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Save Newgrange campaign launched

category international | history and heritage | news report author Sunday January 24, 2010 14:11author by Save Newgrange Report this post to the editors

Over 500 people have joined a facebook group in less than 24 hours

A campaign to save Brú na Bóinne from the Slane Bypass has been launched online over the weekend. It is being initiated by members of the National Monuments Forum, which includes Professor George Eogan, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at University College Dublin. The National Roads Authority has chosen the most damaging route for archaeology and heritage, and Meath County Council has gone ahead and issued CPO orders for the route, without even waiting for the An Bord Pleanala oral hearing. A petition will be launched shortly, calling on Minister Gormley to deliver on his promise of a new National Monuments Act, and calling on UNESCO to place
Brú na Bóinne on their List of World Heritage in Danger.

In struggling to defend the preferred route for the N2 Slane Bypass, which runs 500m from the edge of the Bend of the Boyne UNESCO World Heritage Site, a spokesman for the NRA said, “we have selected a route with the least impact on archaeology and heritage".

This is incorrect, as there is no doubt that a western bypass would have a much lesser impact, as the proposed dual carriageway will sever the World Heritage Site from the village of Slane, and box it in between the M2 motorway and a dual carriageway.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project acknowledges that “44 archaeological and cultural sites” will be within 500m of the roadway. The potential to uncover much more during work is high. In addition, the EIS identified 21 architectural heritage sites within the study area. The road will impact on the birth-place of Ireland's most famous World War I poet, Francis Ledwidge. The 19th Century farm labourer's cottage is now a museum dedicated him. The EIS also notes, “The wider landscape is judged as being of very high value and the River Boyne valley is deemed as being of ‘exceptional’ value.”

According to the UNESCO web site,

"The Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne is Europe's largest and most important concentration of prehistoric megalithic art. The monuments there had social, economic, religious and funerary functions. The Committee inscribed the site under criteria (i), (iii) and (iv) and invited the Irish authorities to control carefully future developments in and around the site and to involve ICOMOS in conservation and management planning."

Criterion( i) is “to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius”; (iii) is “to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared”; and (iv) is “to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history.”

This makes the site a perfect candidate for the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger, which is designed “to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.” There is no doubt that the 44 known archaeological sites, and the numerous others yet to be discovered within the 3.5km stretch, are related to the archaeological ensemble.

Although the Irish authorities claim they have written to UNESCO, they did not await a response before picking the preferred route, and the clock is now ticking for making objections. Meath County Council has already issued notices for compulsory purchase of land, despite the fact that planning permission is far from being granted, and public consultation continues.

Dr Edgar Morgenrath, associate research professor and co-ordinator of the Transport and Infrastructure Research Programme at the Economic and Social Research Institute recently noted in the Irish Times:

“It is remarkable that there are plans to facilitate the avoidance of the toll on the M1 by building a bypass around Slane involving the expensive construction of a bridge over the river Boyne when a simple HGV ban would solve the local traffic problems.” (Opinion, April 24, 2009)

Meath councillors voted in 2009 “to ban HGVs going through Slane because of the dangerous and steep incline from the bridge on the N2 into the village.” The County Manager has however refused to implement the ban, which would in fact been the solution with the ‘least impact’. The next best option would have been a western bypass, but instead the NRA has in fact chosen the route with the most impact.

Francis Ledwidge (1891-1917), wrote this poem about his native Slane, before being killed in action in World War I:

Behind the Closed Eye

1 I walk the old frequented ways
2 That wind around the tangled braes,
3 I live again the sunny days
4 Ere I the city knew.

5 And scenes of old again are born,
6 The woodbine lassoing the thorn,
7 And drooping Ruth-like in the corn
8 The poppies weep the dew.

9 Above me in their hundred schools
10 The magpies bend their young to rules,
11 And like an apron full of jewels
12 The dewy cobweb swings.

13 And frisking in the stream below
14 The troutlets make the circles flow,
15 And the hungry crane doth watch them grow
16 As a smoker does his rings.

17 Above me smokes the little town,
18 With its whitewashed walls and roofs of brown
19 And its octagon spire toned smoothly down
20 As the holy minds within.

21 And wondrous impudently sweet,
22 Half of him passion, half conceit,
23 The blackbird calls adown the street
24 Like the piper of Hamelin.

25 I hear him, and I feel the lure
26 Drawing me back to the homely moor,
27 I'll go and close the mountain's door
28 On the city's strife and din.

