McDowell asked to intervene at Carrickmines site


Environmental campaigners will today call on the Minister for Justice to intervene to save the Carrickmines Castle site.

The move follows an announcement yesterday by the Minister of Transport, Mr Brennan, that about 40 per cent of the site would be lost to make way for the final leg of the south-eastern motorway.

Archaeologists and environmentalists have reacted angrily to the new proposals, dismissing Mr Brennan's assertion that 60 per cent of the site would be saved. They said almost 90 per cent would be lost.

The medieval site has been excavated by team of archaeologists for two years, and some 40,000 significant artefacts have been found. However, the work remains unfinished as the dig was halted in August because of construction work on the new motorway.

A number of protesters, who have been occupying the site since August, say they want Minister for Justice, and the Attorney General, to intervene in the affair. The group will make their plea at a press conference later today.

They also want allegations of corruption levelled against the Jackson Way development, the construction company involved, to be examined. The company is scheduled to come before the Flood Tribunal.

A spokesperson said: "We also call on them [Minister for Justice, and the Attorney General] to examine irregularities within the archaeological contracting community and specifically the gag order allegedly placed on archaeologists working on the castle site.