TARA: The On-going Saga
In a late 2007 Irish Times Poll on Tara,
82% voted YES! to the question: Do you think the Hill of Tara should be added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites?
There is, and always has been, a SHORTER alternate route - (see the yellow line in the map below) one that could better serve other major country towns.
Read the excellent analysis of An Bord Pleanala's Planning Process / Environmental Impact Statement
by Pauline Bleach " Why M3 Planning permission is invalid"
NOTE: The Chairman of the NRA is also Chairman of one of the biggest Real Estate Development company in the world.
Peter Malone, Chairman, National Roads Authority ...and Chairman of CB Richard Ellis, Ireland.
Information from their website:
CB Richard Ellis is the global leader in commercial real estate services.
CB Richard Ellis is the world’s leading commercial real estate adviser.
With 350 offices across 58 countries we have more consultants advising more customers than any other property firm.
Estate Gazette Property Award Winner 2007!
CB Richard Ellis Ireland are very proud to have been named the Estates Gazette "Property Advisor of the Year, Ireland 2007".
Co. Meath based Auctioneer and Real Estate developer Raymond Potterton is also a Board Member.
The alternate routes to the West of the Hill of Tara could run straight, rather than circuitous - as is the case with the current unnecessarily LONGER route around the Hill of Tara (marked with the solid blue line in the map below.) The area to the West of the hill of Tara in an environmentally friendly location, and would make for a shorter commute and less traffic through an already congested convergence of roadways.
The existing N3 is an average two lane road, built within the existing contours and shape of the valley. However the proposed M3 would be radically different. "Unlike the current and established road system the four-lane motorway and major floodlit interchange will not respect the topographical contours of the landscape but will be ramped or gouged through the valley as required to meet motorway construction standards. And, in subsequent years, industrial parks and housing estates will inevitably spring-up around the purpose built interchange.., a little over 1.5km to the north of Tara's 'Banqueting Hall'." (The Geophysical Survey of the M3 Toll-Motorway Corridor, from Journal of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society) .
Tara at present is surrounded by green fields in the heart of rich farming land. If the M3 is built through Tara, the damage will truly be irreparable, because settlement and industrialisation will inevitably follow, since Tara is so close to Dublin. If the NRA has its way Tara will be a tiny hill surrounded by spreading urbanisation. It is also important to note that the major floodlit interchange, only 1.5 km from the hill itself, would take up more than 25 acres (10 hectares) in size. We already know that a shopping mall developer has purchased 200 acres on all four corners of the proposed interchange. Suffice it to say, many laws have been broken re. planning for this route, including Meath County Council planning guidelines.
The issue over the building of the M3 double-tolled freeway through the Tara / Skryne valleys is more than about preserving Ireland's unique cultural heritage. It is also about making sound judgments on issues of sustainability for Ireland's future!
Climate change and Peak Oil commentators are calling on governments to scrap all airport and road network expansion forthwith, because there will be plenty of spare capacity when we reach Peak Oil, in the near future!
American energy economist Roger Bezdek Dr. Roger Bezdek said, "I recommend that any proposed improvement or expansion projects (airports and roads) be subject to oil vulnerability analysis. How viable are these plans, not next year or the year after, or five years from now, but 10, 15, 20 years or in 30 years does it make economic sense to invest billions and billions of dollars. The point is that you have to do a vulnerability assessment as due diligence."
More information here: Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas
Many of you probably know by now that following the recent Irish General Election, outgoing Minister for the Environment Dick Roche's last act before leaving office was to give the go-ahead to construction of the M3 through Tara. He ordered the recently discovered henge at Lismullen be "preserved 'as record'" and then demolished.
The new Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Green Party TD John Gormley has the power to reverse Mr Roche's order according to the National Monuments Acts, (2004) Section 14A (4) (d). According to Section 22 of the Interpretation Act, 2005, a Minister has the power to revoke or amend previous directions. This section reads: "A power conferred by an enactment to make a statutory instrument shall be read as including a power, exercisable in the like manner and subject to the like consent and conditions (if any), to repeal or amend a statutory instrument made under that power and (where required) to make another statutory instrument in place of the one so repealed."
"The Attorney General advised the Minister that he was powerless to reverse the decision of (previous Environment) Minister (Dick) Roche, unless there was a 'material change in circumstances', which there now is," said TaraWatch spokesman Vincent Salafia. "It is plainly absurd to claim that newly discovered underground chambers and passages, possibly Early Christian, found exactly on the site of the last battle of the Fianna, are not important. The Minister must investigate the situation in depth because every national monument in the country is at risk to the National Roads Authority with the biased, development-driven system of classification they are using," he added.
"The Celtic City of Tara was a royal astrological and ritual centre. The planned road cuts through the centre of this city. If the road goes ahead we will loose this world heritage site forever.
Tara is believed to be 6000 years old, and predates the pyramids."
Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolchain, SaveTara.com
“We’ve always known our chances were slim. ... Protests on the ground aren’t always ideal but they give us time to get a legal case going. We can’t understand why the government are so hell-bent on getting this motorway put here but we’re in it for the long haul to prevent that happening." Vincent Salafia, TaraWatch .org
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