaign group Tarawatch has written to members of the Oireachtas inviting them to establish a parliamentary group with the intention of lobbying Government on issues relating to the Hill of Tara. Several opposition and independent TDs and Senators, including newly-elected Dublin Central TD Maureen O’Sullivan and Senator David Norris were presented with a list of questions for the Government by members of Tarawatch at Dáil Éireann yesterday.

Tarawatch spokesman Vincent Salafia subsequently wrote to the politicians who attended asking them to establish a parliamentary group. He said the group would not only seek to identify a solution to protect the national monument but would also attempt to find a solution that would meet the needs of sustainable development and transport in Co Meath.

“We feel that it is the responsibility of the elected representatives both at European and national level to work in a co-operative manner on this,” Mr Salafia said today. “It would be a platform for all the groups involved to present their opinions and have their say in what the final outcome is. Tara belongs to everybody in Ireland. The majority of Irish people want to have Tara protected. Its not that it’s against the M3 per se - most of the people who want to protect Tara are quite happy for the M3 to proceed – they just don’t want it to go where it is."


'Tara Parliamentary Group Proposed, to Launch Problem-Solving Initiative'

In the wake of the successful delegation to the Oireachtas yesterday, TaraWatch has proposed a 'Group for the Protection of the Hill of Tara', to be composed of Oireachtas members and MEPs.

The following letter was sent to Oireachtas members and MEPs today:

02 July 2009

Dear Parliamentarian,

Thank you for meeting our delegation outside Dail Eireann yesterday, and listening to our concerns about the Hill of Tara and the M3 motorway. As you can see from the long list of parliamentary questions, concerning the growing problems at Tara:

- the proposed nomination of Tara as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which may be rejected by UNESCO;

- the ongoing European Commission lawsuit against Ireland over Lismullin; and

- the Navan to Dublin Railway, and the North-South Electrical Connector, which are also proposed to be routed through the proposed World Heritage Site.

In order to address these mounting problems, TaraWatch is proposing that a Parliamentary Group for the Protection of the Hill of Tara, consisting of Oireachtas members and MEPs is established. The Group could monitor the various issues, and embark on a problem-solving initiative, to find a solution that best protects the national monument of Hill of Tara and also meets the needs of sustainable development and transport in County Meath.

The Oireachtas members who met us yesterday, and took a strong interest in the Tara issue were:

- Shane McEntee, TD, Fine Gael
- Joanna Tuffey,TD, Labour
- Aengus O Snodaigh, TD, Martin Ferris, TD, and Arthur Morgan, TD, Sinn Fein
- Maureen O’Sullivan, TD, Independent
- Senator David Norris

In addition, TaraWatch has received letters of support from:

- Joe Higgins, MEP, Socialist Party
- Marian Harkin, MEP, Independent

While there has always been a need for a non-partisan approach to the protection of Tara, we agree it would be best to begin with the non-Governmental parties and Independents. Please let us know if you would like to be a part of such a group.

Kind regards,

Vincent Salafia

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