In the High Court an environmental activist has been given leave to bring proceedings aimed at securing the re-routing of the proposed M3 motorway away from the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.

Vincent Salafia is challenging the directions given by the Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, regarding the treatment of 38 known archaeological sites along a stretch of the route near the historic hill. 

He is also claiming that certain provisions of the National Monuments Act are unconstitutional and are flawed because they fail to provide adequate protection for national monuments.

He states in an affidavit that he believes it is not necessary for the M3 motorway to breach the Tara complex in order to be completed on time and within budget.

Mr Salafia stated that it appeared to him that the minister decided he could not lawfully make directions which would result in the route of the M3 being altered and this view is incorrect.

He believes that the directions issued by the minister breached his statutory and constitutional duty and they failed to apply the constitutional obligation on the State to protect the heritage of Ireland.

Many of the constitutional issues raised by Mr Salafia will be determined by the Supreme Court in a judgement on 29 July, related to the controversial routing of the Southern Cross road at Carrickmines.