Petition calls to save wall featured in Pierce Brosnan Instagram post

Proposed cycle scheme in Navan would involve knocking down structure beside Athlumney Castle

A proposed cycle scheme in Navan town will mean the demolition of a 250-year-old wall as well as 22 mature trees.


An online petition has been started to protect an old stone wall and nearly two dozen trees along a street in Navan town which has been described by actor Pierce Brosnan as “a part of my five year old’s memory”.

Covent Road, which runs alongside Athlumney Castle, has been earmarked as part of the route for the proposed Navan 2030 Athlumney to Trim cycle scheme.

However, local campaigners have warned that the area is of “huge archaeological interest” and that the plans for constructing the cycle path, which would involve knocking down an old stone wall connected to Athlumney Castle, are “fatally flawed”.

The stretch of road in question featured in a photograph on Brosnan’s Instagram account earlier this year. The Navan actor described walking along the path with his grandfather Philip Smith and the stories he told of the “little people” who lived in an “abandoned wee house, tucked into the side of the shady road”.

“On summer evenings he and I would walk up the lane hand in hand as the last slow rays of sunshine fell through the canopy of trees,” he posted in March 2018 alongside a photo of himself and his wife on Covent Road. “This road that Keely and I stand on in the photo is a part of my five year old’s memory.”

The Save Navan Town Heritage group, representing local residents, historians and archaeologists, have launched an online petition calling on Meath County Council to reconsider its plans for the proposed cycle route along the road which appeared in Brosnan’s photo.

The group has proposed creating the cycle lane as part of a “shared space” with motorists rather than knocking down the wall and trees. “We feel that decisions are being made by the council that are not best for the heritage of the town or what people want to see done in the town,” wrote the group in the petition.

Public consultations on the cycle scheme were held in October 2018 with work proposed to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2021. The cycle route would create “safer and more attractive active travel routes for cyclists and pedestrians alike” and “meet local and national objectives in terms of healthy and active living,” according to the proposal from Meath County Council.