In the Guardian, Mark Lynas looks at The concrete isle that Ireland is fast becoming – this magical country, intoxicated by wealth and fixated on ‘progress’ – that increasingly turns a blind eye to the destruction of real history while revelling in the sentimentalising view of others.
The official philistinism (that Clinton is quoted as referring to) is, perhaps, exemplified by the seamless transition of Martin Cullen from Minister for arts, heritage and the environment.. into Minister for Transport.
Up on the hill itself, the sun is setting when I return, casting a scarlet light on the Lia Fáil, the standing stone at the centre of Tara’s main hill fort, which was reputed to roar when touched by the true king of Ireland. I’m the only person on the hill, alone except for a couple of sheep, and a lamb that rubs itself against a fading memorial to the 1798 rebellion against the colonising British. I ponder at the passage of time, the Celtic royal dynasties that have risen and fallen here, and how this magical country, intoxicated by wealth and fixated on “progress”, seems fated to wreak on itself a destruction worse than that left by any colonial invader.
A short distance away, next to the Dumha na nGiall, or Mound of the Hostages, there’s an official sign about the hill, which begins: “This national monument is in the care of the minister for arts and heritage …” It took me a while to remember who the minister for arts and heritage was: Martin Cullen, the same minister who forced new legislation through the national parliament to allow road-builders to carve through national monuments. “God help the Hill of Tara. And God help Ireland,” I found myself thinking, as I wandered back down the hill in the last rays of the dying sun.
Something worth taking to the streets for.
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