LINKS - Brú na Bóinne – News Stories

22-01-2010 Fears over M-way near ancient site – Irish Independent

22-01-2010 Slane bypass to run close to Boyne heritage sites – Irish Times

22-01-2010 Bypass will run 500 metres from Newgrange complex -Irish Independent

21-01-2010 Slane bypass would run close to Newgrange – RTE News

30-12-2009 New website highlights Slane bypass campaign – Meath Chronicle

23-12-2009 Pressure for Slane bypass must be kept up – Meath Chronicle

16-12-2009 Major step towards bypass as CPO notice is published – Meath Chronicle

16-07-2009 Slane HGV ban could mean problems for other road users, committee told – Irish Times

Related Link:

Entrance to Newgrange
Entrance to Newgrange




author by Save Newgrangepublication date Sun Jan 24, 2010 14:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Save Newgrange facebook group

Save Newgrange mailing list:

author by Stevepublication date Mon Jan 25, 2010 09:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As you can see from OS map the current approach road to the river bridge is extremely steep and over many years there have been countless serious accidents and numerous fatalities especially involving articulated lorries, buses and other heavy vehicles which must negotiate that roadway in the absence of a bypass.
Heavy traffic clogs up the centre of the town because of the bottle neck caused by the sharp turn on to the bridge.

While I appreciate the importance of archaeological sites and the value of our ancient heritiage, the inhabitants of 21st century Ireland and their quality of life is more important.

Major road infrastructure is vital to the area and must take priority.

Every effort must be made to do proper archaeological digs and surveys, artefacts can be recovered, detailed surveys can be taken of sites, photographs and drawings and maps can be made and the locations of finds recorded and then the road can be completed over the site.

When archaeologists and other experts have completed their work on the site, their scientific work is forever available to anyone who wants to look at it into the future.

author by Cellach - O.P.W.publication date Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Greetings disgruntled culturists

Firstly, it must be stated that ( no disrespect to the people of Slane, or Ireland for that matter) this is an International matter and must be driven accordingly. Brú na Bóinne, as well as being an iconic cultural landscape for the people of Ireland, is more importantly a U.N.E.S.C.O. designated OUV ( Area of Outstanding Universal Value ) and not merely an 'exceptional' local landscape, as noted in the EIS ( Environmental Impact Statement ) recently published by the Meath County Council.

Secondly, The trump card in the anti- bypass brigade's deck ( which is where I unashamedly stand ) is neither Newgrange nor the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre but KNOWTH national monument ( and perhaps, crucially its Western hinterland, Crewbawn, which forms the western boundary of the Buffer Zone to the WHS (World Heritage Site) landscape. Crewbawn is a protected landscape, a Special Area of Conservation ( S.A.C.), due to its unique biodiversity, wildlife and archaeological potential. It is on the doorstep (500 mts) of the proposed route and bridge which is estimated to raise its face from the river Boyne by up to 20 meters in height.

By focusing on a policy of International awareness and highlighting the sensitivities and archaeological merits of Knowth ( which are far more numerous than Newgrange , incidentally ) perhaps good judgement and vision will return to the political fold. Bring back King Laoghaire and the fields of woad!


author by Knowthpublication date Tue Jan 26, 2010 00:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Steve has put his finger on the problem, large vehicles, HGVs etc. Ban them, they should not be going through Slane anyway, they are toll-avoiding and there will be more of this behaviour when the M3 opens and trucks, HGVs etc avoid those tolls as well.
Cost-neutral solution but then the NRA will have nothing to do.
This proposed road has no funding btw, totally a vote-getting exercise by terrified FF TDs in Meath, Thomas Byrne and the like, who know they will lose their seats in the next election unless they satisfy the demands of their electorate.
They speak of 22 deaths - that is in a period of 30 years. How many deaths on other stretches of road in the same time span?
How many of these deaths were caused by the HGVs?

author by Cellach - O.P.W.publication date Tue Jan 26, 2010 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I completely agree Steve,
This would be the 'route one' solution. If the HGVs toll costs were waived on M1 and N3 it would further incentivise the proposal for them. I also believe that since the twin lane system ( one for HGVs and one for cars) was introduced a couple of years back on the steep hill on the north side of the river.... its worked pretty well. So, is there a genuine need for a bypass at all?
However, we're talking politics, jobs , money, the will of the many here. The cards are, as ever, stacked heavily against the environmentally and heritage-aware minions. I still feel that we're in for the long haulage!...... but being s cock-eyed optimist by nature, I have a strange feeling that the minions might sneak a late winner on this one, albeit in extra time..


