Motorway 'may cost ancient site World Heritage status'

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.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

13-year-old missing from Waterford

Michael Healy-Rae warns the army may be needed to tackle overgrowth of flowers

'INLA ammunition and pipe bombs' seized by police

Details of ministerial St Patrick’s Day ’trade missions’ revealed


Today's Stories

No jail for bank official who stole €44k from AIB

Families look forward to new start as 1,300 social houses announced for Cork

Van driver faces €13k in unpaid tolls

Unmanned libraries on cards for Co Cork

Lifestyle

Sounds of sibling revelry

I’m cheering on Natalie Portman and Ruth Negga for Oscars

Our Lady's Hospice help patients come to terms with dying

Making cents: Weighing up the expense of health insurance

More From The Irish Examiner