Meath Chronicle, Saturday July 07 2007
Council chairman rounds on objectors - Killian tells protestors to "pack

their bags"
Joan Duignan
THE new chairman of Meath County Council launched a stinging attack on
anti-M3 motorway campaigners this week, accusing them of setting back
the economic development of the county by five years.
In a strongly-worded attack that sets the tone for his tenure at the
helm of the council, Colr Killian said the people of Meath had been
ignored by "M3 opposition activists who are not from Meath".
He said the motorway protesters must realise they live in a democracy,
that the voters of County Meath, who voted for the main political
parties in the recent general election, showed a clear preference that
the M3 proceeded along its planned route.
"This treacherous opposition by those who continuously oppose the M3
through the Tara-Skryne Valley must pack their bags and vanish into the
night and find another cause to occupy their lazy days," Colr Killian
"All councillors elected by the people of County Meath are proud and
sensitive to the history of our county. We show respect and concern for
our ancient history. Today, we operate in a county that continues to
grow in population, which requires services and additional
infrastructure as we reach a population of 214,000 by 2013," said the
new chairman.
The information on the M3 deliberately given to the world's media by
what he termed "misguided opportunists" had set the economic growth of
the county back by five years.
"The people of County Meath have been also been ignored by M3 opposition

activists who are not from Meath," he went on, adding that, as incoming
chairman, he was calling on those who opposed the M3 to stand aside and
let the works go ahead through the Tara-Skryne Valley.
"As this county develops its economic growth, with the best
infrastructure that supports its residents and its business, the
building of the M3 from Clonee to Kells is an essential part of that
development of this county and the future of its people," said the
Fianna Fail chairman.
In a further development in the M3 controversy, the Government last week
appointed one of the most
vocal archaeologists opposing the routing of the M3 through the
Tara-Skryne Valley to a special committee on the Lismullin national
monument excavations by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley.
Dr Conor Newman, of the Department of Archaeology in NUI Galway,
directed the Discovery Programme's Tara Survey and is widely recognised
as a leading expert on the archaeology of Tara and the 'royal' sites of
later prehistoric Ireland.
The committee has been set up as part of the recommendations in the
report of Dr Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum, which
Minister Gormley is to release this week.
"The National Monuments Service of my Department, the National Museum,
the National Roads Authority and Professor Gabriel Cooney of the School
of Archaeology, UCD are also represented on the committee," Mr Gormley
"The committee will advise on the conduct of the archaeological
investigations to be carried in relation to the monument," he added. "It
will also provide advice on the publication and dissemination of the
results of the excavations. The committee will continue to meet on a
regular basis over the course of the excavation of the monument," he
Meanwhile, the new council chairman outlined initiatives he means to
take during his term. In conjunction with Meath Tourism, he proposes to
have a Meath Tourism workshop for Meath tourism providers, to be held in
November at Fairyhouse Racecourse. This, he said, would let tourism
providers in Meath input their concerns and proposals for an improved
County Tourism Strategy.
One of the concerns voiced by the new chairman was that Meath had no dog
pound. "I wish for the relevant section of this council to pursue this
objective over the coming months with an evaluation and proposals for
such a pound by December this year," he said.
Colr Killian said his election was a great honour for Ratoath where he
lives with his wife Anne and family. He thanked the outgoing chairman,
Colr Jimmy Cudden, for his proficient, professional and exemplary manner
in the role during a particularly important period when the new County
Development Plan was adopted.




Comments and Replies

Further reading on Councillor Nick Killian, who his friends are and his
real record on the catastrophic planning nightmare that is Meath can be
found at... http://www.ireland.com/focus/commuter/3.html.....here is an
edited highlight:

"On the same day as the county council was voting through these
rezonings - November 6th, 2000 - Dunboyne was cut off from the outside
world, surrounded by floods on all sides, with many homes under a metre
of water. Some of the worst affected houses had been built in the
previous four years on the floodplain of the Castle River.

