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Priority Questions. - National Monuments.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 51. Mr. Crowe Information on Sean Crowe Zoom on Sean Crowe  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  whether his actions at Carrickmines Castle are in order under section 14 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1994, as the destruction of a national monument should be debated by the Oireachtas following the issuing of an order by the Minister for Environment and Local Government permitting it; and if he will act to halt construction at Carrickmines Castle. [23811/02]

Mr. Brennan: Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan I do not accept the Deputy's contention that I have acted illegally. The relevant statutory provision does not apply to the Carrickmines site as it is not a national monument. All the works in relation to the Carrickmines site are being carried out with the knowledge and consent of the Department of the Environment and Local Government and Dúchas, the section of the Department responsible for national monuments and archaeology.

I am satisfied that as a result of my actions on the matter, the solution arrived at achieved the primary objectives of preserving extensive areas of the site at Carrickmines while ensuring completion of the motorway on schedule in 2004.

Mr. Crowe: Information on Sean Crowe Zoom on Sean Crowe The Minister is saying he is not breaking the law. I have a letter that states that Carrickmines Castle is a recorded monument. Does the Minister accept it is a unique monument? I listened to the Minister on the radio saying that he wanted to be remembered as the man [20] who delivered rather than the Minister who arranged deliveries. Will he deliver on this and save the Carrickmines site from imminent destruction?

Mr. Brennan: Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan I hope that is why I am remembered and not because of other issues. It is a unique monument, I accept that, and I visited it. The Deputy may not have had the opportunity to look at the measure in great detail, but section 14 of the National Monuments Act, as amended by the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, not section 14 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, to which the Deputy referred incorrectly, applies only to national monuments and prohibits interference. It is clear that we have taken no illegal action in this area.

I accept that Carrickmines Castle is unique and we have achieved the best compromise. I arranged for An Taisce to meet the National Roads Authority and I asked the National Roads Authority to ensure the preservation of the maximum amount of the castle. The road is not going through the castle, the castle is to the side. It will, however, go over some of the outer walls. I asked the NRA to consider raising the roundabout so that the outer walls can be viewed, and that is being done.

We have achieved the best result with the castle being preserved and those parts of the outer walls that are affected by the road visible to those interested by descending a flight of steps. We need this motorway. There are 80,000 cars on the M50 and the idea that the ring-road of the M50 would not be finished would cause chaos around Dublin.

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