Video by Mark Cantwell.
It was magical, yes, driving up to Tara and getting stuck in an unforgiving traffic jam, to photograph a very special moment where over 1500 gathered to tell John Gormley and Bertie Ahern, to reroute the M3. The event was to start at 3pm, but hundreds were there 2 hours in advance. French, English, Irish and other unknown tongues wafted in the flurry of excitement as people examined their tickets discussing which letter in the living protest they would be. One child's birthday present was participating in the living sculpture.
When the helicopter arrived, all bets were off as hundreds rushed to see it land. One woman with a child on her back ran in vain after another two shouting "don't go near the blades!" There were plenty of stewards holding back the tide of incredibly keen onlookers.
On the ground there was a great leap of faith as to what would emerge from their choreographed contortions. From the air ,the voice of Ireland spoke out: moving, twitching, questioning and resisting the policy of Fianna Fail/Possessive Democrats/Green Party and big business interests. The issue of the M3 is not dead. It is very much alive. The battle is not over!
THE new Meath MASTER Plan is to be presented to the Public at a special presentation at Dalgan Park, Navan, on Thursday September 20th at 8pm.
The MASTER Plan (standing for Model Archaeological and Sustainable Economic Region) is intended to help Meath become a model for Ireland and the rest of Europe in sustainable practices and development in the energy, housing, tourism, heritage, transport and business development sectors.
The Plan is an integrated development framework that seeks to introduce sustainable techniques and practices into these sectors over a 5 to 7 year timeframe. It includes a compromise transport solution that preserves the Tara-Skryne (Gabhra) Valley and creates balance in the transport sector by spreading journey numbers more equally between road, rail and bus modes, giving commuters multiple and easily accessible options for their journeys.
The Plan includes upgraded coach services and a rail link servicing the key growing towns of Ashbourne, Ratoath, Dunshaughlin, Navan and Kells. It also converts the M3 to a toll-free format while modifying part of the road footprint to a smaller 2+1 design, with traffic figures cut by up to two-thirds. This would also make it possible to protect the unique heritage of the Tara Landscape.