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8 April 2007
An Taisce takes action to save Tara

The Campaign to Save Tara warmly welcomed the High Court action taken by An Taisce against the Irish Minister for Transport and the National Roads Authority. The Campaign claims that much needed improvements and upgrades to National routes, as well as the promised by-passes, are stalled by the M3 proposal because of the contractual restrictions placed on Meath County Council by the PPP funding mechanism. The Campaign expressed dismay that Justice Kelly cited the danger of jeopardizing commercial negotiations between the NRA and private consortiums, as a reason for refusing to grant permission for An Taisce's challenge.
     In a statement Michael Canney from the Campaign to Save Tara said; "We would have hoped that the historical and cultural importance of the Tara complex and the urgency in preventing any further destruction, would take precedence over any commercial concerns."
Mr Canney added: "Our National routes are being deliberately downgraded to make way for privately-owned and heavily tolled PPP motorways such as the M3. The roads of Meath are a disgrace, and the commuters of the county are bearing the brunt of a lack of investment in infrastructure over the last decade."
     Recently in the Tara Valley an ancient burial ground, comprising of stone-built underground chambers, has been dismantled and removed from Rowestown. The National Monument at Rath Lugh has been damaged. The archaeological digs have expanded to such an extent that the whole proposed route south of the existing N3 has become one huge site. The Discovery Programme, a state funded research effort undertaken in 1995, described the Tara landscape as 'a mosaic of monuments'. This was rejected by the NRA before archaeology began. Archeological works are now concentrated at Lismullen, and there is speculation that a major new discovery has been made at this location.

Source: Save Tara press release (30 March 2007), Archaeology in Europe (1 April 2007)

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