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'Notice of Appeal to Supreme Court to be Served in Hill of Tara / M3 case'

category national | environment | press release author Thursday April 20, 2006 01:26author by admin - TaraWatch Report this post to the editors

Formal written Notice of Appeal will be served today on the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government; The Attorney General of Ireland; Meath County Council and the National Roads Authority, in the legal action being taken by Vincent Salafia over the Hill of Tara and the M3 motorway.
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Mr Salafia is appealing the March 1st judgment of Mr Justice Thomas Smyth in the High Court, which rejected the judicial review case brought by Mr Salafia, which alleged that:

(a) The National Monuments Act 2004 is unconstitutional, because it does not pass the test laid out by Justice Laffoy in the Carrickmines Castle case, where she recognised the there is a "constitutional imperative" on the State to protect the national heritage.

(b) The Directions given by the Minister, for excavations of 38 archaeological sits to proceed along the route chosen by Meath County Council and the National Roads Authority, are unconstitutional.

(c) Even if the National Monuments Act is constitutional, the Directions given by the Minister are illegal because he used the wrong section of the Act. Because there have been new national monuments discovered, he should have used Section 14A(4)(d), which he used in Directions he gave to reroute the N25 Bypass in Waterford on the same day he gave Directions to proceed as planned at Tara.

Mr Salafia will disagree with the findings of Mr Justice Smyth, and assert that

1. He does have standing, as a citizen of Ireland, to take the case.

2. He did not delay in taking legal action. He Initiated his judicial review of the Minister's Directions within the 8 week period of them being given, on 11th May 2005.

3. He should have been allowed to cross-examine expert witnesses on critical issues of fact, which were in dispute.

There is no date set for the hearing of this appeal, but it is expected to be a number of months from now.

Mr Salafia said:

"While the case is proceeding logically to the Supreme Court, and Europe if necessary, we are still hoping for a political decision by the authorities to review the situation and consider rerouting the Tara section of motorway.

"With an election coming up, the Government is aware that 70% of people surveyed nationally in 2005 said the wanted the motorway rerouted away from Tara.

"The M3 actually goes over 3 km off course to the east, to split the Tara valley, which has few inhabitants. If it went the same distance in the opposite direction it would service Trim.

END

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