Conor Newman
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In the way of development
Tara, the M3 and the Celtic Tiger
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On 25 August 2003, An Bord Pleanala gave the go-ahead for the M3 motorway to be built along the Gabhra valley through the Tara landscape. The circumstances and controversy of this decision have since become emblematic of the loss of compass that characterised 'Celtic Tiger' Ireland. This chapter considers some of the circumstances that permitted a motorway to be built through such a historic landscape. A clash between a new era and old values occurred; the M3 symbolised the knife that would cut the leathery umbilicus tethering bold, new, materially rich Ireland to the corpse of old, impoverished, historically enslaved Ireland. The National Museum of Ireland had publicly queried the position adopted by the National Monuments Service (NMS) over Carrickmines Castle. The Carrickmines Castle stood in the way of the part of the South Eastern Route of the M50 motorway in Dublin.

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