author by The Green Spirit - Privatepublication date Thu Jan 28, 2010 16:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the early 1990s Meath County Council made a decision that the Tara landscape should remain free from any development that would harm or destroy the area or its monuments. It seemed that Meath had finally come of age.
Meath; an Mhí; meaning the middle was indeed the middle of our heritage, mythology and history. Tara, Brú na Bóinne, FourKnocks, Lough Crew, Teltown, the BreMore/Gormonstown complex are places seeped in our magical past and all are inside Meath county boundaries.
Carvings, stone works and monuments from Meath have collectively become the iconography of our land; used to sell and promote us internationally; what we are and what we were; in the spirals and mounds were the proud origins of us.
However a few years later Meath politics fell into the hands of local elected madmen. Then Meath itself fell to the bulldozers in a way unthinkable to any civilised mind.
Hubris fuelled development and insane planning were pushed forward by a small poisoned cabal whose ideology of progress had more to do with the slash and burn clearance of the Amazon that any modern rational idea of sustainability.
In little more than a decade Meath was reduced to a litter strewn suburban sprawl.
Tara’s ancient lawn is now a mess of roads, shabby sheds, flyovers and single “bungalow bliss” housing, quarrying has defaced the landscape around it and at Lough Crew too. Teltown was bulldozed by mistake, the Bremore/Gormonstown coastline is soon to fall to an unwanted, unneeded massive deepwater port and now Bru na Boyne is to be given the present of a road, running just five hundred metres from its buffer zone. Oh and yes; a world famous castle was joined to a modern hotel while other places in the county vie and struggle for the most plundered, most destroyed, worst look-worst place laurels.
A county that could have brought in high class tourism for years if not centuries, smart economies based on crafts, good local produced foods and amenity jobs and into the bargain lent us the remains of our once treasured past has instead become the type of ruined landscape that civilised people try to escape from.
The people of Meath suffer now too. Robbed of their birthright by those they voted for, they lose jobs that were never going to stay. Away from the new motorways side roads resemble Haiti, their towns grow at the edges and decay in their centres, among the young alienation is rampant and the only future is again immigration.
Yet the madness continues. Instead of simply enforcing an already decided heavy vehicle ban and moving these vehicles out of Slane village to the nearby motorways the same cabal of destroyers now push another road into the area where we have one of our few recognised world heritage sites. Its as if that designation annoyed them.
Behind all this stands one man mainly; aided and abetted by a few smaller henchmen, all in Fianna Fail and all deeply to blame for the economy mess we are now in too.
That Trim TD’s fingerprints are everywhere on destroyed sites and together with his party he has wrecked our past, our present and our future.
If the iconography of Meath is to be used in future it can only be used as a mask; a lie told to the world to pretend that we have advanced as a people. Misusing Meath’s ancient celestial designs may hide the filth, ineptitude and blank stupidity of what has happened, but in will be short term and in vain. The world will find out.
Shame on us all for allowing this happen.
John Farrelly.

author by Constitutional Spiritpublication date Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If our Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) had dealt with the United Nations Aarhus Convention Agreement -- which it voluntarily signed up to in 1998 -- in the way that Article 29.5.1 of our written Constitution (Bunreacht na hEireann) requires of them, all (or almost all) of these "environmental" problems could (I believe) have easily and lawfully been avoided by wholly peaceful, responsible, and socially benign means: because the local people would have been able to legally force the "local elected madmen" (as "The Green Spirit" at Thu Jan 28, 2010 16:35 has put it) to tow the line regarding their all too often unrestrained and frequently tyrannous behaviour.

Text of the United Nations Aarhus Agreement (PDF Format):

Luckily, it's still not too late to put pressure on our Government to deal responsibly with regard to: 1) our Constitution, and 2) the fact that it signed the Aarhus Convention Agreement almost twelve years ago: and then slyly hid it all from public view (with the help of their friends in the media) ever since, so that they could all do as they pleased with the environment nationwide.

Perhaps this new "Protect Newgrange" issue could become, among other things, both the "spur" and the "lever" to stop the cultural genocide that our extremely arrogant, ignorant and perverse "local elected madmen" (and our nationally elected ones too I would argue) appear to have become so addicted to: by forcing the Aarhus Convention Agreement to "be laid before Dail Eireann" -- as required by Article 29.5.1 of Bunreach na hEireann -- without any further ado, without any further unlawful and socially destructive violations of our Constitution, and without any further violations of the the basic legal rights of the overall citizenship of the Republic of Ireland?

Enough is enough, and we've all had enough of it now from our "public servants" (so called) I'd nearly say? -- at this point in the dying days of the greed-ridden, corruption-ridden, and now debt-ridden "Celtic Tiger".

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 14:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The proposed new motorway is simply too close to Brú na Bóinne and will have a detrimental effect on Newgrange’s ‘World Heritage Status’ and on the Irish tourist industry. Newgrange is 5,000 years old (built approx. 3,200 B.C.) and older than the great pyramid of Egypt and Stonehenge in England - its World Heritage Status must be protected - it is far too unique and valuable to Ireland.

