EU to take legal action over Tara
The Government could face fines imposed by the European Union over its handling of the M3 motorway project in the Tara-Skryne valley following legal action which gets underway today.
The European Commission is expected to begin legal action against the Government today over the manner in which it has proceeded to build the M3 motorway near the Hill of Tara.
The decision will provide a boost to campaigners who are trying to force Minister for the Environment John Gormley to consider re-routing the motorway.
The legal move is not expected to halt the construction of the road, but it will force the Government to defend its position at Europe's highest court, a process that could eventually lead to the imposition of fines if it loses the case.
Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas will tell his commissioner colleagues at a meeting in Brussels today that the National Monuments Act in the Republic does not offer enough protection for important archaeological sites.
He will also highlight alleged weaknesses in Irish law that split decision-making between Irish planning authorities and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for industrial projects.
Meanwhile, pressure group TaraWatch has described as "significant" the discovery of a new archaeological site in the path of the M3 motorway, at the Hill of Tara in Co. Meath.
The group called on Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley, to place a preservation order on the site which it says may be a fortified complex.
The site is located between the defensive fort of Rathmiles and the burial ground at Soldier Hill, the newly discovered site is further proof that the Hill of Tara constitutes a vast archaeological complex.
Posted by moss
17th October 2007ce