The Plight of Carrickmines castle

Monday, October 7, 2002


Since August 30th this year the site of the 800 year-old castle has been occupied by a group of activists known as the "Carrickminders." They are there in an attempt to stop the extension of the M50 with inclusion of a roundabout that will almost totally obliterate and eventually condemn to memory the site, which is of vast archaeological significance. To date over 30,000 artifacts have been discovered there. Following the original excavation which was forcibly ended on August 30th (upon which the Carrickminders stepped in) certain of the 130 archaeologists were taken from the pits crying over the amount uncovered and that would be left there to be destroyed by the building of the road.

Last Monday, September 30th, the site was first approached by huge diggers at one entrance on the south side. White-suited activists and cars belonging those there blocked them. Following a standoff of a few hours, the builders retreated. There were a number of photographers and film crews from the various networks present. Today, after a week's wait, the Ascon builders again attempted entry, with the same outcome. This time around they also kindly ruined a perfectly preserved medieval drainage system.

Activists on site have received a huge amount of support from the local residents and indeed the country's sympathy is with those who wish to preserve this amazing place. Now they await with bated breath the delivery of an eviction notice that is threatened any day now but which may be delayed up to two weeks in an attempt to weaken numbers. This two-week deadline is due to the half-hearted archaeological excavation that is taking place there, under the direction of one Valerie J. Keeley, a person paid by the National Roads Authority. In two weeks, they will be 'finished' and at this point there will certainly be no other reason to allow anyone to remain at the site, at which point they will try to remove people if they do not do so before that.

Unsurprisingly, at the root of all this is the familiar issue of big money changing hands. The original plans for the road lie well shy of the castle, so why the change? Perhaps it is because the adapted route connects with land belonging to the amorphous and highly elusive Jackson Way Properties. Acquisition of 25 acres of that land by the council cost 100 million in a CPO lawsuit. Further 'compensation' is being sought in Dun Laoghaire council offices this coming Wednesday, to the tune of millions. The original price Jackson Way paid for the land was £600,000. There are several ministers and TDs directly responsible for the castle, among them Martin Cullen, John O'Donoghue and Seamus Brennan, why have none of them intervened? No doubt in a few months their utter compliance and involvement in this debacle will emerge in the Flood Tribunal but by then it may be too late for Carrickmines. As usual, we cannot wait for the corrupt and incompetent few to protect our interests; we must take matters into our own hands. We cannot allow a rendition of Wood Quay.

Numbers at the site have been dwindling, and this is worrying because of the imminent danger of forced eviction. People are needed daily and nightly to keep watch and make the place livable in case this turns into a long haul, as well as the need for force of numbers when they move in, as there are a number of entrances. Carrickmines is quite easy to get to, with the site being visible from the bus stop. Details of contacts and bus times are as follows:

Vincent Salafia: 087 9963098
Ruadhan Mac Eoin: 086 8146077

Number 63 bus from Fleet Street (approx 30 min journey)
Monday-Friday: 0810, 1010, 1105, 1205, 1305, 1355, 1510, 1610, 1715, 1805, 1835, 2000, 2140, 2315.
Saturdays: 0840, 1015, 1110, 1205, 1300, 1355, 1450, 1545, 1640, 1735, 1830, 1935, 2125, 2309
Sundays: 1035, 1205, 1335, 1520, 1656, 1832, 2132, 2309.

Link: http://www.carrickminescastle.org
carrickminders@yahoo.com

Mail is also very much appreciated:

The Carrickminders,
Carrickmines Castle,
Carrickmines,
Co. Dublin

Don't let the ruling class steal this priceless part of our heritage! Come out to Carrickmines as soon as you can!

Roísin


[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement member, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]


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