A Warning that even more lives will be lost in Slane village has been made following the decision by An Bord Pleanála this week to refuse permission for the construction of the long awaited bypass.
Local campaigners say there has been a serious failure to protect the Slane community and more unnecessary loss of life seems inevitable.
In its decision, the board said the proposed bypass was located in the Boyne Valley within the viewshed of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe and is of international importance.
" The Board considers that the proposed development would have a detrimental impact on the rural character, landscape setting, cultural amenity and archaeological heritage of the Brú na Bóinne archaeological complex, and would be contrary to the heritage protection provisions of the Development Plan."
John Ryle of Slane Bridge Action Group said he was shattered by the decision. "Life and death doesn't seem to matter any more," he said.
Niamh O'Broin of The Bypass Slane Campaign said they were shocked and dismayed by the decision.
"Twenty-two people have died on the roads of Slane so far, many others have suffered serious injury, while there have been countless, often unreported, lucky escapes. For over forty years our community has been convinced that the only solution to the serious road safety situation is a bypass of our village. Today our hopes of finally being freed from this intolerable situation have been completely destroyed with the decision of the Bord to refuse permission for the Slane bypass," she said.
Cllr Wayne Harding has described the decision to refuse planning permission for the Slane Bypass as a major blow for road safety in Slane village and the whole county of Meath. " This is devastating for the people of Slane and especially the many people who have consistantly campaigned for the bypass over the last twenty years.
"This decision leaves Slane village in a very dangerous state for years to come and I will be asking many questions on how it will be made safer on the back of this decision," he said.