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The Friends of Ardee Bog Considering Further Legal Action

Residents worried about potential flooding from the planned Ardee bypass are devastated after the High Court dismissed the Judicial Review of the project.

The Friends of Ardee Bog have been actively campaigning against the proposed N52 bypass, which is set to run from Mandistown on the Ardee-Kells Road to north of Ardee town, crossing through the Mandistown and Cortown roads in north Meath, as well as the renowned Ardee Bog.

Campaigners are considering further legal action to prevent local homes from flooding and to protect the valuable ecological habitat, home to breeding curlews, lapwings, and other wildlife.

A resident from Cortown, Drumconrath, expressed his concerns: “The area where they are building the road is a flood basin. It is regularly flooded – sometimes it looks like a lake.We are in a valley along the Garrib River, which bursts its banks three to five times a year. If the bypass is built as planned, our homes are likely to flood. Ardee Bog is a heritage site with unique wildlife and vegetation. People come from far and wide in summer to hear the cuckoo, and we have curlews nesting here too.”

Residents are also concerned about increased traffic on quiet country roads from Hunterstown on the N2 outside Ardee to Mandistown, on the N52 where the proposed bypass will start. “It is madness. Traffic coming from Collon or Slane who want to bypass Ardee will use the quiet rural roads to get to Mandistown on the Kells Road to join the bypass there,” he added.

A spokesperson for Friends of Ardee Bog expressed deep disappointment with the decision and indicated that further legal action is being considered. “We are deeply concerned about the risk of exacerbated flooding due to the construction of the road foundation, which will act like a dam. Combined with increased rainfall from climate change, this puts family homes in greater peril. Who will compensate these people when their homes are flooded?”

The spokesperson highlighted the significant evidence of the endangered curlew breeding on Ardee Bog, as well as other wildlife such as barn owls, lapwing, hares, meadow pipits, snipes, redwings, and yellowhammers. “All this wildlife is protected under directives and wildlife laws and will be lost once a roadway is built and their habitat destroyed permanently.”

Cllr Michael Gallagher warned that the bypass, built on a floodplain, will cause significant flooding and disrupt local roads, turning them into cul-de-sacs. “It makes no sense. Traffic from Dublin will still have to go through Ardee or use the back roads to Mandistown, causing problems for people in those areas.”

Meanwhile, Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd and Ardee’s Cllr Dolores Minogue have warmly welcomed the dismissal of the judicial review. “This is great news and brings us one step closer to seeing the bypass becoming a reality,” O’Dowd said. “The bypass will improve road safety, reduce vehicular traffic in the town, provide better air quality, and allow for more active travel opportunities.”

Cllr Minogue added, “I’m over the moon with the court’s decision. This bypass will finally rid the town of unnecessary traffic and pollution, giving local traders a real boost.”



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