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Monuments Bill 'legal vandalism' claims Labour

Monuments Bill 'legal vandalism' claims Labour

Irish Independent

Save Tara!

OFFICIAL vandalism of national monuments would be made legal by the National Monuments (Amendment) Bill - to effectively give power to the Minister for the Environment to have the M50 around Dublin completed - it was claimed in the Dail yesterday.

Labour TD Eamon Gilmore said: "It will allow the minister, as his discretion, to demolish, sell or export any national monument."

The completion of the south eastern motorway has been delayed by a High Court decision which quashed the approval order for building the road at Carrickmines Castle on what the court described as a "technical glitch".

Labour, the Green Party and Sinn Fein objected to the Bill in that it had been signalled as a "simple Bill to allow for the completion of the M50 at Carrickmines". They claimed the Bill was about much more than that. Fine Gael backed the Bill.

While all parties agreed the road urgently needed to be completed, they protested that enough time was not being allowed for discussion.

Environment Minister Martin Cullen denied either he was in any way interested "in bulldozing any monuments".

He said he would have a major national monuments Bill hopefully before the end of the year, but the Bill introduced yesterday was to cater for the Carrickmines delay.

He pointed out there were other major infrastructural projects under way about which there was no methodology for any archaeological mitigation arising from the court decision. The Bill was necessary for now to protect all those sites.

Tanaiste Mary Harney said the Bill was necessary because of the court decision on Carrickmines.

"Million of taxpayers' money is being wasted because we cannot proceed with this," she said. Fine Gael deputy Olivia Mitchell said the Bill would deal with the issues thrown up by an archaeological discovery.

The debate continues next week.

Geraldine Collins, Dail Correspondent
Posted by otuathail3
19th June 2004ce
Edited 12th April 2006ce

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