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Minister investigates Dublin tunnel

News

A MEMBER of the Irish Parliament has called for an independent supervisor to enforce the conditions set out in the Government's approval of a controversial tunnel under Dublin harbour.

The move by Richard Bruton followed claims by a Dublin residents' association, the Marino Development Action Group, that Dublin Corporation breached these conditions by failing to appoint an independent expert to investigate the site.

DA claimed the corporation planned to appoint an expert and then dictate where and how to carry out the work. This, it said, breached the first condition set by Environment Minister Noel Dempsey when he granted approval for the scheme - that an independent geological investigation be conducted on the £160M, 2.6km long tunnel.

MDAG spokesman Fintan Cassidy said the group planned to take direct action, including setting up barricades, to prevent plant access unless its demands were met. It also plans to put forward its own independent expert to oversee site investigation and prepare a full 'before and after' structural survey on houses within a 50m radius of site investigation boreholes.

However, engineers at the corporation insist they will abide by the conditions set out by the Government and have said they want to work with local residents on the project.

Project engineer Dr Gerald Bonner told NCE: 'The borehole locations have been selected to augment the previous borehole information both in the Marino area and along the northern extension of the tunnel. It is intended that the independent geologist would assess whether he considers that any additional boreholes are required.'

Bonner said structural surveys were not necessary because borehole drilling would not damage adjacent buildings and added that the corporation would carry out vibration monitoring to demonstrate that the drilling did not cause damage.

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