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, who is 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.
She was followed by J. Joseph Lee, of Gluckman Ireland House of the significant place that Tara holds within the Irish psyche. He added that Tara transcends boundaries and he said that he was happy the EU was taking a genuine interest in the Save Tara campaign.
Third speaker was the Irish born poet Paul Muldoon. Paul is also a professor of humanities at Princeton University. He asked those assembled 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 ndóýgh) 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 movingly saying when she explained to her nine year old son what was happening in Tara, he exclaimed that would be like putting a motorway right through all fairy tales.
In closing a solo harpist bravely tried to overcome the downpour to fittingly conclude with 'The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls'.
Singer and event organizer and Susan McKeown must be commended for organizing such a successful and well run event.
Video of the event is available for viewing on the National Irish Freedom Committee's website: www.irishfreedom.net