Archaeologist praised for heritage stance

I WISH to congratulate archaeologist Dr Conor Newman for his integrity and courage in saving the Lismullen site on the M3 now under construction.

His resignation from Environment Minister John Gormley’s special review group shows that his professional opinion as an archaeologist was neglected entirely by the Government and the National Roads Authority and that he has stood up for those whose interests lie in preserving our heritage and history. I would also like to express my appreciation for all those at home and abroad who have supported the protection of Ireland’s cultural legacy.

One cannot disregard the Government’s and the NRA’s unceremonious actions in the construction of the M3. Fear over the case brought against Ireland by the European Commission led the NRA rapidly to continue construction in an effort to conceal the remaining archaeological findings. Work on the M3 accelerated even during the Christmas holidays following the news that the court case was to be held this month.

The case was originally scheduled for last autumn and if it had gone ahead then, much of the destruction of the Lismullen monument could have been avoided. I call on the commission to hasten its action as time is running out for the proper conservation of the site.

Kathy Sinnott MEP

‘St Joseph’

Ballinabearna

Ballinhassig

Co Cork

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