If Newgrange loses its World Heritage Status - than it has lost its value to the world, and if that happens, then those responsible will have destroyed something of great value to Ireland, something unique that no other country has in the world, something that has been protected and valued and treasured down the centuries by past Irish people, something that’s of such value and worth that it attracts world renowned archaeologists/astronomers/historians/spiritual people and tourists in general from home and abroad.

This motorway will have a permanent detrimental impact on the tourist industry here due to world renowned value of the Newgrange site and its environs to the archaeological world, astrological world and to those who simply travel to experience the peace of being present at this ancient site. Tourists travelling to Ireland’s ancient sites (which are scattered throughout the 4 provinces of Ireland) wish to experience these ancient sites in the peace and tranquillity and beauty of Ireland’s ‘unspoilt landscape’. Any motorway built nearby will ruin this ‘ancient’ experience for tourists, who delight at the prospect of travelling to these ancient sites and escaping from the modern world (with its madcap pace of life, its incessant noise pollution and smelly emissions). Tourists do not want to see any visual signs of the modern world encroaching on their experience at these ancient sites - they wish to escape into the quietness of an ancient time and treasure the peace that always surrounds these ancient sites.

Many motorways have gone up around the country (as have many ghost housing estates alongside them) and whilst they are welcomed at the time by some of the local population, inevitably, they do have a permanent devastating environmental impact. If this motorway goes ahead, the local economy and the Ireland’s economy will suffer permanently, as tourists won’t bother travelling to an ancient site which ludicrously has a motorway located nearby, and whilst some local people feel they’re more important than the tourists, if more money goes out of the economy through loss of tourism, this in turn will effect business in their local village/town and the money in their pockets. If more motorways appear on Ireland’s landscape, then all we will be left with is nothing more than an ugly visual impact and a smelly, noisy polluted Ireland - with not one site worthy of World Heritage Status, and Bord Fáilte can dress it up any way they like, but it won’t be bought by tourists from abroad (indeed, it could be sued for ‘misrepresentation’ and Ireland for a ‘spoilt environment’!). I do not believe you can marry the ancient world with the modern world in the environmental surrounds at these ancient sites - this does not work - as the site loses its value and authenticity.

I believe it is extremely important what tourists think, as Ireland’s economy, particularly, in these hard times, will be heavily reliant upon tourism going forward (as we have little native industry of worth left - the departure of Waterford Crystal is also another devastating blow for Irish industry). Tourists will not appreciate the noise pollution and smelly emissions of cars travelling at high speeds on motorways closeby to ancient monumental sites - and tourists won’t come back. In my opinion, tourists from abroad will not bother making the long journey to visit the Newgrange site, if this motorway gets built - and probably none at all if it loses its ‘World Heritage Status’ as a result. This proposed motorway could be the ‘final nail in the coffin for the Irish tourist industry’ given the high worth of Newgrange as a world renowned site.

If we keep eating into and destroying our treasured landscape and ancient sites, then we will have destroyed our value and worth to the world - we will, in fact, have become worthless as at Nation.

An rud is annamh is iontaí! (the rare thing is a wonder!).

Extract from Mise Éire le Pádraig Mac Piarais (Dia go deo leis):

“Mór mo náire mo chlann féin, a díol a máthair!” (Great my shame, my own children, who sold their mother!)

p.s. I am shocked they have the money to build this motorway, which will actually take from the value of Ireland - it is just another fine waste of money to add to a long list of worthless projects.

Related link:

author by thegreenspirit - Privatepublication date Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There have been no deaths due to traffic accidents in Slane Village in nine years, since they changed the traffic flow and only a few minor accidents. Yet in all the reports promoting the new road I read this is never mentioned.
Instead a lie implying that death is a constant visitor on the Slane bridge is been promoted to justify and promote a policy of road building that is leading to the destruction of our land, society and heritage.

Look in Vain…
A warning shot has been fired across the bows of protesters against the proposed Slane bypass this week that delays to the project could result in even more loss of life.
John Ryle of the Slane Bridge Action Committee asked if environmental and heritage protesters would be able to live with themselves if there was another tragedy in the village if the project was delayed. "The primary reason for the bypass is to end the carnage in Slane. It is a matter of life and death," he said. 2010.
This road is not about economics or shortening journey times by a matter of a few minutes; it is about saving lives. This bypass will reduce the number of deaths and accidents on this notorious stretch of road.
Slane Bypass Campaign.
Slane Cottage.
Slane. 2010

