The modern Irish estimate The Newgrange Structure to be
between 5,000 and 5,200 years old. The mound is not more
than 10,000 years old, because all of the British Iles
were covered with a glacier before that. As the glacier
melted stone age man moved northward. Unlike modern day
man, they looked forward to global warming. But that was
the period where global warming was slowing down
16th February 2010
SAVE NEWGRANGE; PRESS RELEASE
'Complaint to European Commission Lodged Over Slane
Bypass Public Consultation'
Save Newgrange has lodged a formal complaint with the
European Commission, over the flawed public consultation
process for the N2 Slane bypass, which is proposed to be
built 500m from Bru na Boinne World Heritage Site.
The complaint is also being made on behalf of
stakeholders, NGOs, and concerned citizens inside and
outside the jurisdiction, in Northern Ireland and abroad,and
in particular the Irish Diaspora.
The complaint asks the Commission to take interim
measures to ensure that the time period for public
consultation is extended, in the event that An Bord
Pleanala declines the grant the appeal lodged by Save
Newgrange today, asking for a 90-day time extension.
The complaint alleges that the process breaches the
Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, (Directive 85/337/EEC,
as amended by Directives 97/11/EC and The Public
Participation Directive 2003/35/EC), as implemented
by the Planning and Development Act 2000, which governs
the procedures for public participation in environmental
decision-making, with regards to major infrastructural
projects, such as the N2 Slane bypass.
The primary grounds for requesting the extension of time
include claims that:
- The Public Notice was inadequate
- The time period was unreasonably short
- Fees for the EIS and submissions to An Bord Pleanala
are a bar to participation
- The EIS was not freely and adequately available, as it
easily could have been
- The notice for compulsory purchase of land, which
accompanied the Public Notice of EIS publication, negates
public participation and pre-empts the decision of An
- This decision-making process clashes with a separate
public consultation currently under way to revise the
Management Plan for Brú na Bóinne.
- Approval should be received from Unesco, before the
Spokesperson Vincent Salafia, a lecturer in environmental
"The public consultation a decision as big as this
needs to be wide-ranging, considering the fact that world
heritage is shared by humanity, and EU law requires that.
"It is critical that organisations like the World
Archaeological Congress, the World Monuments Fund, the
Smithsonian and other cultural bodies, both Irish and
international, have a say on this before, rather than
after, planning permission is granted; as was the sad
case with the M3 at Tara.
"If An Bord Pleanala does not grant the public
concerned an extension of time for this, we hope the EU
will intervene and order a new EIA to be performed.
"Taking a little more time to do this right, could
prevent long delays in the future, due to new discoveries
and legal challenges.
Contact: Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365
10 February 2010
Objections made to NRA tolling bye-laws for M3 motorway
TaraWatch has today made its objections to the National
Roads Authority (NRA), in response to the NRAs call
for public submissions for the Draft Bye-laws for M3
motorway Tolling. The deadline for submissions is today.
The NRA has claimed that the 522 million euro cost to the
taxpayer for the M3 will repaid by VAT on tolls. Our
consultant engineer shows that between 300 to 400 million
euros of the 522 million euro cost will not be repaid
during the 45 year concession period by the VAT on the
TaraWatch is objecting to the shadow tolling
clause in the Public Private Partnership Contract
with Eurolink. The clause provides for direct payments to
be made to Eurolink, from the Department of Finance, in
the event that traffic on the M3 falls below a certain
level. Since the minimum traffic levels are kept secret,
no one knows the size of the sword held over the neck of
The minimum traffic clause was not mentioned by the NRA
in advance of the 2007 NRA Toll Hearing, held into
objections made to the Draft M3 Tolling scheme, published
in 2002. The Hearing was held just weeks before the
contract was signed, but it was kept secret that the
Government had already gotten pre-approval for the shadow
tolling clause in the M3 contract from the European
Commission in 2006, stating that the clause would not
violate EU competition law, as improper State Aid.
TaraWatch claims that traffic levels on the M3 will never
meet NRA predictions of 22,000 cars a day, and that the
shadow tolling clause amounts to an unconscionable burden
on the taxpayer. TaraWatch also claim that the process
that led to its introduction, and therefore the tolling
bye-laws themselves, breach of Irish and EU law.
An economic analysis of the M3, prepared by consultant
engineer Rod Aldrich, P.E., in which he estimates that
between 300 to 400 million euros of the 522 million euro
cost will not be repaid during the 45 year concession
period by the VAT on the tolls. That means the government
cost of the road will be unpaid for more decades, while
Eurolink will be making their profit on the road.
Rod Aldrich said:
"The shadow tolls mean the exact cost of the road is
unknown and future generations of tax payers have been
saddled with the immense costs just at a time when the
funds could be used on so many other economic pressures.
