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3rd week - Feb 2008



Monday, 18 February 2008


18 February 2008   

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`SDLP Tables Save Tara Motion in Northern Ireland Assembly'

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)

Carmel 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."

Mrs 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:

"Quite appallingly, 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 Salafia said:
"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 border.

"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 Ulstermen."


Contact: Vincent Salafia +353-(0)87-132-3365

Carmel Hanna +44-(0)28 90683535

SDLP Press Office +44-(0)28 902 47700


SDLP Save Tara Private Members Motion in Northern Assembly
national | history and heritage | news report Dé Domhnaigh Feabhra
17, 2008 23:48 by TaraWatch
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.
A 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 follows:……………….......

For more information and to lobby please see:

Northern Assembly: http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/
Carmel Hanna:
SDLP: http://www.sdlp.ie/
Green Party, Northern Ireland: http://www.greens-in.org/articles/?

Ulster Unionist Party: http://www.uup.org/
Democratic Unionist Party: http://www.dup.org.uk/
Sinn Fein: http://www.sinnfein.ie/

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org





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