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by Gordon Kingston, Heritage Action

The Tarawatch website has reported a recent briefing, from the National Roads Authority to Meath County Council, about another tolled motorway; the Leinster Orbital Route. The proposed road would circle the outer Dublin area for 80km, all the way from County Meath down to County Wicklow and cut, once again, through the area around the Hill of Tara. Furthermore, according to Tarawatch, the feasibility study indicates that the controversial Blundelstown interchange, a vast 50 acre tattoo on one side of the hill, was originally conceived with this route in mind.

Of course, archaeology and the sanctity of Ireland’s ancient heritage were far from the minds of some of the local councillors, when they were presented with news of the proposal. According to the Meath Chronicle; “serious doubts were raised over the need to keep a 2km-wide corridor of land open while consultations take place over the choosing of a final route for the motorway.” Indeed and how can you be expected to get planning permission sorted for houses and development, if you don’t know exactly where the road is going to be?

“Councillor Tommy Reilly said that he had been shouting for 10 years about the need for an outer orbital route. The motorway would “open up the county” and bring development, a regional college, hospitals and industries. He hoped there would be a quick decision on the selection of final route.”

I’m sure that he does.

Still only a ripple on the water, but ripples will turn into waves. In the words of the feasibility report; “ready and available for implementation at any stage in the future, when required.”

According to the International Energy Agency ; “a continuation of current trends in energy use puts the world on track for a rise in temperature of up to 6°C and poses serious threats to global energy security.” In what position does that analysis place our road/development obsession?

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