Thursday 30 October 2014

Mock megalithic circle is a 'tomb for Celtic Tiger'

Circle's builder is simply a quiet and reflective man, says one supporter

Published 04/12/2011 | 05:00

LOOK ON MY WORKS YE MIGHTY: Joe McNamara's circle on Achill Island. His previous exploits include driving a cement truck up to the gates of the Dail. Photo: Michael McLaughlin
JAILED: Joe McNamara was found to be in contempt of court

The strangely compelling Stonehenge-style structure created on Achill Island by maverick builder Joe McNamara is intended to be a "tomb for the Celtic Tiger", it can be revealed.

Mr McNamara was still in jail yesterday after a judge ruled he was in contempt of a High Court order requiring him to immediately cease construction of the structure.

According to Benny Meehan, one of Mr McNamara's supporters, the concrete structure is intended to be a "place of reflection" where people can think about what has happened to Ireland over the last few years in a place of quiet and solitude.

"Some people have portrayed Joe as some kind of lunatic. He is not. He is a quiet and reflective man and he is just trying to raise awareness and get people thinking about what has happened to this country," said Mr Meehan.

Mayo County Council brought proceedings against Mr McNamara, 41, with addresses at Achill Island, Co Mayo, and Salthill, Co Galway, claiming that he breached court orders by continuing working on the structure after he was served last Sunday morning with a High Court order to desist to build what the council said was an unauthorised and unlawful development.

On Friday at the High Court, Judge Roderick Murphy found that Mr McNamara had continued work on the structure, which consists of an outer ring 30 metres wide marked out by imposing 4.5 metre high columns with tapping stones placed on top, after being properly served with the order to desist.

The judge ordered that as Mr McNamara was not prepared to purge his contempt, he would stay in Mountjoy prison until Tuesday.

Mr McNamara was acquitted earlier this year of charges of criminal damage and dangerous driving over an incident where a cement lorry with the words "toxic bank" was driven up to the gates of Leinster House.

Following the court's ruling, Pat Butler, counsel for the local authority, said the council was prepared to ask the court not to jail Mr McNamara if he was prepared to give an undertaking that structure would be removed within a given time period.

Mr McNamara's solicitor Declan Keane said his client was not prepared to give such an undertaking.

Sunday Independent

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