O Maonlai pens Tara protest song

Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam O Maonlai today released a song to rally campaigners opposed to the controversial M3 motorway route around the Hill of Tara.

Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam O Maonlai today released a song to rally campaigners opposed to the controversial M3 motorway route around the Hill of Tara.

The accomplished musician best known for chart hits Don’t Go and Give It Up has turned to the genre of the protest song to attack Celtic Tiger Ireland’s relationship with its heritage.

In Tara’s Eye (Money Mad Mile) the Dubliner who has steeped himself in the Gaelic tradition attacks construction companies and politicians linked to the contentious Co Meath motorway.

The song, available free over the internet, was released at a press briefing by pressure group TaraWatch who vowed to turn the heat up on Green Party Environment Minister John Gormley to re-route the road.

Mr Gormley has always insisted that he has no legal powers to reverse decisions taken by his predecessor Fianna Fail’s Dick Roche or move the motorway away from the Tara Valley.

TaraWatch spokesman Vincent Salafia said the new song would boost the morale of campaigners as they continue to fight to save national monuments and archaeological finds uncovered during works.

“We are humbled by this incredibly inspiring song, by one of Ireland’s greatest modern bards,” he said.

“This song really captures the essence of what we are fighting for, and against.”

In the song, Mr O Maonlai rails against those in “cynical, clinical clothes of construction” who “think we’re some kind of clowns.”

He evokes the “spirit of the land” and urges campaigners not to back down “against the plan of the damned” behind the road through the historic valley.

In an attack on the multi-million euro project he sings: “If you drive in a machine through Tara Skryne your race has run its course.”

Insisting politicians should “rethink and step back from the brink” the singer calls on his fellow demonstrators to “make those money mad men back down.”

“The song is a huge morale boost for campaigners who lost a lot of heart since Minister Gormley made it clear he does not have the conviction to save Tara,” said Mr Salafia.

“The words capture the essence of the issue.”

While the song is available free on the myspace.com website there are plans to release higher quality recordings on iTunes to raise money for the campaign.

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