A holistic practitioner is calling on the River Boyne to be given same legal status as a human being

A holistic practitioner from Navan is calling for the River Boyne to be given the same legal rights as a human being in order to protect it from pollution in the future.

Majella Fagan- Dainow of Green Tara, a college for holistic and spiritual studies is speaking out amid the controversial planning application for a proposed pipeline to discharge waste water from a meat plant into the Boyne.

Dawn has lodged a planning application to Meath County Council that would see the construction of an industrial pipeline running from their site at Beauparc through the parish and discharge treated waste water into the river Boyne at the Cotton Mills in Beauparc.

The holistic and spiritual training college ran by Majella and Dr. Owen Dainow that offers reflexology and massage through to shamanism and tarot reading has been operating in Navan for around twenty-five years and welcomes students who travel from all over the world to experience the majestic river in the heart of the Boyne Valley.

A New Zealand River was recently granted the same legal rights as a human being as called for by a Māori tribe that saw the river as an ancestor - and Majella believes that the Boyne should follow suit.

“For me it’s a spiritual person not just a river. In New Zealand recently a river got its own rights from the government as a person with the right not to be polluted and many countries are following in the footpath,” said Majella.

“The new status of the river means if someone abused or harmed it the law now sees no differentiation between harming the tribe or harming the river because they are one and the same.”

“For us the Boyne is more than just a river, it’s part of what it means to be Irish,” added Dr. Owen Dainow. Continuing he said:

“It is also a sacred site in the way that for Christians a church might be.

“For us it is like saying we want to run a sewerage pipe through the middle of the church.

"A key part of what we do is integrating people’s spiritual practise with their natural landscape.

“We get a fair number of people coming to us to study from the United States particularly those who have Irish roots.

“Part of what we teach is helping people to build a better relationship with the natural environment that still involves taking people out to sacred sites like The Hill of Tara and natural places like the Boyne so we are absolutely devastated about his planning application.

"Newgrange is one of the most visited sites in the country and the Boyne is right next to it and we want to pollute it?

“The Irish and spiritual connection with our landscape is in our genes."

Owen says that the Boyne is revered all over the world and should be protected.

“People from abroad see that Ireland has something unique having maintained its old traditions, Ireland offers opportunity to see how a modern culture can still maintain a living connection with its own historical and cultural routes.

"There is a whole history of popular movements holding back environmental damage from large corporations. As far as I’m aware, if you don’t have popular resistance then you don't get to preserve your environment.

"It wasn’t large corporations that started the environmental movements, it was the people.

“Unless we give some kind of legal protection to the natural environment over and above purely seeing it for its immediate use you are in a situation where you are perpetually fighting these battles, one assault on a natural item after another, but if we lay down a basic set of rights then it will reduce these sort of conflicts but give these meat companies better planning opportunities because they will understand what is and isn’t allowed."

Planning application reference 21424 is open for public consultation until 8th April, with a decision date of 29th April, subject to no further information being required.

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