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 4th week - Feb 2008



weekly paste-up of some news and links arising from the campaign to Save the Tara Valley NOT comprehensive -please see other sites on the Links page - but hope it may be useful ~
  xxx marcella   please refresh page when revisiting because   it 




Tara destruction puts Government on road to ruin

Editorial - The Irish Post (UK) - 22 Feb 2008

THE CONTROVERSY over the Hill of Tara and the construction of the nearby M3 motorway refuses to go away. This is an issue which has attracted worldwide attention and energised protesters both in Britain and Ireland. Yet, it seems, the Irish Government is determined to cock a deaf ear to the dissenting voices. This week an Irish Post poll (see page 21) showed more than 80 per cent of respondents were in favour of halting all construction of new roads around the historic site. In one of the largest responses we have ever received more than 3,000 people took part. That opposition has been mirrored in previous petitions and online message boards opposing routing a motorway past this historic archaeological treasure.

The extent of archaeological remains on the Hill of Tara—burial mounds, religious enclosures, stone structures and rock art dating from the third millennium BC to the 12th century AD — makes it Ireland’s most spiritually and archaeologically significant site. Even the European Commission has become embroiled in the argument by initiating legal action against the Irish Government over the M3 — charging it with failing to protect its own heritage.

Against this background the Government’s intransigence smacks of nothing more than sheer bloody-mindedness. It seems Ministers are determined not to be seen admitting they made a mistake. But there is little doubt that the route chosen for the new M3 motorway is a mistake of colossal proportions. It is akin to Britain’s Department of Transport deciding to re-route the M4 motorway so it passed close to the world famous stone circle at Avebury. To make matters worse the Irish Government could have easily ordered the route of the M3 to be altered to ensure it avoided the Hill of Tara but chose not to do so. Instead they decided it was worth risking the destruction of one of the world’s most important archaeological sites for the sake of so-called progress.

Unfortunately, the folly of this decision will only be truly appreciated in years to come when people see what has been lost forever. The protesters still battling to stop the new highway are hopeful they may yet succeed — although time is running out. For the sake of future generations and all those who value Ireland’s history it is to be hoped they do succeed.




Press Release. Save Tara Campaign, 22nd. February 2008, 21:00.

Souterrain threatened by M3 construction


The Save Tara Campaign has learned that a slip road will pass within 7 metres of a souterrain at Lismullin in the Gabhra Valley, Co. Meath instead of the supposed 100 metres. Protesters stopped construction work and tree felling at the site of the souterrain this morning 22nd. February. The structure has not been excavated as it was not one of the sites initially listed as being impacted by the motorway route.

This souterrain is just the latest in a line of new sites that are coming to light in this area after the initial surveys had been carried out. They include the ancient temple, a wood henge, that was declared a National Monument in May 2007. The geophysical survey had failed to identify the huge site. Soon afterwards a souterrain was discovered close to the henge and during excavation a huge decorated stone was uncovered bearing megalithic art that is very similar to that found at Newgrange and Knowth (c.3000 B.C). This again showed the connection between Tara and the Gabhra Valley as the nearest example of megalithic art is to be found in the passage tomb of the Mound of the Hostages on the summit of the Hill of Tara. In terms of style this example also bears a remarkable similarity to that found in this monument. The stone had been split in ancient times to fit into the souterrain and the remaining section may lie somewhere else in this archaeological complex.

The ancient promontory fort of Rath Lugh watches over this entire area and the M3 is planned to pass within 20 metres of this site despite NRA assurances that it would be 110 metres away from it. Minister John Gormley placed a Temporary Preservation Order on Rath Lugh but this will not prevent the road from passing dangerously close to the foundations of the Rath that include an esker - an unstable geological feature made up of sand and gravel.

Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin said: "This proves again, if proof were needed, the rich archaeological heritage of the Gabhra Valley and that this route should never have been chosen for the road. We call on Minister Gormley to act now before another archaeological site is destroyed. All these sites are part of the greater Tara landscape. Another major mistake has been made in the location of this souterrain. How many more mistakes have been made or will be made?"


Media queries:
Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin
Tel: 087-9249510
E-Mail: info@savetara.com
Web site: http://www.savetara.com

Location Map.
Related Articles:
Photos of threatened souterrain.
Newly discovered National Monument on the route of the M3.
Minister Gormley places Temporary Preservation Order on Rath Lugh.
Megalithic art found at Lismullin Souterrain.

   SOURCE     http://www.savetara.com/statements/022208_threatened.html

  situation and documents re Rath Lugh , the TPO and the souterrain  -       


Lismullin - official report





Protesters in standoff with machines

   Click for video from Tarapixie  - 




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Controversial congestion charge on way for city centre motorists

Irish Independent
By Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent
Monday February 25 2008

THE Government will today formally unveil controversial proposals forLondon-style congestion charges for Dublin and new "pay-as-you-drive" road pricing for our main roads.

