Irish Independent: Motorway challenge heads for Supreme Court
Tarawatch - Thursday, April 20th 2006
Campaigners battling to re-route the controversial M3 motorway away from the Hill of Tara yesterday served Environment Minister Dick Roche with notice of a Supreme Court challenge to the project.
Lawyer Vincent Salafia revealed he was appealing a High Court ruling clearing the way for the divisive road which snakes its way through the ancient capital of Ireland's kings.
But he said with a general election due next year he was still hopeful the Government would try to appease voters by doing a U-turn on the project.
"While the case is proceeding logically to the Supreme Court, and Europe if necessary, we are still hoping for a political decision by the authorities to review the situation and consider re-routing the Tara section of motorway," he said.
"With an election coming up, the Government is acutely aware that 70pc of people surveyed nationally in 2005 said they wanted the motorway rerouted away from Tara.
"The M3 actually goes over 3km off course to the east, to split the Tara valley, which has few inhabitants. If it went the same distance in the opposite direction it would service Trim and save Tara."
Mr Salafia lost his High Court challenge to the M3 last May. He claimed the National Monuments Act 2004 was unconstitutional, because it did not pass the test laid out by Justice Laffoy in the M50/Carrickmines Castle case.
In that hearing she recognised the constitutional imperative on the Stateto protect the nationalheritage.
Ultimately campaigners believe the case will go to the European Courts with Strasbourg judges asked to rule on the route on the basis that Tara is part of European heritage, not just Irish.
Posted by otuathail3
23rd April 2006ce
Edited 23rd April 2006ce