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Passage Grave


Motorway 'may cost ancient site World Heritage status'

The battle begins.....

The ancient Bru na Boinne site around Newgrange may lose its World Heritage status if the proposed M2 motorway goes ahead, it was claimed today.

The National Monuments Forum warned if changes are not made to the new motorway plans, the area near the Boyne in Co Meath is likely to lose recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

Dr George Eogan, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at University College Dublin (UCD), said the new motorway is too close to the monuments and will have a considerable impact on the surrounding landscape.

"Five hundred metres is simply too close, and it is conceivable that Newgrange could lose its World Heritage Status," he said.

The site can be saved if Environment Minister John Gormley fast-tracks the new National Monuments Bill 2009 according to the National Monuments Forum.

Vincent Salafia, National Monuments Forum spokesman, claimed the minister created unnecessary delays which place Ireland's heritage at risk.

"We urge Minister Gormley to deliver this long overdue legislation and to ensure it is strong enough to protect Newgrange from this outlandish proposal," Mr Salafia said.

Read more:
moss Posted by moss
23rd January 2010ce

Comments (6)

The proposed road is 4 miles away from Newgrange, not 500 meters. It is 500 meters away from the buffer zone, a fact which the anti-bypass protestors seem determined to conceal, to the point of deleting any post on their site which has corrected this.

The distances are on the Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Meath County Council, as are relevant maps.

All the relevant information can be found here:
Posted by An Fir Bolg
1st November 2010ce
This whole thing is a farce. As An Fir Bolg's 500m from the buffer we now need a buffer zone for the buffer zone? That motorway is badly needed as the road through Slane is one of the most dangerous roads in Ireland with many deaths every year.

I hate to see motorways going near ancient sites but if it outside of a 4km buffer zone then surely it's ok to build it...
TheStandingStone Posted by TheStandingStone
2nd November 2010ce
Well, I don't live near there, so it gets a bit confusing for me; all this talk of traffic, where its coming from, where it needs to go. But this is what Joe Fenwick has to say (about some of what'd be on the proposed route);

“It is apparent that the Crewbane souterrain is not an isolated archaeological monument in the landscape, but one element in a complex of archaeological features situated on and around this prominent ridge overlooking the river Boyne.

“These include a second and possibly third potential souterrain, a substantial linear embankment, a circular enclosure [of] 40m in diameter [a possible ring fort], a relict field system and associated open settlement of possible medieval or early modern date . . . ”

They speculate that the complex “might have served as a defensive outpost protecting the western flanks of the royal stronghold at Knowth”, saying it was “unfortunate” that it straddles the western boundary of the Unesco world heritage site buffer zone.

“It is likely, however, that had this complex been known at the time the world heritage site perimeter was being drafted, its influence would have extended its perimeter somewhat further to the west and northwest,” Mr Fenwick has told An Bord Pleanála.

In a letter to the board, he acknowledged that an alternative route of the bypass running west of Slane would also have a large number of “significant impacts” on the archaeological, architectural and cultural heritage of the area, including Slane Castle demesne.

Mr Fenwick suggested that the “only realistic option” was to ban heavy goods vehicles entirely from the village and provide an east-west corridor to the north of Slane, to redirect this traffic towards “the new and underutilised” M1 and M3 motorways. The consultations end on Friday.
gjrk Posted by gjrk
2nd November 2010ce
I wasn't aware of that and it should be taken into consideration when planning. TheStandingStone Posted by TheStandingStone
2nd November 2010ce
The anti-road protestors keep trotting out the HGV ban as a supposed solution. Nobody has been able to state where the HGVs are to be diverted to. It would be wonderful if we could magically ban HGVs from Slane village. However, in order to do this, we have to find an alternate route. The only alternates are other smaller villages, which in many cases are nearer the Newgrange site than the proposed bypass would be, and the roads are not suitable for heavy vehicles. We would only be moving the problems of deaths elsewhere. The M1 isn't an alternate route because it's tolled. However, even if the toll was removed (not likely, since the toll operator will refuse to do this and the Government cannot force it to), the problem is still how the HGVs should access the M1. What about local Slane deliveries? What about the lorries needed at the quarry and factories just outside Slane? The HGV ban has not been implemented because it is not workable, it was a kneejerk reaction by politicians following a horrific nine vehicle accident, politicians who wanted to be seen to be doing something. Meath County Council has said it is not feasible.

It is impossible to dig a hole in Meath without hitting a souterrain. I've one in my back garden. The anti-road protestors seem a little concerned now about souterrains, considering that their proposed alternate route for the bypass would have damaged the Hill of Slane, St. Erc's Monastery, run 500 metres from the door of Slane Castle (actual metres, from the actual door, not a buffer zone around the castle ;o), Ladyswell, Dollardstown House, Stackallen House, and others. All a little more important than a souterrain, I would submit. And that's not including the subterranean archaeology which hasn't been quantified yet.
Posted by An Fir Bolg
9th November 2010ce
As a campaign there are two sides to the argument, one of which is about the destruction of prehistoric archaeological remains in an area which is close to a World Heritage Site, also of course the visuality and construction of a major road close to some of the most important prehistoric sites in Ireland. Both sides have to be heard and a solution arrived at that hopefully will reduce the HGV traffic in Slane....
moss Posted by moss
10th November 2010ce
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