"The Oireachtas was not fully informed of how this
cost was open ended, nor that the VAT was needed to pay
back the government costs. Our analysis shows the VAT
will not come even close to paying back the costs in 45
years even if the traffic achieves the rosy predictions
of the NRA.
"Even under the most optimistic NRA traffic
projections, the VAT will fail to repay the government
contribution during the 45 year concession period by
approximately 303.98 Million euros."
"With lower but realistically possible traffic
projections and with the refund of 90 percent of the VAT
to commercial users, the failure to pay back the
government costs will swell to 413.84 million euros.
Contact: Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365
Rod Aldrich (US) 001-518-456-4900
Friday 5 February 2010
PRESS RELEASE -
'NRA and Meath CoCo Accused of Rigging Planning Process
for Slane Bypass'
The Save Newgrange campaign is offering the full
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), concerning the 'preferred
route' of the Slane Bypass, to the public for free
download, because the NRA and Meath county Council have
restricted access to it. The deadline for public
submissions to An Bord Pleanala is February 17.
The EIS shows the Slane bypass is only 500 metres from
the Bru na Boinne World Heritage Site, commonly referred
to as Newgrange.
The National Roads Authority (NRA) and Meath County
Council (MCC) published the EIS in December 2009, right
before Christmas, but only placed a short non-technical
summary online. The full EIS can only be purchased from
the NRA Design Office in Navan at a cost of 80 euro per
printed version, and 10 euro for the CD version.
A complaint is being made to the European Commission and
An Bord Pleanala on the failure of the NRA and MCC to
make the full EIS freely available, breaching the public's
rights of access to information and to participate in the
decision-making process. This breaches the AARHUS
Convention, which has been incorporated into EU law.
However, Ireland remains the only EU member state not to
incorporate it into domestic law.
Spokesperson Vincent Salafia, a university lecturer in
Environmental Legislation, said:
"The NRA and Meath County Council have rigged the
planning process and are intentionally restricting public
access to information.
"There is no reason in the world why the authorities
couldn't do what we are doing, and make the entire EIS
available for free download.
"Huge sums of money paid for the development of the
EIS, and will be spent on the bypass. It is outrageous
that it is not freely available.
"The deadline for public submissions should be
extended, in order to give an opportunity to review the
plan and participate in the decision-making process.
Full EIS download available at:
Summary of EIS at Meath County Council:
EU law on AARHUS Convention
NEW BYPASS TO BE
BUILT IN VICINITY NEWGRANGE
I wanted to draw
your attention to this important petition
Newgrange Petition "
I'd like to encourage you to add your
signature, too. It's free and takes just a few seconds of
Slane bypass would run close to NewgrangeThursday, 21
January 2010 22:13
The National Roads Authority has given details of
plans for the new Slane bypass, which would be built 500m
from the World Heritage Site at Newgrange.While the plan
has been welcomed locally, it is expected that there will
The bridge and the road through the village of Slane,
Co Meath, is one of the most dangerous stretches of roads
in Ireland. Over 20 people have been killed in accidents
and locals have long campaigned for a bypass around the
village.The NRA is proposing to build the route down
river of the present bridge and to the east of the
The proposed bypass will be 500m away from the buffer-zone
around the World Heritage Site at Brú na Bóinne, which
comprises the ancient megalithic tombs at Newgrange,
Knowth and Dowth.It will also impact on the museum
dedicated to Ireland's most famous World War I poet,
Francis Ledwidge, who came from Slane.The Environmental
Impact Statement for the project acknowledges that 44
archaeological sites will be within 500m of the roadway
and that the potential to uncover much more during work
is high.While there will be a visual impact from the
river, the Environmental Impact Statement says there will
be negligible impact on the site.
WALL'S PROPAGANDA IN DROGHEDA iNdependent
Road 500m from buffer zone --not Newgrange
advertisement in text : Waterford Bypass Use Easytrip for
tolls and parking Apply on-line for your toll tag. If
they toll the Newgrange bypass
Wednesday January 27 2010
CONTROVERSY surrounding the
proximity of the proposed route of the Slane bypass to
Newgrange overshadowered what should have been joyous
news for the residents of the beleagured village after
the National Roads Authority released an environment
impact study for the route.However John Ryle, of the
Slane Bridge Action Group moved swiftly to contradict
reports that the bypass would run just 500 metres from
the edge of the ancient Newgrange complex.'Around
Newgrange we have what is called a buffer zone and the
new bridge for the bypass will be 500 metres outside that
buffer zone, not 500 metres from Newgrange,' Mr Ryle said.'It
will not be seen from Newgrange and it will not be seen
from Dowth, it might be seen from Knowth but it will be
over 1km away.'
Planning permission for the 3.5km
dual carriageway has been sought from An Bord Pleanala,
and the NRA said the proposed route would have the 'least
impact' on the archaeology and heritage of the area.(Exactly
what impact? JB,editor)
The bypass will start north of the
Grasslands premises on the Collon road and will end the
Slane side of McGrudders Cross on the Dublin Road.
