Newgrange Ireland

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Archaeological Park
Letters to the Editor, The Irish Times, Wednesday, January 3, 1990

Sir, Last June the Office of Public Works gave a public presentation of a very generalised outline of their ideas for an archaeological park in the Boyne Valley. They quoted Glenveagh as a model for national parks. Glenveagh, by all accounts, is a wonderful place and all credit to the OPW ­ and to Mr McElhinney who donated it to the State.

However, neither it nor any other national park in the country can be compared with what they would like to do in Co Meath. In the case of all our other national parks the land was either sold voluntarily or donated to the State. Our land, 2,000 acres, is privately owned. In other words, OPW is proposing to make a park out of 2,000 acres of somebody else's land.

If this isn't high-handed enough they refuse to tell us what this park will mean for us who would have to live in it. They presented their latest ideas on the proposed park to the county council in mid-December as "an act of courtesy to the county council"! They have spoken to local radio. In mid-November we last asked the Minister to meet us. He has not replied nor have we had any reply to our phone calls. The OPW has been negotiating with landowners. They have never consulted us ­ as an act of courtesy or otherwise.

The OPW has applied to the EC for £6 million. The proposed park has been heralded as a "Flagship Project" by the Government. It expects the EC to hand over £6 million in order that it may destroy the rural character of our area, sterilise normal agricultural and commercial activity and ride rough-shod over our constitutional rights. Does the EC contribute funds to projects which conflict with the ethos of the community and are in direct contravention of its regulations?

The OPW has done no market research, they have, so far, been unable to acquire a site for their essential visitor centre and they are unable to produce a plan. If it was your money would you give the £6 million? ­ Yours, etc.,

SALLY DOWNEY,
Broe,
Newgrange
Slane
Co Meath


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Boyne Valley Private Day Tours

Boyne Valley Tours Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour: Newgrange World Heritage site, 10th century High Crosses at Monasterboice, Hill of Tara the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, Bective Abbey and Trim Castle the largest Norman castle in Ireland  More ...