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1 April 2005
Reports that Tara motorway plans have been approved

It's been reported that Ireland's Environment Minister Dick Roche has decided to allow the controversial M3 motorway through the Tara-Skryne valley to go ahead.
    Reports from Ireland said the minister was preparing to issue licences to archaeologists to excavate and record sites along the proposed route, despite widespread opposition to the plans.
    Although local residents and businesses were keen for the motorway to be built as planned, heritage campaigners hoped that the route would be changed to protect the valley's rich archaeological sites dating back to the Stone Age.
    They were backed up by Dr Pat Wallace, the director of the National Museum, who said the motorway would have a "demeaning" effect on the landscape, a belief repeated earlier this week when 80 academics and scholars from across the world urged the minister to relocate the motorway.
     Asked about the minister's plans, Dr Muireann Ni Bhrolchain, a spokesperson for the Save Tara-Skryne Valley campaign, said they would take court action in Ireland and Europe if necessary. She said alternative routes were available for the M3 and, even then, the road would not solve traffic problems for commuters in Co Meath, but would simply speed up their journey to the congested M50 in Dublin.

Source: online.ie (31 March 2005)

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