Monday 25 March 2019

Roche won't give an inch on Lisbon

So, Dick Roche wants to explore "all possible solutions", and feels it might be "necessary to consult the people again" in order to re-run the Lisbon Treaty vote and get the desired result.

"'Not an inch' is not a policy that has much to commend it in a dynamic Europe that wants to move forward," he says (Irish Independent, August 25).

This is indeed a personal about-face for the man who refused to explore any possible solution to the Hill of Tara/M3 crisis, despite the fact that national polls had consistently shown that the Irish people wanted the M3 motorway rerouted away from the Hill of Tara national monument, a site of European and global significance.

On two different occasions, he granted directions under the National Monuments Act; for demolition of 38 archaeological sites in 2005 and of the Lismullin national monument in 2007 -- and on both occasions he refused to consult the people a second time.

Instead of obeying European law, and performing a new Environmental Impact Assessment at Lismullin, he single-handedly decided the fate of the newly declared national monument.

He acted without any public consultation or independent expert advice, even though Lismullin had been voted one of the top 10 most important archaeological discoveries in the world in 2007, by 'Archaeology Magazine'.

Dick Roche had already proven himself the 'Not-an-inch' king in relation to our national heritage long before the Lisbon vote when he signed the demolition order at Lismullin on his last day in office.

It was this arrogance and intransigence that defined him and his administration.

It is little wonder that when he was finally forced to consult the general populace on an issue that they distrusted him outright and voted against him en masse.

So, let's have a new public consultation on Tara and the M3 on the same day as the new Lisbon vote and prove what dynamic Europeans we really are.

VINCENT SALAFIA

MARY’S ABBEY, DUBLIN 7

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