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From: "William Finnerty" <newinngalway@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Judge Laffoy has spoken of a "constitutional imperative" to protect Tara heritage sites
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"Justice Laffoy had stated in her High Court opinion that there was in fact a 'constitutional imperative' to protect these assets."  
       

==============================
 
Nero fiddles while Rome burns?
by W. Finnerty.  Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:36
 
Vincent Salafia (Aug 20, 2007 21:24 above),
 
We have a situation at the present time whereby some of the most important heritage sites in the nation are under immanent threat of being badly damaged and/or COMPLETELY destroyed through the application of our National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004, which many (including yourself apparently) believe is unconstitutional, or ILLEGAL in other words. (Some extremely important heritage sites have already been destroyed using this Act I understand.)
 
Yet, you apparently feel we should all be focussing on some lost or missing files that may (or may not?) be important at some later point in time. I hope you won't mind me saying this, and please note that I genuinely have no wish whatsoever to be offensive towards you, this approach does not seem at all appropriate to me. It's as if (from my viewpoint) somebody with two broken legs, and two broken arms, desperately needs your help, and you are advising them that the first and most important thing they should do is to have their teeth examined by a good dentist?
 
As I have already related above, constitutional law expert Dr Gerard Hogan (Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin), who was a member of your legal team in early 2006, also believes that our National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Please note again his statement in the January 14th 2006 Daily Telegraph article:
 
"Gerry Hogan, senior counsel for Mr Salafia, claimed the legislation used to push through the project was unconstitutional. He said the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 weakened the role of the Oireachtas (Ireland's national parliament) by giving the minister discretionary powers to determine the fate of the country's heritage. Mr Hogan claimed the state's duty to protect monuments had been 'seriously compromised'." 
 
Also, I've had a look this morning at your Tara Watch PRESS RELEASE dated 29 July 2006, which I have reproduced below.
 
In view of all that's happened in the meantime, it seems to me that the contents of your press release below now raises a number of extremely important issues.
 
Consider, for example, the following sentence relating to the "Hill of Tara M3 Case":
 
"Justice Laffoy had stated in her High Court opinion that there was in fact a 'constitutional imperative' to protect these assets."
 
I (for one) couldn't agree more with Justice Laffoy; but, why I wonder has Justice Laffoy not been listened to by her colleagues in the judiciary?
 
It's also clear from the PRESS RELEASE text below that our Chief Justice, the Hon. Mr. Justice John Murray, has been heavily involved in all of this dark and messy business: which I personally find very scary.
 
Basically, the whole situation regarding the legality of our National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 appears to REMAIN full of major contradictions, doubts, and uncertainties: despite the EUROS 600,000 your case has cost the taxpayer. This, I believe is the issue that should now be receiving TOP PRIORITY by the whole nation; and until its legality is all properly sorted out, by the Supreme Court, I don't believe it is right for ANYBODY to be assuming this Act is legal. 
 
Neither do I believe that any of the Tara protestors should be tried in our courts of law until AFTER the Supreme Court has clearly decided on the heavily doubtful and disputed constitutionality of our National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004.
 
==============
 
PRESS RELEASE
 
TaraWatch
 
29 July 2006
 
‘Chief Justice Postpones Setting Hearing Date for Hill of Tara M3 Case’
 
The setting of a hearing date in the Hill of Tara / M3 motorway case was postponed today by the Chief Justice, the Hon. Mr. Justice John Murray. He said he will set a hearing date after written submissions were received by The Attorney General, The Minister for the Environment, Meath County Council, and the National Roads Authority, due on 24th July.
 
Gerard Hogan, SC, Counsel for the Appellant, Mr. Vincent Salafia, asked for an early hearing date to be set, since he had given undertakings in the High Court that he would do so. 
 
Chief Justice Murray questioned whether there was any urgency in the case, since there is no injunction in place and no stoppage of works.
 
Counsel for Meath County Council argued that there as a “considerable shadow” hanging over the project in relation to the PPP (public private partnership) contract, which cannot be signed until the matter is through the courts.
 
This morning Chief Justice Murray also set a date of July 28th for delivery of judgment in the Carrickmines Castle case, which has been postponed a number of times already. The judgment in this case will have a significant impact on the Tara proceedings, since it will address whether or not there is a constitutional duty on the Government to protect the national heritage.
 
Justice Laffoy had stated in her High Court opinion that there was in fact a “constitutional imperative” to protect these assets.
 
ENDS 
 
==================
 
Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com
 
==============================
 
The above text has been copied from the following Indymedia (Ireland) location:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83821&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment204971
 
===
 
For future reference purposes a copy of this e-mail will later today be placed at the following Internet address:
http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com/ChiefJusticeMurray/21August2007/Email.htm 

 
===
 
 

 


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