"Let UNESCO have the truth and the facts of the matter, not misinformation. I am calling for whatever it takes to inform them about the 22 deaths in Slane. One death is too many we have to have this bypass." Cllr Dillon Gallagher,
Cllr Wayne Harding supported Cllr Dillon Gallagher, saying that the boundaries of the Newgrange site had been clearly drawn. The misinformation being put about would have to be stopped now. He called on the county council to get the "correct" information out to the public. Meath Council Meeting January 2010

Meath County Council Meeting January 2010
Cllr Ann Dillon Gallagher proposed the suspension of standing orders so that Mr Safalia's claims about the bypass could be discussed.
So much misinformation is going around over the Slane bypass," she went on.
"Let UNESCO have the truth and the facts of the matter, not misinformation. I am calling for whatever it takes to inform them about the 22 deaths in Slane. One death is too many we have to have this bypass
Meath County Council Meeting January 2010

Photo of Crosses The Meath Chronicle 3rd February 2010

A spokeswoman for the Slane residents said: “Meath County Councillors unanimously voted for a ban on HGVs passing through the village shortly after the last major collision at the end of March.” Although the council officials prepared a report in response to the motion from the councillors, the residents say nothing else has been done. “Sixteen-hundred trucks pass through this residential village each day, an intolerable situation that has directly caused numerous deaths and made hostages of the community,” the spokeswoman said.
The Irish Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Slane by-pass and the Archaeology beneth - Page 3 -
"The primary reason for the bypass is to end the carnage in Slane. It is a matter of life and death.

Slane is well known as a accident blackspot. Garda figures confirm this with the stretch of the N2 through Slane village at the top of their list of Collision Prone Zones. There is no publicly available list of the deaths and injuries but to date at least 22 people have lost their lives and countless others have been injured in road traffic incidents on the roads of Slane. Bypass Slane Campaign 2010

The Bypass Slane Campaign was formed in April 2009 in the aftermath of a serious road traffic incident in Slane Village on 23/03/09.
The road and bridge through the village has been a notorious blackspot in the area for decades, and in February 2001 the local community was devastated by tragic death of toddler David Garvey after the brakes failed on a lorry which then ploughed into his family's car. 2010

The Slane Bridge Action Group was established in the wake of the tragedy and the group are delighted that the plans for the bypass are now moving forward after years of delays.
The dangers posed by the steep Mill Hill were once again in evidence in April last year when the brakes on another vehicle failed causing a seven vehicle pile up involving five cars and two lorries.
The Slane Bridge Action Group 2010.

Facts Again
There have been no deaths due to traffic accidents in Slane Village in nine years and only a few minor accidents, (three?), since they changed the traffic flow. One famous accident, the last one last March was when the brakes filed on a lorry. Then it was blamed on the lack of a bypass, not the fact that the brakes failed on the lorry.
In all the reports I read promoting the new bypass this is never mentioned.
A lie implying that death is a constant visitor on the Slane bridge is been promoted to justify and promote a policy of road building that is leading to the destruction of our land, society and heritage.

John Farrelly.

author by Boadiceapublication date Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Using part of the text from this "Save Newgrange" Indymedia (Ireland) Article, some attempts have been made recently to draw it, and the much "bigger global picture" -- which it appears to be but a very small, though very important, part of -- to the attention of Prime Minister Brian Cowen and his colleagues in Dail Eireann.

Copies of the two e-mails used (dated January 31st and February 5th) can both be viewed via the following Internet address:

author by Neutralpublication date Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I have been observing the debate over the Slane by pass and until now stayed neutral. I have an interest in heritage but was swayed by the argument of deaths and constant danger to the inhabitants of Slane village and those who pass through it.

However, if the By Pass Slane campaign cannot refute the statement made by the above poster then I have been won over wholeheatedly against the by pass. It would seem that banning the HGVs is the next logical step in ensuring the safety of pedestrians and motorists alike without having to spend money destroying the landscape.


author by Neutralpublication date Tue Feb 09, 2010 15:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see there has been no reply from the by pass Slane campaign to my request for verification. Meanwhile I have been doing some more reading on the subject and found the following in the online petition to the Irish govt:

TO ADDRESS THE POTENTIAL THREAT posed by the preferred route of the Slane
bypass, which will pass within 500 metres of the World Heritage Site, as well as 44, many of which will be demolished,

This is utterly misleading and incorrect. I cannot support how the savenewgrange campaign is being run with this as an example and having read that seemingly reasonable people have had their posts deleted. This is no way to run a campaign. Therefore I retain my neutral position not belonging to any groups nor signing my name to petitions etc. I will however be submitting an objection to the by pass.

author by TheGreenspirit - Privatepublication date Tue Feb 09, 2010 16:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

please be careful when you refer to resonable people having their stuff taken down etc, on the Save Newgrange Site.
They may seem resonable at first but then find out what their agenda is? I have found some of them to be dangerous and destructive after three or more posts.

