Yesterday the Save Bremore group officially launched their campaign to coincide with the Martin Brennan conference at Newgrange. The Save Bremore group hope to highlight the threat of major industrial development to the North County Dublin area near Balbriggan.
The Bremore-Gormonstown coastline is among the most beautiful and unspoiled areas of coast left on the north east side of Ireland. The wide open beaches provide a much needed amenity in the area and are home to many varied species of wildlife and migrating water fowl. These waters are also home to rare seal colonies. Along the coastal strip badgers, foxes and hares can be seen in abundance.
However, this idyllic landscape is under serious threat of being destroyed in order to make room for a massive $300 million deep water port and the associated infrastructure, pollution and industrial and suburban sprawl that this will bring. Drogheda Port Company has launched a process to have this port included under the Strategic Infrastructure Act and if successful they could use this Act to bypass much of our current environmental and heritage protection. This must not be allowed to happen.
Why Drogheda Port needs to expand has not been clarified. The ten state ports in Ireland are all under performing, all have spare capacity and all urgently need aid. Industrial production is in free fall, jobs are being lost and our economy may never again reach the heights obtained when this development was first planned. Experts tell us that the world of production will move to Asia and that a service and smart economy will survive here, yet the plans for this port proceed as though the opposite is true. This planned “all in one” gigantic port will rob Dublin city of its port, it will mean less employment and less chances for all the other struggling ports. It will centralize shipping into a narrow built up and deeply populated channel area bringing with it the dangers of spills, pollution and accidents. It makes no sense under any modern form of thought. The Save Bremore group call for an independent study based on the economic now, on the reality of the future, before a development is allowed which will again wreck our history, heritage and environment.
The heritage in question here consists of the Bremore Passage Tomb Complex- a National Monument, a series of several unclassified monuments in the Knocknagin townland as well as the mid 16th century Newhaven Bay.
As with Tara, the surrounding landscape consists of a rich archaeological heritage.
Eminent Archaeologist Prof George Eogan has stated that “Bremore may have been the first point of entry for the settlements of what is now known as Fingal/East Meath and the Boyne Valley area”.
According to Dr. Mark Clinton of An Taisce " the two cemetery complexes must be considered within the greater context of other passage tombs nearby at Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange", and also that " it would be more appropriate that the World Heritage site of Brú na Bóinne be extended to include the Bremore- Gormanstown complexes rather than Drogheda Port extended to include them. In terms of archaeological importance Bremore is comparable with Tara: Tara started with a passage tomb known as The Mound of the Hostages and developed over different periods: likewise the Bremore tombs would appear to be the start of Brú na Bóinne. The parallel is clear- no Mound of the Hostages no Tara: no Bremore no Newgrange"
Prof Cooney of UCD also had this to say; “ There is agreement across the archaeological community that if they were bulldozed it would be a national loss given the number of sites we know, the potential significance of them and the fact there's a complex of them”.
Joe Fenwick, Dept of Archaeology NUI Galway told the Save Bremore group that “In terms of archaeological importance the passage tomb cemetery at Bremore can be compared with The Mound of the Hostages; one of the earliest monuments to have been built on the Hill of Tara’
The Save Bremore group invite you to join our campaign .