Included in the scheme is a new bridge over the River
Boyne, which will be around 200 metres long.Mr Ryle said
that Slane Bridge Action Group will be encouraging all
organisations and associations in the area to make
submissions to An Board Pleanala in support of the
proposed route.'We want to show that the full weight of
the community is behind this bypass. This is a great
opportunity for the people of Slane to reclaim their
village as a decent place to live in.'We want to
put an end to any more deaths or carnage on the Mill Hill.
Most accidents, the fatal ones and bad injuries resulted
from runaway trucks and all the traffic calming measures
in the world will not control a runaway truck.'The
people of Slane are living in dread every time they come
down the street, either walking or in a car.'As well as
22 deaths there have also been numerous non fatal
accidents over the years with the residences of the
picturesque village suffering greatly because of the
sheer volume of traffic that goes through Slane every day.In
addition to normal traffic 1,600 heavy goods vehicles
pass through the village daily.'Look at all the
businesses that have closed down in the village, no one
wants to go to Slane anymore,' Mr Ryle continued. 'The
old people are afraid to cross the road and children have
to be accompanied by adults up to the school.'The people
of Slane are entitled to live in an environment with
modern standards and not be living in fear of something
happening to them. We have got to get our village back,
it has been held hostage by traffic for years.'- Sean
people of slane have had a preliminary disturbance:
CONSERVATION groups and residents in Slane are furious
at a proposal which they fear will lead to construction
of housing units in the village centre on land containing
They have called for support to "prevent the
destruction of Slane".Their concerns arise from
proposals in a variation of the new Meath County Council
Development Plan, 2007-13. Known as the 'order of
priority', the controversial proposal is a response to
Dept of the Environment anxieties about the huge amount
of land in Meath zoned for residential use although not
yet built upon.It offers a blueprint for the order in
which land in 30 towns and villages around Meath,
including Slane, could be released for planning
applications up to 2013. '
The site's at issue in Slane are in the gardens of the
former parochial house and on ground between this
historic structure and the local church, as well as
within the Cillrian and Mount Charles Lodge sites.
The Boyne Valley Trust (BVT), Slane Combined Residents
Association (SCRA) and the Meath branch of An Taisce
already have voiced grave concerns.
The BVT is hosting a public meeting in the ConyngHam Arms
Hotel, Slane, next Tuesday, 27th November, at 8.30pm and
has urged the public to attend to provide support "to
prevent the destruction of Slane".The new county
development plan already has identified the need for 65
extra residential units in the village up to 2013,
according to the SCRA. It is the naming of the location
for the units, 30 in the grounds of Cillrian and Mount
Charles Lodge and 35 in the gardens of the old parochial
house and dwellings between this and the church, that has
deeply perturbed and angered the residents and other
interests in Slane.According to the SCRA, these sites
largely comprise protected structures, are within the
core of the Slane village Architectural Conservation Area
(ACA) and were considered "unsuitable for
significant development within the last 12 months".In
addition, the number of houses seem out of scale with
Slane's character and quality, would damage "irretrievably"
the unique heritage quality of the village's designed
integration of woodland, trees and buildings, they say.
The group adds that the proposal overlooks a large land
bank zoned for residential development in the 2001-2007
plan and does not take account of "serious
infrastructural deficiencies" in the area, in terms
of water and sewerage.The BVT is "outraged",
saying that it has complained to the Minister for the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley.
It understands that no Strategic Environmental Assessment
(SEA) has been carried out.
A Meath An Taisce spokesperson was concerned on broadly
Meath County Council said that the proposed variation was
subject to much consultation with members at area level
before the full council resolved to put it on public
display at the October meeting. The area council
deliberations took place in private.
A county council statement added that the order of
priority effectively identified available lands in each
settlement which were "considered most suitable for
release". This meant that priority would be given
for the quantum of units available.
However, it added: "It should be noted that the
identification of lands in phase one does not assume the
lands will/can be developed upon immediately, as each
planning application received by the planning authority
for units on these lands will be assessed on its own
merits and will be dependent upon the availability of
necessary infrastructure. This is clearly set out in the
supporting document for the Order of Priority currently
on display". Regarding the SEA issue, the council
said the law required that a variation be screened to
ascertain if a full SEA was needed. The screening report
prepared concluded that it was not required as the
proposed variation sought to "phase the release of
existing residentially zoned lands and as such will have
a neutral impact on the wider environmental resources".
The report was submitted to the prescribed bodies.
The order of priority variation (written text including
the screening report and the maps) for all the 30
locations involved is available for inspection during
normal working hours at the council's main offices,
including the new location of the Meath planning
department at Abbey Mall, Abbey Road, Navan.