author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchainpublication date Tue Feb 09, 2010 23:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear neutral, I understand your concerns and I'm glad that you are going to lodge an objection.
It is very important that objections are lodged to this proposal - if only to show that people have not been cowed by the failed, and at times, disastrous, Tara campaign. This government (well FF and the PDs at the time, mainly FF) and its minions - who are everywhere - used Tara as a test case. If they got away with it they could do anything anywhere and now they are proceeding with this agenda.
They must be shown that we will still object legally and properly. An objection lodged will give people the right to be at the oral hearing - that's the way the silly system works and it is silly. A friend described it as a runaway train - once it begins it cannot be stopped - even when a huge mistake, like the M3, has been made.
Closing date is 17th February so not a lot of time left. Banning HGV's would go a long way to stopping the problem, it is easily done. There will be more and more of them, they are avoiding tolls on the M1 - they will also avoid tolls on the M3. The little destroyed roads of Meath will return to dirt paths when they are filled with toll-avoiding trucks and ordinary drivers for that matter, just think of what a fleet will save every month, every year. And remember - the Government has done a deal - if the tolls fall short of the (undisclosed) target, we (the taxpayers) will have to recompense the company. Meath citizens will pay for the M3 twice and the rest of us will have to fork out to fill the shortfall - for a road we abhor. What a lovely 'democratic' country.
Also remember that Noel Dempsey, Meath TD and now Minister for Transport, told people to use the N3 if they wanted to avoid the tolls - Primtime just before the by-election in that county when J Bruton was sent to the USA. He supported re-routing the road for the wrong reasons but still supported it.

author by mise Tara 7publication date Wed Feb 10, 2010 09:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Unfortunatly Cellach - O.P.W.
RE Special Area of Conservations ( S.A.C.) .Glengad beach in Mayo and the entire Broadhaven bay are S.A.C`s due to unique biodiversity and wildlife .Yet Shell with the help of the Garda ignore the E.U directive for protection .Beating ,jailing those who protest.

author by The GreenSpirit - Privatepublication date Thu Feb 11, 2010 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A Third Option on Roads and Bridges.
About fifteen years ago Bertie Ahern formed a cabal around him to plan his move on power. The plan on transport was simple; ignore public transport, veto the building of bus depots and the reopening of railway lines and instead concentrate on motorways, bypasses and bridges. The M3 is the best example of this.
Foreign conglomerates would build the roads and then receive payment over many decades. Tolls would provide these payments and in a powerhouse economy few would complain, it would be like throwing copper to beggars.
That plan has now ended in a pothole called Nama.
Collapsing employment and minimum wages have led to the avoidance of tolls as ever more drivers swerve back to the old roads that they know are free.
When Slane originally decided to ban HGVs they were following this plan. They knew that Europe would not allow them force drivers to pay tolls but hoped that a plentiful supply of money would make it an easy option. Then the economy failed and the plan went astray. No one would admit to this lie and so the ban was quietly replaced by plans for a By Pass.
At Slane it was justified by the Myth of the Invented Dead, a myth which says 3 minor accidents in nine years is carnage. White crosses, obese politicians and corrupt journalists weighed in behind it, to hide the truth and the truth about tolls went missing.
If Slane was alone in this then it could be avoided too. You can easily avoid one piece of dog shite on the path to work, but if the path is covered in it what then?
Some miles away, in an equally historic and culture filled landscape Noel Dempsey and the Ahern Cabal decided to build a deep water port at Bremore. It nears a start. 3000 to 5000 vehicles are to use this port each day, they have planned that these vehicles will go out onto the M1, by then tolled to the hilt in a desperate attempt to keep it and other roads maintained and working. They know that the drivers will by then all be subsiding on even more reduced minimum wages and they ignore the fact that Bremore is surrounded by a maze of small towns and narrow roads like Slane too.
Will the drivers pay the tolls and use the M1 or will they avoid it too, save money and go barrelling down the small side roads, into chocked towns; blocked to the gills but still toll free? Noel Dempsey; the architect of this madness will have no power to force them onto the motorways there either; that’s what he now says about Slane. So what will he do?
Well he find more towns that are prepared to invent more dead to hide his failure, will he build more bypasses, bridges and slip roads on the back of these lies as at Slane or will he legislate and force the vehicles onto the tolled motorways? What will he do?
If he cannot force people to use a tolled motorway and avoid Slane today how can he do it at Bremore tomorrow? If he can do it tomorrow at Bremore why then does he not do it at Slane today. This would avoid the costs of the Slane Bypass, it would save our heritage at Bru Na Boinne and the special area of conservation in the Slane valley too? Or has he perhaps a third option?
Will he soon head down the motorway with a lorry full of brown bags to where the last of Ahern’s cabal are waiting behind some hedge for the final big pay day and so leave it to blow dried Enda to fix up.
Does this matter to you?
You would have paid for it anyway had it worked; with tolls, tax and environment destruction.
You now pay when it fails by closing schools, jobs, healthcare, dole, and of course the environmental, heritage and cultural destruction that happened anyway.
Does this sort of politics matter to you? If so why do you stay so quiet?

