Tara's Spaghetti Hell     

Irish Mail on Sunday

21 October 2007

 

THE Tara motorway protesters haven't seen the half of it yet

 

A massive spaghetti style-junction – covering an area 10 times the size of Croke Park - is set to be built less thank 1km from the Hill of Tara.

The 52 acre interchange which will rank as one of the largest of its kind in the world for a road of the M3's size, will be visible from outer-space.

The interchange will comprise of two giant orbital roundabouts, flyovers, four slip roads and numerous other additional roadways.Located at Blundelstown, which is north of Tara, the facility will be illuminated by arc lights around the clock.

The Hill of Tara which is a world heritage site, is considered internationally to be equal in importance to Egypt's Pyramid Complex at Giza.

The proposed M3 motorway, running through the nearby valley, has already provoked huge controversy.

However, the M3 interchange proposal which is only now becoming public knowledge, is set to be even more explosive

Bizarrely, the National Roads Authority funded M3 Motorway website is now posting a reassurance from an anonymous gardener which reads: ‘It's landscape architect who assessed the visual impact, stated that he considered the junction at Blundelstown would not visually impinge on the sensitive landscape setting, or surrounding national monument.'

The EU have now taken an interest in the site. In a damning report which has just been released, the high powered Petitions Committee, who earlier this summer visited Meath, have launched a blistering attack on the Government over the wholesale destruction they are wreaking atTara. The report states:

"It is concerned as to why it has been deemed necessary to build one of the largest M3 intersections at this most vulnerable location (Tara Hill) in terms of Ireland's national heritage, which destroys forever the intact archaeological landscape of the area."

"The delegation is perplexed by the choice of the route and by the damage done to the integrity of the many sites in the Tara area and theGabhra area which have been vividly drawn to our attention."

The Petitions Committee also went on to recommend that the current project should be scrapped altogether and a new route found:

"This motivates a clear call by this committee for a substantial review of the M3, and for less intrusive alternative routes which should safeguard this area for the Irish nation."

The Committee also drew attention to ‘the damage done to the integrity of the many sites in the Tara area and the Gabhra Valley.'

Of particular note, were sites located at Roestown, Baronstown, Collierstown and Dowdtown:

Originally it was thought that there were only five monuments along the M3 route through Tara, that figure has now risen to forty potential sites, and growing weekly:

"The danger is that service stations, warehouses, car showrooms and all sorts of undesirable buildings will end up cropping up all over the M3, it is inevitable and Tara could end up looking like a stretch of the Naas Road. And you know what that's like? " explains Ben Murphy a civil engineer who lives close to Tara.

Already work on the interchange may have to be delayed indefinitely, after a new national monuments was discovered earlier this week on the Soldiers Hill side of the Blundelstown Interchange site:

"The site which has just been discovered is intact, and we are getting reports that it is an ancient field system or it could be a ring fort.

The bulldozers were poised to demolish it until word got out "  said Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch.

When the National Roads Authority was asked why they were locating an interchange ten times bigger than Croke Park at Tara of all places,

 the publicly funded roads authority refused to comment.

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