Historical group accuses NRA of misinformation

 


Members of a Dail Sub Committee and local experts on on the Hill of Tara. Photograph: Alan Betson

Earlier this week, the NRA took out full-page advertisements in national newspapers in an attempt to explain the situation, but the society say this has only added to the misinformation surrounding the motorway.

In one of the advertisements the NRA state the nearest point of the M3 motorway would be 1.5 miles away from the Hill of Tara, but, according to the society, an NRA booklet published last September stated the road would be 1.2 kilometers away.

The Assistant Secretary of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society, Ms Julitta Clancy, criticised the NRA for not having a fully informed debate on the issue.

"If money spent by the NRA in defending their position over the past year had been spent two years ago in promoting a fully informed debate it is doubtful we would be in the dilemma we are in now," Ms Clancy said.

If money spent by the NRA in defending their position over the past year had been spent two years ago in promoting a fully informed debate it is doubtful we would be in the dilemma we are in now.
Julitta Clancy, Assistant Secretary of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society

She said the society were not against the motorway per sebut was opposed to its "routing through the Tara landscape which we believe should be preserved for future generations to research and enjoy".

The Minister for the Environment, Mr Roche, is to make a decision after Christmas on whether to give licences allowing the recording and partial destruction of an estimated 40-plus archaeological sites along the route through the Tara/Skryne valley to allow the road to be built. If he refuses the licences, the NRA will have to identify another route.

An Oireachtas Committee on the Environment is visiting the Hill of Tara and surrounding area today as part of its inquiry into the controversial route of the proposed M3 motorway.

Members of the committee are to visit five sites close to, or on, the proposed route, and will be briefed by staff from the National Roads Authority and Meath County Council about the route and archaeological sites found alongside it.

They will also meet Prof George Eogan, a leading expert on Neolithic and bronze age settlements, and an authority on the archaeological remains of sites in Co Meath.