author by Navigatorpublication date Wed Feb 17, 2010 22:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can't say I'm madly in favour of this road and don't see the sense in making it a dual-carriageway which will revert to single-lane at both ends, but if the bypass needs to be built, the only sensible option is to put it east of the village. A route to the west of Slane would need to be at least twice as long and would have to go through the demesne land of both Slane Castle and Beauparc House. Whatever opinion one might have about the origins of these places, they are very scenic and pleasant landscapes, even more so than Brú na Bóinne which has quite a lot of modern development. Also, a longer route is inevitably going to uncover and disturb more archaeological sites; this is likely given the number of sites found on the M1 to the east of Brú na Bóinne (including two henges/tiimber circles!).

The road will be 500m from the Buffer Zone but 2 km from Knowth. Will the effect be that dramatic? What are the chances of them building a stone-faced bridge in keeping with the old Slane mill building and the 18th-century landscape? Probably slim. It's a sad fact that most of those who run this country have little interest in heritage and environment, taking their lead from those who elect them.

author by Boadiciapublication date Thu Feb 18, 2010 14:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whenever there's only TWO choices available, we must always, as a Nation, take the all-important THIRD, which is in fact a very ancient Irish custom of course although few seem to realise this at the present time: and which in this case is to TUNNEL under Slane -- a project that the global PPP financers would be only too delighted to fully finance, I feel "certain sure" of, albeit in exchange for all our gas and oil reserves and everything else of value to them (belonging to us) that they can get their hands on.

author by Slane residentpublication date Sun Feb 21, 2010 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jacqueline Fallon has stated “This motorway will have a permanent detrimental impact on the tourist industry here due to world renowned value of the Newgrange site and its environs to the archaeological world, astrological world and to those who simply travel to experience the peace of being present at this ancient site”. If you go into the EIS, and look at the “before” and “after” (computer generated) photos of the bypass, you will see that the road will not be visible, unless you stand on the mound (which is not allowed) with a pair of binoculars. I am not being facetious - this has been stated in the EIS. Even at that, I personally have not been able to see any difference between the “before” and “after” photographs. I think it is therefore safe to say that the road will, in fact, have no impact on the peaceful enjoyment of Newgrange.

Even if this motorway were visible, I think it is unfortunate to place the needs and desires of tourists, as you state yourself, over the safety of local residents.

The present road is closer to Knowth than the new road will be.

The bypass will not be “nearby”, as stated - it will be 3.5 kilometres away and, as I said, only visible to someone who illegally stands on top of the Newgrange mound and uses binoculars to look for the road.

There need be no concern about “smelly emissions” of cars as I would not think, as a layperson, that these emissions will travel 3.5 kilometres.

Neutral, if you are referring to John Farrelly’s posts when commenting on the “above poster” (and I think you probably are), then let me say that Mr. Farrelly has been answered adequately on the Save Newgrange site, the Bypass Slane site, the site. I am not sure whether people from Bypass Slane Campaign have even seen his post here which is copied and pasted and identical to those other areas. In a nutshell though, I will say this. There have been no fatalities, thankfully, in Slane since 2001. There have, however, been a number of serious incidents, including a nine vehicle pile-up (seven cars, mostly driven by mothers coming home from the school run and containing at least two pre-school children, and two HGVs) in March 2009. The Guards at the time commented that it was a miracle that there were not several fatalities. If the second HGV had not been present to stop the first HGV, (the out-of-control HGV slammed into it, after hitting the seven cars, which stopped the first HGV), then there certainly would have been even more serious consequences. The photos of this accident which Mr. Farrelly refers to as “minor” (and which includes at least one car containing a mother coming home from the school run being tossed upside down by a lorry) are on the Bypass Slane site and also on Save Newgrange The Facts facebook page. There are frequent accidents in Slane; there was a four car collision on Mill Hill again this week. The Garda website contains a list of the most dangerous roads in the country - the N2 at Slane (McGruder’s Cross) is in the top 1%.

