Who’s guilty of ‘Carrickmadness’?

The dispute over Carrickmines Castle has cost the Irish taxpayer a fortune in delays and the Dublin mororist the misery of extra traffic congestion. Regardless of which side you’re coming from, it has been a disastrous waste of resources.

So who’s to blame?

I think the State and the ‘system’ have to carry a lot of the blame.

The State designed the road in the first place. There’s an aerial photo on the NRA website and the whole site of Carrickmines Castle looks to be about 50 metres across. Surely it couldn’t have been beyond the wit of mankind to move the alignment of the road 50 metres before work even started?

Well yes, apparently, it could. This is where the ‘system’ falls down. Once they decided on the route and had made their decisions on the Carrickmines site, the whole ensemble (aka the South-Eastern Motorway) was subjected to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Once the EIS is approved, you can’t change it without starting the whole thing from scratch. This could have delayed the construction by five years and cost tens of millions of euro.

So surely there is a lesson to be learned here. The EIS system is far too inflexible for projects which can last years. There must be provision to change some things as building carries on.

As for the “Carrickminders”, I don’t have too much sympathy for their particular role in all this. They must have known months ago that they weren’t going to win this argument and yet they carried on in and out of the High Court oblivious to the interests of Dublin motorists and the economy. Pure selfishness and conceit, it seems to me.

There is an ideology abroad that’s hates modernity and sees it worse evils in roadbuilding. There’s some merit in this view. Yet all modern life in Ireland cannot come to a halt when it meets something from the past.

If we go down this route we will freeze ourselves at the year 2000 forever. We just can’t do that and that’s why I’m glad the Carrickminders have been beaten.

The M3 is the next big Battleground

THE dispute over Carrickmines took place over one set of ruins.

The proposed M3 is routed between the Hill of Tara and the Hill of Skryne. In this area you can’t move for archeological sites. The route has been approved and the campaigners are already on their way to the High Court.

This means that despite all the old stuff lying about nobody is learning from history. Maybe the time has come to take sides.

I’ve looked at a lot of the anti-M3 arguments and a lot of them are sheer nonsense. A lot of it is just emotional stuff about the Hill of Tara and our celtic past, etc. Emotional guff.

The road comes nowhere near the Hill of Tara – it’s about a kilometre away. Some minor earthworks will be disturbed but the digging is as likely to unveil at least as many ancient treasures as it buries.

No-one wants a motorway near them. That’s fine – just leave the guilt trip out of it.