Meath county councillors are to consult with archaeologists over what may lie under the proposed M3 motorway, which passes near the historic Hill of Tara and crosses 28 sites of potential archaeological importance. The council maintains that a contractor will be appointed by September 2005 with works starting by the end of the year.
Independent councillor, Brian Fitzgerald said the motorway should be built in phases to allow time for the archaeological research.
The National Roads Authority may have to lift the £150M Galway city outer bypass above a rare grass and avoid a potential 10 year delay. The National Parks and Wildlife Services has applied to the Department of the Environment to designate two stretches along the route as national heritage areas.
The Government has abandoned plans to introduce a 'carbon tax' saying the environmental benefits would not justify the rise in fuel costs to consumers, already hit by this year's rises in petrol prices.