Mr. Farrelly appears to be confused about the reasons for a bypass. He states that the March accident was caused by the brakes failing on a lorry, rather than on the need for a bypass. The bypass is needed because 1600 HGVs pass through Slane on a daily basis. The gradient from Collon through Slane is very steep. HGVs frequently use their brakes on the Collon road, only to discover as they come into Slane village that their brakes no longer work. It was this scenario, for example, that caused the horrendous death in 2001 of two year old David Garvey, a Slane resident who was a passenger in a car at Slane bridge, waiting for the lights to change, when a HGV which could not stop rolled over the car in which he was travelling.

You should also be aware that there is a reluctance to answer somebody like John Farrelly who has called all pro-bypass posters “Fianna Fail vampires”; who has stated that the deaths are lies (exceedingly hurtful for those family members who have been bereaved) and whose solution to the problem is to dig up Slane village, put in a flyover and an underpass which he states can be done for less than 100,000 euro, despite the obvious adverse effects this would have on a heritage village. His “Myth of Invented Dead” comment in his “A Third Option” post speaks for itself.

In relation to deletion of posts, Mr. Farrelly has stated that it is “dangerous and destructive” people who have had their posts removed. Members of Save Newgrange themselves, who are totally against the bypass, have left the Save Newgrange campaign because even as they are in discussion with pro-bypass people, the pro-bypass posts are being deleted.

I would encourage anyone who wants uncensored information about the bypass question, from both pro- and anti-bypass sides, to look at Save Newgrange the Facts.

author by Trainspotterpublication date Sun Feb 21, 2010 14:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sounds to me like the real problem is all these dangerous HGV's driving around with normal traffic. Perhaps we need a proper rail system to transport all these loads instead of having them all on our (terrible) roads which are just not up to the task. We had a better rail network in the 1920s. But Fianna fail don't believe in having a good rail system. Rail is no good for making profitable land deals and getting backhanders and road toll profits.

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Mon Feb 22, 2010 20:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would just like to say that it is not fair to say that I do not care about the safety of local residents - that is not true, I have lost relatives and close friends in car crashes in other parts of the country - only a complete bastard would depict me as a callous person. Just because I do not agree with the bypass does not mean I do not care for the safety of local people - I am all for road safety! Anyway, there will be considerably less HGVs and high powered cars on Irish roads in the future anyway, as many are being confiscated at an enormous rate, so, I don't believe there will be such a problem in the future, due to the sudden demise of Ireland's mythical Celtic Tiger (Deceased).

The Newgrange site and its environs is too unique to Ireland, and if it loses its World Heritage status, then I have no doubt that it will impact on this country's ecomomy and on local employment in the area.

I predict the bypass will never be built, due to insufficient HGVs, cars, and more importantly funds.

author by Slane Residentpublication date Tue Feb 23, 2010 14:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jacqueline, I apologise, on reading my post back it sounds like I'm saying that you don't care about local residents and I didn't mean that. What I was saying was that you were talking about difficulties for the tourist industry - but this road is about safety and to me, that trumps the tourist industry any day.

There are 1600 HGVs a day passing through Slane. It is possible that at some future date there will be less HGVs on the roads; nobody knows. However, accidents need to be prevented now and so this bypass is necessary now. We can't wait around for the end of oil, for example, to reduce traffic. Slane residents need protection from this very dangerous situation right now. The problem didn't start with the Celtic Tiger (a local resident was killed by a runaway lorry fifty years ago on the bridge, for example) and it won't end with the Celtic Tiger either.

Despite what the anti-road group are putting out there, there is no suggestion that Unesco are considering reviewing the World Heritage Status of Bru Na Boinne. If you go into the Unesco sites and look at the "danger" list, BnB isn't on it. Similarly if you look at BnB on the Unesco site, there is a tab for "threats" and this is empty. So they don't see a threat. They after all decided on the buffer zone back in 89, I think it was, and they said that there should be no development inside that buffer zone. The road is outside the buffer zone. As another poster said - what do they want, an exclusion zone around the exclusion zone? The Save Newgrange group has been asked to post a link to any Unesco document which states that the site is in danger. They have not only been unable to do this, they have actually posted a 6 year old document relating to a buillding of an incinerator near the BnB site - and even this document states that there was no adverse affect on local architecture. I'll try to find the link and post it

It is typical of the misleading tactics of the SN group to post a link to Unesco which is 6 years old, relates to an incinerator rather than a road, and states that the incinerator had no adverse affect on local architecture, and to try to use this to say that the proposed bypass was putting the Heritage Status in danger. They just presume nobody will read the links they post.

If anyone wants to read more, from all sides of this argument, can I refer them to Save Newgrange the Facts on facebook where people who are pro-road, anti-road and pro-HGV ban can and have posted in an uncensored forum.

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