- The Incoming NI GovernmentNI Executive, Department for Infrastructure
Save the Seamus Heaney Landscape
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The gentle rural Seamus Heaney landscape, inspiration to his nobel-prize winning literature, is under an unfathomable threat. Starting in October 2016 the NI government began construction of a £160million road building scheme which will see a dual carriageway built on top of an area of enormous cultural & global significance. Carrying 22,000 vehicles per day, the huge motorway construction stands to utterly annihilate the pastoral features and recurring placenames of Heaney's writing. It passes within 100m of the Heaney home, Mossbawn, setting for countless poems, and will permanently destroy the scenic landscape surrounding it. 'Anahorish', 'The Broagh', 'The Hillhead', 'Lagan's Road', 'The Sluggan', 'The Strand at Lough Beg' all feature prominently in his work and all stand to be permanently affected, altered or brutalised.
Further to this, the road will come within yards of the protected RAMSAR, SAC & ASSI site at wetlands in Lough Beg. This poses grave danger to many protected species and highlights the enormous Environmental implications of the development which have been systematically ignored by NI government.
Heaney called these plans 'a desecration' before he died, in an article to The Telegraph he suggested there would be 'international outcry if the habitat that inspired WB Yeats 'Swans at Coole' would be threatened' in the same manner.
There were other options available for his route, yet NI government have blindly proceeded to railroad through these plans in one of the most culturally and environmentally devastating acts of institutionalised vandalism - upon a piece of cultural heritage cherished globally. Please show your support and sign this petition and force the NI government to respond to an issue they are trying to sweep under the carpet before anyone notices.
'Edward Thomas on the Lagan's Road'
He's not in view but I can hear a step
On the grass-crowned road, the whip of daisy heads
On the toes of boots.
Behind the hedge
Eamon Murphy and Teresa Brennan -
Fully clothed, strong-arming each other -
Have sensed him and gone quiet. I keep on watching
As they rise and go.
And now the road is empty.
Nothing but air and light between their love-nest
And the bracken hillside where I lie alone.
Utter evening, as it was in the beginning,
Until the remembered come and go of lovers
Brings on his long-legged self on the Lagans Road -
Edward Thomas in his khaki tunic
Like one of the Evans brothers out of Leitrim,
Demobbed, 'not much changed', sandy moustached and freckled
From being, they said, with Monty in the desert.
· From District and Circle by Seamus Heaney,
- NI Executive, Department for Infrastructure
The Incoming NI Government
I express my outrage and disappointment at plans to permanently destroy the iconic Heaney landscape to facilitate the A6 dualling scheme. This is a matter of huge cultural and environmental significance, and I implore you to reconsider the proposed route before the damage is done.
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