On 11 am Saturday, September 22nd, Susan Mc Keown, event organizer welcomed an enthusiastic crowd gathered outside the Irish Consulate on Park Avenue in Manhattan to show their opposition to the proposed four-lane motorway through the world famous and archeologically rich Tara in Co. Meath, Ireland.
The event began with a wonderful performance by the Strings of Tara a group of harpists, whose music was being duplicated simultaneously by other groups of harpists at various Save Tara protests around the world. The harp and the harpists were considered to be the soul of Tara and were forever made immortal in Thomas Moore’s song ‘The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls’
The first speaker Pam Crabtree, is an Associate Professor of anthropology at NYU. She spoke eloquently about the historic importance of Tara in ancient Ireland and what that means or should mean today.
NYC save Tara
protest.htmShe was followed by J. Joseph Lee, of Gluckman Ireland House who spoke of the significant place that Tara holds within the Irish psyche. He added that Tara transcends boundaries and was happy the EU was taking a genuine interest in the Save Tara campaign.
The third speaker was the Irish born poet Paul Muldoon. Paul is also a professor of humanities at Princeton University. He asked those assembled as to what they should think of a government that would launch an attack, such as the attack on Tara, on its own soil?
Susan McKeown then delivered a spellbinding rendition as Gaeilge (ár ndóıgh) of Pearse’s poem 'Mise Éire', which was followed by a few reels by traditional Irish musicians James Reilly, Keith O'Neill and Isaac Alderson.
Mary Courtney sang Mazz O’Flaherty’s "Saoirse".
Though the area had been promised summer like sunshine, the weather started to quickly change.
Úna McGillicuddy of the Singing Harp Theatre Company was halfway through her story recounting the myths of Tara when the rain began to fall. She ended by recounting her nine year old son's response when she explained to him what was happening in Tara, he exclaimed, "that would be like putting a motorway right through all fairy tales."
In closing, a solo harpist played ‘The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls'.