Outrage in Slane as cuts set to halt bypass

Clodagh Sheehy

Furious Slane residents have warned that the Government will have "blood on its hands" if it suspends a bypass of the village for a further three years.

The residents have attacked the Government strategy to postpone the building of the 3.5km stretch of dual carriageway because of cutbacks.

So far 22 people have lost their lives on a horrific "bottleneck" which crosses the river Boyne into the village.

Niamh O'Broin, a mother of two young children, who was involved in a serious accident on the road two years ago, says the priority is safety and preventing deaths.

"When people talk about this bypass, it is not about how many minutes you can save on your journey from Dublin to Derry. It is synonymous with safety and saving lives, not shaving off minutes in the car."

The project is currently before An Bord Pleanala, which is expected to deliver a ruling before the end of the year.

Fianna Fail councillor Wayne Harding said it was "extraordinary" that local TD and minister Shane McEntee had joined residents on numerous marchers demanding a bypass, yet was now part of an administration calling a halt to the project.

"If this administration shelves this project, there is every possibility they will end up with blood on their hands," he warned.

While residents have been campaigning for the bypass, local heritage groups have been outraged by the choice of route which would bring the road close to Bru na Boinne, a Unesco world heritage site.