High Court Justice Mr Thomas Smyth last week dismissed a challenge by campaigner Vincent Salafia against the route of the M3 motorway through the area between the Hill of Tara and Skryne, in County Meath, Ireland. According to the local paper, “Sources have suggested that if there is no appeal to last week’s decision, that work is likely to begin in March 2007, allowing for archaeological excavations to be completed by the end of this year and site preparation work to get underway in the autumn…Archaeological work as well as the acquisition of land on the M3 route has been ongoing throughout the High Court action, and will continue, with the archaeological digs due to finish on schedule in December.” For the rest of the news story in the Meath Chronicle, click here. According to a website called mythicalireland.com, “The Hill of Tara, known as Temair in gaeilge, was once the ancient seat of power in Ireland – 142 kings are said to have reigned there in prehistoric and historic times…Saint Patrick is said to have come to Tara to confront the ancient religion of the pagans at its most powerful site.” The problem is, as noted above, that there is a proposed road works project that comes quite close to it. “The Hill of Tara is under threat from the construction of a new motorway, which will dissect the tranquil Tara-Skryne valley and pose a threat to many monuments which will doubtlessly be uncovered during its construction. A new group, formed of Irish academics and notables, is opposing the plans and calling on the Irish Government to come up with alternatives, such as the redevelopment of the old Dublin-Navan railway line, to the motorway plan. The group claims Tara deserves the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.,” according to the same site.
County Meath is also home to Newgrange, Slane Castle and the Hill of Slane, Kells and Trim Castle.