New Grange under motorway threat
The preferred route for the N2 Slane Bypass, County Meath, Ireland, announced in January 2010 by the National Roads Authority, runs 500 metres from the edge of the Bend of the Boyne UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the World Heritage Committee: "The three main prehistoric sites of the Brú na Bóinne Complex, Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, are situated on the north bank of the River Boyne 50 km north of Dublin. This is Europe's largest and most important concentration of prehistoric megalithic art.
Long ago I used to be an archaeologist, well its my first degree from the Institute of Archaeology which is now part of UCL.
My passion was the neolithic and Bronze Age, an age of megaliths, big stone monuments older in many cases thant the pyramids.
Stonehenge and Avebury in my home county of Wiltshire are beautiful examples.
In the summer of 1990 I hitched around Ireland, taking in Dublin, the Aran Island and Galway...I also visited the Boyne Valley and went to the amazing New Grange.
Its a huge mound, surrounded t with a stone circle and faced in shining quartz. One a single day of year, if I remember rightly the winter equinox, sun shines through a light box and illuminates the chamber of New Grange.
One of the most important prehistoric monuments in the world.
Now the Irish government have deemed that a motorway the N2 will cut through the beautiful local landscape, within 500 yards of New Grange.
If Ireland had a proper Green Party this would not happen but it is on the cards unless massive protest occurs, may be people should sit in front of John Gormley's limo until the threat is removed.
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