Steer clear of Tara valley and make way for world heritage park

I WISH to ask those people who have previously favoured routing the proposed M3 through the Tara valley to reconsider their position and support a re-route of the motorway and the establishment of a Tara Valley World Heritage Park, as set forth by the drafters of the Meath masterplan.

Arguments in favour of the current route have relied on three main points:

1. A solution must be found to the traffic problems faced by Co Meath commuters.

2. The needs of living citizens of Meath (and all of Ireland) are more important than the sanctity of those long dead.

3. All of this protest should have been voiced years ago.

The first argument is one we can all agree on. Where the two sides generally disagree is on the best solution, and the question proponents of the alternate route have repeatedly asked is, “how can the longer route currently under construction possibly serve commuters better than the shorter proposed western route?”

No reasonable answer has been set forth. Furthermore, most transportation experts and others agree that the solution to congestion is not bigger roads, but better public transport such as rail.

The second argument is also true, and though the protesters cry that “Tara has been sacred for 5,000 years”, what they are truly saying is that “Tara is sacred now. Tara is sacred to us, the living citizens of Meath, Ireland, and the rest of the world.”

The final point is yet again true: voices should have been raised years ago when the route was first proposed. In fact, they were.

People like Conor Newman and Joe Fenwick (and many more) have been raising their voices in sound opposition to this route since it was proposed more than four years ago, but as with any movement that lacks the support of the popular media to spread its message, it has taken a great deal of time to get the word out to the greater public.

Three arguments set forth by those in favour of the current M3 route — all three of them excellent reasons to reroute the motorway.

CS Lewis said: “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road …”

Now, as ever, the time is right to be progressive, and two years from now as you stroll through the Tara Valley World Heritage Park (having negotiated the now-painless evening commute in time to watch the sunset over the M3), you will be glad to have taken the right step towards true progress.

Charles D Burgess

2275 Berne-Altamont Road

Altamont

New York 12009

USA

More in this section