An Bord Pleanála gave permission for the four lane, twice-tolled M3 Through The Gabhra(TaraSkyrne) Valley in 2003 and since then there has been a huge campaign to have that section of the road re-routed.
The Campaign to save Tara is an alliance of voluntary groups involved in this lobbying. The Campaign was officially launched on Tuesday the 24th of April 2007 at an event in the Cultivate Centre, Temple Bar beginning at 1pm. The campaign also announced their electoral strategy and approach to the upcoming general election.
The electoral strategy was outlined by Michael Canney who said that they are asking for a re-route of the section of the M3 that runs through the Gabhra Valley. He said
"We are asking people to consider each candidates and party's position on the route at the ballot box. We will encourage people to vote for the candidates who provide written commitments that they will support a review of the route, if they are elected to government."
Dr Muireann Ni Bhrolcháin, senior lecturer in the School of Celtic Studies, National
University of Ireland in Maynooth and long term campaigner on the issue, said 'The Tara issue is the line in the sand. If the Gabhra Valley is not safe- nowhere in Ireland is safe from future development in the spurious name of progress. It is physically distressing to see huge sites being excavated in such haste".
She quoted Duncan Stewart's evaluation of the proposed road, 'The M3 is the worst example of unsustainable development- this artery will encourage more sprawl and development in Meath. The developers will be the only ones to benefit and it will delay, if not prevent the re-opening of the more desirable railway line'
Professor Daithí Ó hÓgáin of the Dept of Folklore, National University of Ireland, Dublin who has a long standing concern regarding the project has said of the area: " Tara is the focal centre of Irish Heritage and culture- there is an extraordinary rich complex of myth and symbolism associated with the site"
The bardic poet from Cork, Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh, summed up the significance of the Tara
Valley for the majority of people in Ireland with a recitation of his poem 'Tara'.
The Campaign also launched their literature for the election that will be distributed in the Meath constituencies and other target areas. A 16-page newspaper has also been
produced and will be sold for €2 as a fund raising project. It includes a number of pages on archaeology and photographs of the sites.
Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin 087-9249510
Campaign to Save Tara
http://www.savetara.com / photographs at