The six local councillors - Mary Bergin (FG), Oliver Brookes (FF), John
Fanning (FG), Brian Fitzgerald (Ind, ex-Labour), Nick Killian (FF), and
Conor Tormey (FF) - voted for and even sponsored most of the rezonings,
against the advice of Co Meath's professional planners, the wishes of
residents and the thrust of the Strategic Planning Guidelines.

It was not as if the councillors were ignorant. In November 1999, before
embarking on their rezoning spree, they were given a special
presentation on the significance of the SPGs by Niall Cussen, a senior
planner from the Department of the Environment, who also outlined their
obligations to "have regard to" these guidelines."

Letters to meath chronicle should be addressed to:



(Editor, Meath Chronicle)

Dear sir - I write as a Meath man in connection with your front page
headline last week concerning new Meath County Council chairman Nick
Killian. The councillor describes the objectors to the M3 at Tara as
outsiders and urges them to pack their bags and vanish. I have been up
there with them and can report that at least half are from the county.
If the councillor had the manners to meet with them he could have found
this out himself.

These Meath people have a real sense of historical values and know that
the Tara Skryne valley formed the main urban complex for Tara over a
period of almost 4,000 years, right up to the 11th century. Colr
Killian is only going to run the county for the next year and I hope
that he does not go down in history as the man who destroyed that much
history for the financial gain of a few. We are all here for only a
short moment in time and should not destroy what took thousands of
years to build. The structural and spiritual significance of these
sites should be established, not destroyed. Fair play to these young,
well-educated people and especially those from the county who are
standing up for our heritage. For Tara belongs not just to Meath, but
to the whole island.

Yours sincerely,

Shea Reynolds,

3 Limekiln Hall,




(Editor, Meath Chronicle)

Dear sir - The new chairman of Meath County Council, Colr Killian,
seems hell-bent on reinforcing stereotypes. If he feels that he can
dismiss people who genuinely care about the county’s heritage and
culture as being ‘treacherous’ and ‘lazy’, then others would be
justified in calling him a ‘gombeen’ politician, which is surely not
the case. Having followed the campaign to have the short stretch of
motorway in the Tara Skryne Valley re-routed, I have noted a broad
gathering of people involved, and many of these are highly educated,
extremely intelligent, and horror of horrors, some of them even live in

The Tara debate has been polarised like so many controversial issues
involving major infra-structural projects in the past. There needs to
be room for measured debate. Hopefully the new Minister for the
Environment and Local Government can supply some much needed calm.

However, before the new chairman of Meath County Council starts
accusing ‘blow-ins’ of trying to stymie Meath’s development, perhaps he
should look a little closer to home.

Had the County Council approved and built the bypasses to the problem
towns as was originally planned, and also accelerated the rail link to
Navan, then many commuters would not feel backed into a corner and
agreeing to a route many of them disagree with, according to the only
neutral poll I have seen to date.

To suggest, as Colr Killian does, that the recent election was an
endorsement of the route through the valley is disingenuous to say the
very least, and I can only assume he has a better grasp of how
democracy works in this country than he is letting on.

If the leaders of the council in Meath believe that the motorway will
be the panacea to all their ills, then it shows a dreadful myopia on
their part. Generations of poor (and corrupt) planning have led us to
this impasse whereby any county within an ass’s roar of Dublin is
sucked into its gravitational pull. The road will simply allow more and
more unchecked development further from the capital but still hoodwink
people into the trap of commuting for a living. Added to that there is
the gloomy prospect of watching the Blundelstown interchange turn into
another out-of-town mall-style commercial attraction. This is not good
for local Meath businesses in Navan though, nor will the Hill of Tara
remain as it has for thousands of years when a collection of warehouses
and industrial units creep up her slopes.

