Sunday 23 March 2008

"I was tricked," says tunnel girl Squeak

ECO-WARRIOR Lisa Feeney has no intention of going back down the hole she lived in for several days while protesting against the M3 motorway.
However, the 26-year-old from Kerry said she will continue to fight against the construction of the motorway, which passes close to an ancient fort in Rath Lugh near the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.

Speaking to The Star yesterday the chirpy Psychology graduate said she is "furious" at the National Roads Authority for "breaking the deal" that resulted in her finally coming out of the 33ft deep tunnel. "I was tricked," she claimed yesterday.

But 'Squeak', as she is known to friends, said she will find time to leave the protest camp to play saxophone with her funk band Kellie Marie and the Unmentionables tomorrow night.

"I can't wait. They've missed me since I started protesting down here, so it will be really good," she said.


She had stayed in the chamber underground for several days threatening to pull a jack that would see the tunnel collapse on top of her if builders continued to work at the site or if anyone tried to force her out.

The NRA and gardai tried to persuade her to come out for her own safety - but it wasn't until her father and uncle took part in this plea that things changed.

So after an agreement was made that no work would take place there for 30 days and that protesters would not interfere with fences being erected, Lisa emerged from her hole.

"They told my family that I was going to die," she said.

Lisa had gone back to her hometown in Kerry with her family but returned on Wednesday this week when she learned that building work had continued at the site.

"I was tricked," she claimed yesterday.

Now Lisa, her ex-boyfriend Paddy and the other protesters at the camp at Tara are trying to gain access to the building site where they hope to create a human shield against the diggers.

The NRA said that there are security guards and 50 gardai at the site on a 24 hour basis trying to keep the protesters at bay.

They say they are building obvious markings of where the road will be in a bid to alleviate protesters' concerns over its proximity to the national monument.

The NRA also confirmed that work had advanced on the M3 but only after their agreement with the protesters had been broken after work on fencing and at a haul road past the monument had been interfered with.

An NRA spokesman said they tried to deal with the protesters, but found they "did not keep to their word" and were "irrational".

Lisa says protesters are now pinning their hopes on a Supreme Court appeal next month against the High Courts refusal to grant an injunction stopping works at the site.

Lisa said her parents sympathise with her cause after visiting the Tara site but are worried for her safety.

"Like all parents they worry, but they understand," she said.

Lisa "misses" her life back in Dublin where she's been living for over seven years since she began studying psychology at Trinity College.

It was while working as a bicycle courier that she earned the nickname 'Squeals'.

Other bikers christened her so because of the way she sounds on their radios.

Lisa said she looks forward to pursuing a career as a music therapist following a post graduate course.

Kevin Jenkinson
The Star

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