The Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, was to meet the Director of the National Museum, Dr Pat Wallace, today to discuss the controversial decision to route the M3 motorway close to the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.

Dr Wallace, who is known to have opposed the plan, has been invited to give evidence to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment.

Earlier this year, Dr Wallace was due to give his views on the M3 to the Oireachtas Environment Committee but was blocked by Arts Minister John O'Donoghue because he was providing advice to Government on the matter.

The Committee Chair, Fianna Fáil's Seán Haughey, was critical of the move at the time and, now that a decision has been taken on the M3, says he wants to hear from Dr Wallace ‘at the earliest opportunity’.

There will be keen interest in what Dr Wallace will say given that he has declined public comment to date but is known to have been opposed to the routing.

An Taisce has described the M3 plans as unjustifiable but the NRA says they are most welcome.