Sunday 15 July 2007

Tara protester threatens new court action to halt motorway

THE campaigner who had a €600,000 legal bill paid by the State is threatening court action again to halt construction of the M3 motorway.

Vincent Salafia, who protested outside the Dail in the rain yesterday, said he was determined to ensure the Lismullen national monument found on the route was protected.

"There's a whole set of new circumstances. Lismullen wasn't known at the time and certainly I think the courts would look a lot more favourably now that the World Monuments Fund has said Tara is an endangered site."

Last year, Mr Salafia lost his High Court bid to stop the construction of the M3 motorway and subsequently agreed to drop his Supreme Court appeal in return for the State paying his €600,000 legal bill.

He said that although questions might be raised about the viability of a further court action, he and the Tarawatch group had no other option.

"Ultimately, we don't want to go to court. We want the minister to do his job. Irish people shouldn't be forced to go to the courts if the Minister for the Environment does his job."

The Tarawatch group do not accept Minister John Gormley's argument that he has no power to re-route the M3 motorway because of an order made by his predecessor Dick Roche.

Michael Brennan
Irish Independent

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