Finally it should be pointed out that most people don’t really have an
issue with the vast majority of road-building; even many of those ‘idle
traitors’ who are protesting, day and night in the lashing rain, don’t
really mind where the road goes, once it avoids the area around the
Hill of Tara. The same could be true of other issues such as
Carrickmines and Glen of the Downs. Roads are built all the time in
this country, of late, and it is only when the planners ignore the
advice of experts in areas such as the environment and archaeology that
projects run into trouble and protest erupts. I applaud the protest at
Lismullen and other sites. It shows that at least in some quarters the
very essence of democracy is alive. And by that I don’t mean the
rubber-stamping exercise of the NRA and an Bord Pleanala, and so-called
public consultation, nor the deeply cynical amendments to the Monuments
Act, but real democratic expression of thought.

Colr Killian suggests that all his council colleagues are ‘proud and
sensitive to the history of our county’. With the black marks of the M3
and developments overshadowing Trim Castle, and other issues, their
report card to date reads ‘must do better’. I’m afraid being custodians
of one of the country’s most heritage-rich landscapes means that you
must answer to more than a few conservative voters in your local
constituencies. When much of Meath’s heritage was created, the county
did not exist. Current and future members of the council would do well
to remember this.

I apologise, to finish. I only lived in Meath for about five years.
However, I am very familiar with the N3, and the bottleneck that exists
at Blanchardstown, where the real problems begin for commuters. What
they will make of double-tolling on a public road that will fill
private coffers is an issue I have avoided, as I have since packed my
own bags and returned to my native county of Kildare. I hope therefore,
that not being a tenth-generation Meath person doesn’t disqualify me
from making comment on the proposed desecration of one of Ireland’s
most important historical sites.


Declan Kenny,

Black Lodge,

Mill Lane,


Co Kildare.



(Editor, Meath Chronicle)

Dear sir - I wish to make a most considered and vehement reply to the
comments reported by you from Colr Killian in your edition of 7th July

I could scarcely believe my eyes when I read what he had to say about
Tara, the M3 and various organisations that are opposed to the
destruction of Tara and its environs. Many of these organisations are
locally led, but that is beside the point. While it is true that many
of the protesters, and by no means the majority, are not from Meath, I
would like to take issue with some of his ill-thought and ill-judged

Firstly, though Tara is in Meath, it is the birthright of all Irishmen
and women, from Malin Head to Waterford. How dare he imply that Tara is
nothing to do with the rest of the country! I am an Irishman born and
bred, and the destruction around Tara is my, and every Irish person’s
concern. Further to this point, the funding for this motorway comes
from public-private partnership, which means the Irish State has
contributed to the cost, and as such it goes beyond his regional remit
to say who can and cannot have an opinion on Tara.

He says that Meath shows respect and concern for our ancient history.
How does that equate with the destruction of the ancient burial grounds
of the Fianna? And other hugely significant sites in the Valley to the
east of Tara? I would venture that it shows a complete lack of respect
and concern.

I myself am not a ‘misguided opportunist’. I have worked on several
major infrastructure projects, including the M50 through Carrickmines,
and I resent his implication that I am some sort of crank with an axe
to grind.

If the truth be known, it is ignorance and callow greed that has led to
this stand-off, and anybody who colludes in the destruction of ancient
royal Tara should be ashamed of themselves, and that includes Colr
Killian. The simple solution of rerouting the M3 away from Tara would
end this issue.


Kevin O Faolain,

An Tulach Mhor,

Uibh Faile.



(Editor, Meath Chronicle)

Dear sir - I refer to Colr Killian’s recent remarks in relation to the
proposed M3, whereby he ‘launched a stinging attack on anti-M3 motorway
campaigners’, accusing them of ‘setting back the economic development
of the county by five years’.

I cannot help but think that the economy of the county would be in a
much healthier state if: the old railway line to Navan were re-opened
(now, not in 2015); the bypass around Dunshaughlin, approved in 1999,
had been built; a less contentious route between Dunshaughlin and Navan
had been chosen for the motorway; stringent conditions had been placed
on developers in relation to provision of public transport, hospitals,
schools, and amenities.

Perhaps Colr Killian should look to his own government’s and council’s
record when talking about the economy of the county, rather than laying
blame on people who are trying to protect our heritage and environment.


Tara Greally,


Garlow Cross,