Protests at proposal to take down historic archway in constructing a tunnel as part of a by-pass road.

The 160 year old archway which was built as a gate lodge on the then Rockingham Estate, now Lough Key Forest Park stands close to the route of a new £20 million by-pass road.  

Local resident John Healy says the proposal for the arch to be dismantled has come out of the blue, 

We weren't told about it originally and now it's being foisted upon us, as much to say, take it or leave it, we were going to shift it anyway.

Boyle Town Commissioner David Carroll is also dismayed by the proposal,  

It's absolutely ridiculous to suggest that the archway should come down.

While Roscommon County Council admits that it is considering relocating the arch because it may be damaged by work being undertaken for the new road, County Manager Eddie Sheehy was keen to stress that no decision has yet been made, 

It's an important landmark of historical and architectural value, and we feel it should be protected and preserved.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 February 1996. The reporter is Jim Fahy.