Controversial motorway in Ireland is 90% complete





The controversial M3 motorway in Co Meath (Ireland), which has been the subject of several years of protests, is now almost 90 per cent complete, the National Roads Authority (NRA) has said. At almost 60km
of main motorway and a further 40km of link roads and interchanges,the it is one of the longest motorways under construction in Europe.

The M3 is not scheduled to open until July 2010. Work could still finish ahead of this scheduled date, but not before mid-spring next year, the NRA said.

Controversially, the route runs just over 2km from the Hill of Tara, and adjacent to the Lismullin national monument and the hill fort of Rath Lugh. Protesters have occupied these latter two sites, blocking the road's construction at various times in recent years, most memorably in March last year when conservationist Lisa Feeney shut herself inside a chamber at the bottom of a 33-foot tunnel at Rath Lugh for 60 hours. No protesters are currently blocking or picketing any part of the motorway, and Vincent Salafia of Tarawatch said that such action is unlikely to recur. "The frontline part of the campaign is pretty much over. There are people still protesting in the area, but not on the front line of the road. At this stage any protest on the road would be a largely symbolic gesture, but that doesn't mean the campaign is over."



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