17 February 2005 Edition
M3 motorway must avoid Tara/Skryne - Reilly confident for by-election
As the by-election for the Meath constituency was this week called for 11 March, Meath Sinn Féin Councillor and by-election candidate Joe Reilly was campaigning on the M3 motorway. He says that the controversial motorway can be accommodated, but not through the historic Tara and Skryne valley.
Reilly made his comments after Fianna Fáil accepted a motion calling for the M3 motorway to go ahead in its present format. The motion, which was proposed by four TDs and senators from the Meath and Cavan/Monaghan constituencies, was not opposed at the meeting.
"The case has been made time and again by those campaigning against the proposed route of the M3 that there are viable and realistic alternatives where both infrastructure and heritage can be accommodated," said Reilly. "The disputed section of the M3 motorway is three kilometres in length out of a total of 70 kilometres. Sinn Féin is calling upon the NRA and archeologists to come together and sort this out.
"Eminent archeological experts from Ireland and abroad have testified to the archeological importance of the Tara/Skryne valley and have spoken about their dismay at the proposed routing of the motorway. I am calling upon the Tara site to be developed as a sustainable tourist site."
Upbeat on Sinn Féin's prospects for the by-election, Reilly said: "Sinn Féin is going into these elections in confident mood. Since coming so close to taking a seat in the 2002 General Election, Sinn Féin's phenomenal growth has continued in the county, with more and more people supporting our agenda for change. We are confident of taking this seat.
"Meath is one of the fastest growing counties in the country but it is being developed as a residential commuter area, rather than a county where people can work and live. The establishment parties who currently represent this county have done nothing to tackle this. They are more than happy to maintain the status quo.
"Meath needs proper investment in job creation — this means developing our infrastructure to a much higher standard. We need to address a lengthening housing waiting list and lack of social and affordable housing, transport chaos, lack of health and childcare services and much much more."
Urgent election appeal
With the Meath by-election now scheduled for 11 March, the party is urgently appealing for funds to secure the election of Councillor Joe Reilly.
Donations can be sent to:
Election Appeal Fund,
Sinn Féin Finance Department,
58 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
or made by credit card .
Note: Due to the electoral regulations, donations to political parties are capped at a maximum per individual of €6,348.69 and can only be accepted from Irish citizens, whether living at home or abroad. Anonymous donations can no longer be accepted.