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EU petition committee visits Tara and Lismullin
Wednesday June 27, 2007 22:16 by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tara muireann at savetara dot com
Wednesday 27th June 2007
Members of the EU petitions committee today visited the Hill of Tara and the new National Monument at Lismullin along with petitioners who had made submission.
Julitta Clancy informing the committee
This morning the Minister for the Environment John Gormley put together a committee to look at the new monument at Lismullin and nominated Conor Newman as one of the members along with Pat Wallace, head of the National Museum.
This afternoon, the EU petitions committee visited the Hill of Tara and Lismullin. The press release below will probably explain most of what happened but just to say that the petitioners, Julitta and Brian, along with Conor were given a very sympathetic by the various members - especially by the chairman who had a deep interest and concern for the topic and the area.
They first went to Tara and the mound of the hostages and then across to Lismullin where they looked at the henge from a distance. The area is water-logged and the advice was that it was best not to walk on it at all.
We saw the new souterrain as well and photographs of all this will be seen with this article.
I would like to thank Brian Guckian and another campaign supporter for working relentlessly for the past two weeks to bring this visit about. It was hammered home to the visitors that the EIA requirement about looking at alternatives such as rail was breached and that this a very serious flaw in the process.
PRESS RELEASE - CAMPAIGN TO SAVE TARA
EU PETITIONS COMMITTEE VISIT TARA AND LISMULLIN
On Wednesday 27th June EU Petitions Committee visited Tara and the new National Monument at Lismullin in Co Meath to view the proposed route of the M3 motorway that has caused such huge controversy in Ireland and abroad.
The delegation was led by the Polish MEP Marcin Libicki and other visitors included members from England and Rumania as well as the Irish MEPs Kathy Sinnott, Vice-chair of the committee, Mairead McGuinness and Proinsias de Rossa.
The committee met two of those who had sent petitions to them - Brian Guckian an independent transport researcher and Julitta Clancy of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society who has been active in the campaign against the chosen route for many years. Both made presentations to the committee chairman on the Hill. Members of the NRA and their archaeologists were also present.
The committee also met members of the Campaign to Save Tara and the archaeologist Conor Newman, world expert on Tara and chairman of the committee named by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to examine the new National Monument at Lismullin.
A number of petitions have been lodged with the EU citing breaches of EU Directives in relation to this project. The members were given briefing documents by the Campaign to Save Tara on the importance Tara’s Gabhra Valley.
Brian Guckian said: “My petition to the committee is based on the fact that the planning process ignored other transport options when deciding on the motorway in breach of the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The rail option was never properly considered and other alternatives can still be applies. We must seek EU intervention to save the Gabhra Valley given that our own Government and Taoiseach have failed to acknowledge its significance and have in fact been undermining our membership of the EU through our negligent treatment of our environment, heritage and culture.”
Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin said: “We appreciate that John Gormley is taking an interest in Tara and now that he has a ministerial position we expect that he will take a very proactive role. It is hoped that the EU petitions committee who visited the national monument of Lismullin support the view that the whole Valley is an archaeological complex of inter-related sites and should never have been chosen for the location of a motorway.”
Julitta Clancy on behalf of MAHS said: “I have outlined to the committee the whole history of the project for Meath. Six major routes were put forward by Meath County Council at the route consultation stage, five went through Tara’s landscape and only one was recommended by their own archaeologist – this was never investigated. I questioned the integrity of the planning process and the absence of a meaningful public participation as laid down by EU Directives on Environmental Impact Assessment.”
Julitta Clancy also referred to the pioneering work of the Discovery Programme that clearly identified the unique cultural landscape of Tara’s Gabhra Valley and thanked the committee for taking the time to hear petitions and pointed out that the road can be progressed as planned and that this short section must now be reconsidered by a committee of experts.
Committee and the petitioners and Campaign to Save Tara
The chairman of the committee and Kathy Sinnott
At the mound of the hostages
NRA people looking at the Valley - their backs to the committee members