The measures will cite international examples of where these initiatives have worked, such as congestion fees in Stockholm and London, and bill-pay road-price tolling in the Netherlands.

The Government plan, called Sustainable Transport and Travel, aims to free cities from traffic congestion, move people away from cars and increase public transport usage.

Road pricing means that motorists pay directly for driving on a particular roadway or in a particular area, similar to tolls.

Congestion charges involve drivers paying a fee to enter a city-centre cordon. This has worked well in London and is being credited with a 20pc reduction in car numbers in the zones. The document, being published by Transport Minister Noel Dempsey today, warns that unless such measures are considered, we face a grim future: l Average speeds in urban areas in morning peak hour in Dublin will have dropped from 13kmh, in 2006, to 8kmh, in 2016. l Increased dependence on car travel will contribute to obesity. l Traffic pollution will cause increasing damage to health and contribute to acute and chronic diseases.

Mr Dempsey says that while he has no ideological difficulty with congestion charges, he believes they should only be introduced when sufficient public transport alternatives are in place.

The Transport 21 suite of plans must be complete or almost complete
before we can seriously examine the possibility of congestion charging,< he says.

Mr Dempsey wants the public to make their voices heard on what measures they think should be introduced to encourage us all to change our travel behaviour, as over-reliance on cars is unsustainable and cannot continue without dramatically worse gridlock

The Government is committed to spending over €16bn under Transport 21 to improve public transport.

However, even with this level of investment delivering a new Metro, Luas extensions, new buses and new rail cars, it will not be enough to avoid extra gridlock.

Mr Dempsey said yesterday: "If we continue our current travel patterns, traffic congestion will increase and quality of life and the quality of our environment will decline. We can't allow that to happen."

"We need to see a major shift to public transport and we're investing to make this an attractive option. We need to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions in this sector, and we need to ease congestion and free up valuable time for commuters," he added.

Other options being outlined today include more flexible working time,workplace travel plans, car sharing, car clubs, school travel plans, including walking and buses, more integrated transport planning, better walking and cycle routes, and increased use of park and ride facilities.

A public consultation will follow, after which officials will publish a detailed action plan setting out what exact measures will be introduced, including the possible congestion charges and road pricing.

One of the ideas up for discussion in this document is a sustainable travel public awareness campaign based on the concept of the popular Tidy Towns competition.

Towns and cities would be encouraged to become a "sustainable travel demonstration town or city".

- Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

Save the Hill of Tara from the M3 Motorway!



 Sustainable Transport   - Public Consultation    

this "Public  Consultation " document  took about an hour to download and has 62 pages which are very attractively designed but mostly pointless with squares of different colours

- so I have pasted up a text and diagrams version for easy download and printing - it IS a good document though , and well worth a read ---

Download text version

Website for Sustainable Travel & Transport: Public Consulation.

Minister’s Statement

Welcome to the website for Sustainable Travel and Transport: Public Consultation. This is your chance to have an input into the future of travel and transport in Ireland.

The Government is committed to delivering a Sustainable Travel and Transport Action Plan for Ireland. At the moment Ireland’s travel and transport patterns are not sustainable. The issues affect all our citizens in our daily lives and are complex, needing to balance mobility, environmental and economic impacts.

I am seeking feedback on these issues to help me prepare proposals for Government on an Action Plan.

Your views are most welcome.




27 February 2008

Change the law to stop the heritage wreckers

THE National Monuments (Amendment) Act of 2004 turned one of the best,and most forward–thinking preservation laws in the world into a mere formality.

Prior to the 2004 amendment, the Act was simple: anyone damaging a national monument without written consent of the environment minister and the owner of the monument would be fined and/or jailed.

The 2004 amendment excluded road developments from requiring this consent, in addition to adding an undue preponderance of bureaucratic red tape to a now completely ineffective piece of legislation.

This means that road developers have been given carte blanche to destroy any piece of Irish heritage that they see fit. We have left vital decisions about our most valuable possessions to (understandably) profit-driven businessmen who cannot be expected to exercise conscience.

It is high time for the Oireachtas to introduce another amendment to the National Monuments Act to restore the appropriate defences against acts of cultural vandalism like the M3.

Charles D Burgess 2275 Berne-Altamont Road
New York 12009


           About Druids


World Heritage Site

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State Parties (countries) which are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a fixed term.[1] The programme aims to catalogue, name, and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 184 (as of July 2007) States Parties have ratified the convention.