"They've paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

  • The e-mail below is from Dr. J. Zion (United States);
     
  • Dr. Zion is a lawyer who specialises in Native American Indian law;
     
  • During a recent visit to Ireland he mentioned similarities between ancient American Indian law, and Brehon law (the law used by the ancient Celtic people of Ireland).
     
 
 
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2003 4:53 PM
Subject: Re: [Tara/Skreen] New Mexico Initiative
 
Vincent is quite right about money issues, which I call "bread and butter" issues.  I must agree that cultural and human issues do not carry the same weight, but they are important.
 
What is the money issue here?  Tourism.  The two times I've flown into Dublin from the United States, there were long lines of students arriving to study Joyce, get in touch with their Irish roots, and maybe even visit Tara and Skreen.  The right to culture issue is one of several legal issues that can be posed to an Irish court, but it directly relates to we of Irish heritage and, as one member of this group put it, the rights of the people of the diaspora.  What do we think of destroying the healing sense of place in terms of our cultural heritage?
 
The other evening, as I settled in to relax, I pulled a copy of Edel Bhreathnach and Conor Newman's little monograph on Tara written for The Discovery Programme and The Government of Ireland (1995).  It makes the interesting point that Tara is central to Irish culture, although a lot of it is myth and legend.  Myth and legend are part of our personality.  I also see that Bhreathnach has written a bibliography on Tara. 
 
Who out there is willing to follow up and develop cultural arguments about how important Tara is?  I don't find much on Skreen on the Web.  What about it? 
 
Another thing we can talk about is whether the Irish courts are willing to accept comparative law arguments.  They have been central to three recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.  When South Africa debated takings for its constitution recently, the U.S. precedent on takings was very important to the debate over takings and the restoration of land to the indigenous peoples of South Africa.  Under U.S. law, taking private land to give to a private toll company would violate the U.S. takings clause in our Constitution.
 
And it isn't simply taking from private landowners near Tara and Skreen.  It is taking our culture and heritage.  I saw the map of the proposed motorway, with four lanes and an interchange just north of the Hill of Tara.  What do you think that's going to do to the area?  As the sixties song went, "They've paved paradise and put up a parking lot."  And... "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?" 
 
Folks, that's what's going to happen here if we don't get more active.
 
Jim Zion
Albuquerque
 

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  Additional e-mails from Dr. Zion can be seen at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/taraskreen

 
     

     
 

  EU Directive 97/11/EC:

 http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/eia/full-legal-text/9711.htm

Please Note: Point 3, in Annex IV seems particularly important:

  "A description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the proposed project, including, in particular, population, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climatic factors, material assets, including the architectural and archaeological heritage, landscape and the inter-relationship between the above factors."

 
     
     
 

  Environmental Assessment 

"Environmental assessment is a procedure that ensures that the environmental implications of decisions are taken into account before the decisions are made."

http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/eia/home.htm

 
     
     
 

  Information on petitioning the European Parliament 

 
     
 

Direct link to EU web site:
http://www.europarl.eu.int/petition/help_en.htm

  Procedure for submitting a petition to the European Parliament 

 
     
     
 

  Sample of petition sent to the European Parliament on September 22nd 2003

 
     
 

The petition at the address below concerns the plan to put the new N6 Galway/Dublin Upgrade Road right through the middle of the Celtic "Iron Age" oppidium centred around Turoe & Knocknadala: which is thought to be the first to date to be identified in Ireland, and possibly the largest (by far) of all the 40 or so Celtic oppida yet found outside Ireland - in places like England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, and Hungry.

http://www.finnachta.com/EuropeanParliamentPetition.htm

 
     
     
 

  The European Valetta Convention 

 
     
 

The Republic of Ireland ratified the European Valetta Convention  (European Treaty Series 143) on the Protection of Archaeological Heritage in 1997. Article 5, ii), b) seems particularly relevant to development projects such as roads: "the allocation of sufficient time and resources for an appropriate scientific study to be made of the site and for its findings to be published".

http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/publications/urbanarch/appe.html

 
     
     
 

  Agenda 21 (United Nations) 

 
     
 

General information:
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/index.htm


"Introducing the Aarhus Convention"
 (from the United Nations):

  •  
"It links environmental rights and human rights."
  •  
"It establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the involvement of all stakeholders."
 
  •  
"It links government accountability and environmental protection."
 
  •  
"It acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations."
 
  •  
"The subject of the Aarhus Convention goes to the heart of the relationship between people and governments."


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=United+Nations+Introducing+Aarhus+Convention+&btnG=Google+Search


 
     
 
     
 

  "Telling it like it is"  

 
     
 

This publication reviews progress in the Republic of Ireland during the first 10 years following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit Conference. Through the use of 34 stories it strongly suggests (on page 8) that: "In spite of millions of Euros in spending and international co-operation of a degree and depth never before seen, the agreements of Rio 92 have not translated into on-the-ground changes".

http://www.finnachta.com/TuroeKnocknadalaPetition/index.html#pdf

 
     

"Anyone can become angry - that is easy.  But, to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way: this is not easy."   Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.).  Quote from: "Nicomachean Ethics".

Aristotle  |  Nicomachean Ethics (350 B.C.)  |

 

CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION:

Extract from Preamble:

     
    "Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice."  
     

Full Text:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/unit/charte/index_en.html


CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS:

http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm


     
 

  "Confucius say (on world order) ... "

 
     
 
  • "To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order;
  •   To put the nation in order, we must put the family in order;
  •   To put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life;
  •   And to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right."

   Confucius  
  
(551-479 B.C.)  

  Confucius on: 
 |  War  |  Politicians  |  Problem Solving  |  Good Citizenship  | 

http://www.google.com/search?q=Confucius&btnG=Google+Search

 
     
Translations:
 

AltaVista        TRANSLATIONS        AltaVista  

     | Traductions | ‹bersetzungen | Traduzioni | TraduÁűes | Traducciones |

 
   
 
   
 
 

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ody-1.jpg (1313 bytes)


"Ah how shameless - the way these mortals blame the gods.
  From us alone, they say, come all their miseries, yes,
  but they themselves, with their own reckless ways,
  compound their pains beyond their proper measure."

The above words were spoken by Zeus, who (to the ancient Greeks) was the father of all the gods.

ody-1.jpg (1313 bytes)

Homer
Odyssey - Book I, lines 37 to 40.
Believed to have first appeared in written form sometime between 900 and 700 BC.
 

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