A Private Members Motion,
opposing the "route of the M3 Motorway in the Boyne Valley, which will
despoil the historic site of Tara" has been tabled in the Northern Ireland
Assembly by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)
Hanna, MLA, (SDLP-South Belfast), tabled the motion last week, and is
awaiting a date for oral debate.
The full text of the Private Members
Motion reads as follows:
"That this Assembly cherishes historical
heritage; expresses its opposition to the proposed route of the M3 Motorway
in the Boyne Valley, which will despoil the historic site of Tara and
other national monuments in this area; and calls on the Minister of
the Environment to liaise with her Ministerial counterpart in the Republic
of Ireland, with a view to revisiting plans and presenting an alternative
route, which will win acceptance among all interested parties."
Hanna has been very vocal in her opposition to the M3 route. At a recent
pro-Tara event at Giant's Ring, Belfast, she said:
Tara, Ireland's premier national monument is now under dire threat from
bisection by a proposed four lane, sixty kilometre motorway, a privatised
toll road which would be routed between the Hill of Tara and the Hill of
Skryne in the Royal County, Meath.
"The proposed motorway would pass
through the Tara complex which last June was placed on the list of "100 Most
Endangered Sites" by the World Monuments Fund.
"What we have here is a
classic conflict between the consequences of modern prosperity and the
obligation we have to act as trustees of our Irish heritage for the
generations which will come after us.
"Of course, we all rejoice in the
economic transformation of the Irish Republic in the last few decades. It's a
sobering thought that half of the people born on this island since the Famine
have had to leave it. Inevitably, prosperity has come at a price.
Particularly in the greater Dublin area, people are having to commute long
distances< which were previously unthinkable, and towns like Navan,
Kells, Drogheda and Dundalk have increasingly been drawn into
Dublin's commuter belt.
"Tara is only 30 miles from the centre of
Dublin and it has been said that it would cut 20 minutes off commuting time.
The M3 motorway is projected to run between Clonee and Kells and will
supplement the two-lane N3. Inevitably the M3 will also bring increased
traffic, mounting air pollution, urban sprawl and even more development.
But at what a price!?
"As we all know, Ireland, North or South, has a
poorly-developed public transport infrastructure.
"I feel in my heart
and my soul that there has to be a better< solution than the M3 motorway. The
M3 controversy has highlighted our over-reliance on the car and there have to
be better options, whether by re-opening the direct railway line from Navan
to Dublin, closed in< the sixties, or upgrading the existing freight-only line
from Navan via Drogheda to Dublin, or upgrading existing roads, or putting
in bus lane networks.
"If, at the end of the day, a motorway has to be
built, as a very last and least desirable option it can be re-routed further
to the west, well away from Tara.
TaraWatch spokesperson Vincent
"We welcome this support from our Northern friends, and we
hope for a robust alliance in favour of the motion.
"While saving Tara
may be seen as an extraterritorial matter for some in the Northern Ireland
Assembly, and indeed Dail Eireann, we are asserting that this in fact an
all-island issue, particularly since the M3 will end up crossing the
"We hope Environment Ministers from North and South can explore
a solution to the current crisis, particularly as a new High Court action
is expected to be heard shortly.
"Tara belongs to all Irish people,
everywhere, and indeed has a long history of occupation by the
|Contact: Vincent Salafia
Carmel Hanna +44-(0)28 90683535
Office +44-(0)28 902
Save Tara Private Members Motion in Northern Assembly
national | history and
heritage | news report Dé Domhnaigh Feabhra
17, 2008 23:48 by
Carmel Hanna, MLA, SDLP, has entered a Private Members Motion in
the Northern Assembly, calling for a reouting of the M3 motorway away from
the Hill of Tara
Campaigners are called on to lobby and help build an
alliance that can assure this motion will succeed.
Private Members Motion has been made in the Northern Assembly, calling for a
rerouting of the M3 motorway away from the Hill of Tara, by Carmel Hanna,
MLA, who is a member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). She is
awaiting a date for debate. The motion reads as
For more information and to lobby please
Northern Assembly: http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/
Green Party, Northern
Unionist Party: http://www.uup.org/
Democratic Unionist Party:
Sinn Fein: http://www.sinnfein.ie/