With over half a million people expected to attend the Fleadh Cheoil in Drogheda next month, calls to have the tolls on the slip roads and motorway to be suspended have intensified.
With many of the visitors expected to be staying in Meath and particularly the east of the county, there have been pleas to suspend the tolls to avoid long tailbacks on the motorway and slipways.
However, Transport Minister Shane Ross has said the proposal would set a precedent for other events near a toll.
Cllr Eimear Ferguson has called for the removal of all of the tolls on the M1 for the duration of the Fleadh.
“I actually think they should be suspended for good. Drogheda is the only town in Ireland, where you have to pay a toll to get into it.”
She pointed out that during the Fleadh, there will be people travelling into Drogheda from the east Meath direction every day.
“As it is people try to avoid the tolls, which is why there are 24,000 vehicles passing through Julianstown every day.
“There are days at rush hour where you can be in tailbacks in Julianstown for 45 minutes,” she said.
Cllr Sharon Keogan said she would be writing to Minister Shane Ross.
“The fleadh will be a big boost to the east Meath area. A lot of people will be staying here in Meath.
“We are the most tolled county in Ireland with five tolls.”
Meath County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Tom Kelly said if it would contribute to the success of the Fleadh he would very much support suspending the tolls.
Minister Ross has refused a request from Sinn Féin transport spokeswoman Imelda Munster, that the slip road tolls would be suspended for the week-long festival in
He said it would cost between €115,000 and €130,000 and any loss of toll revenue would have to be paid by the Exchequer to the road toll company.