Singer and Glen of the Downs resident Mary Coughlan has threatened to stage a sit in over the proposed N11/M11 motorway upgrade, which would see a six lane motorway built near her home.
Coughlan emphasised that Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s plans to damage the forested area of Glen of the Downs would “go ahead over her dead body.”
Speaking to Extra.ie on Thursday, Coughlan said – “This is a protected area, it is impossible to get planning permission for even a shed up here .
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful place to live with lots of wildlife like badgers and hedgehogs running around. These plans will totally desecrate the area.’ Wicklow County Council and the National Roads Office want to build the new road in a bid to cut down traffic gridlock.
“Similar plans were proposed a few years ago and we stopped them then, we will do it again. If I have to go and do a sit in, I will,” said Coughlan.
Fia Caoimh , an architect who has spearheaded the campaign to stop the road proposals, understands the need for road upgrades due to the chaotic traffic, but seeks for the improvements to be carried out while maintaining the environmental beauty of the Glen of the Downs area.
“Ever since I first moved here, I felt very strongly that I should protect this area.
“We have only been working on this campaign for ten days and we already have 2,400 signatures and we’re expecting to get more than 3,000 in total.’ Mr Caoimh insisted he was not opposed to a motorway but claimed planners hadn’t properly accounted for the local wildlife and landscape.
“We understand the need for a motorway – the traffic is absolutely chaotic in the morning – but we are against the current plans because they go right through the top of the slopes.
“We’re asking to bring the highway further down so we can protect the landscape.’ Glen o’ the Downs is one of Ireland’s greatest beauty spots, boasting a 2km-long wooded glacial valley,” said Caoimh.
Wicklow County Council are hosting a meeting on Friday to discuss the plans and residents have until then to lodge their complaints.
Information on the proposed upgrades can be found at www.n11/M11.ie.