There is an environmental win-win solution to the A6 upgrade

Looking from Aughrim Hill, which overlooks Lough Beg, in so-called Seamus Heaney country, Co Londonderry. This looks over where part of the new  A6 dual carriageway is to be built
Looking from Aughrim Hill, which overlooks Lough Beg, in so-called Seamus Heaney country, Co Londonderry. This looks over where part of the new A6 dual carriageway is to be built

On Tuesday, Chris Murphy an environmentalist, returns to court in Belfast to appeal the decision to proceed with routing the A6 through an environmentally sensitive area, home to Whooper Swans, Bewick Swans and Golden Plovers (Annex 1 SPA qualifying species).

It is also the location of Anahorish, the Brough Road, and many of the locations which inspired and shaped Seamus Heaney – the poet and the man.

Plan for how part of the upgraded A6 will look

Plan for how part of the upgraded A6 will look

The need to upgrade the road between Derry and Belfast is not in question.

It is much needed and it is long overdue.

While an alternative exists, which is to route the road through a brown field site of a disused aerodrome, isn’t that the right thing to do?

Wouldn’t that be win-win for all of us, and for the generations to come, so that the pristine landscape remains, the birds’ habitat is uncontested and road users get what they need?

Looking from Aughrim Hill, which overlooks Lough Beg, in so-called Seamus Heaney country, Co Londonderry, near where the new  A6 dual carriageway is to be built

Looking from Aughrim Hill, which overlooks Lough Beg, in so-called Seamus Heaney country, Co Londonderry, near where the new A6 dual carriageway is to be built

We have a collective responsibility both to future generations and the international community, for the land and the literature of this inspiring habitat.

Let’s do the right thing.

Maria McManus, Poet (and 150 others, below)

Dr. Mary Montague, Poet;

Aisling Cowan;

Daragh Carville, Playwright;

Jane Talbot, Author;

Sarah Clancy, Poet;

David Butler, Poet;

Sean Hardie, Screenwriter;

Louise Phillips, Author;

Catherine Dunne, Author;

Jess Traynor, Poet;

Mary O’Donnell, Poet;

Ian Duhig, Poet;

Jean O’Brien, Poet;

Mari Maxwell, Writer;

Moyra Donaldson, Poet;

Paul Butler;

Martin Johnsson;

Catherine McInerney, Poet;

Oonagh Thompson-Bradley;

Eileen Thompson;

Cathy McCullough;

Celia de Fréine, Poet;

Patricia Murray, Writer;

Catherine Gaston, Artist;

Rosie McGurran, Artist;

Ryan McManus;

Ronan McManus, Musician;

Sean Keenan;

Brigid O’Neill, Singer- Songwriter;

Paul Casey, Poet;

Breandán Clarke, Artist;

Wilma Kenny, Writer;

Chris Ledger, Artist;

Hanna Slattne, Dramaturg;

Gwenda Earley;

Vicky Blades, Actor;

Gráinne Woods;

George Szirtes Poet;

Christo James;

Louise Kennedy, Author;

Helen Sharp, Artist;

Nessa O’Mahony, Poet;

Bernarde Lynn, Artist;

Maggie Cronin, Actor;

Seamus McGrenaghan;

Therese Kieran Poet;

Maria Behan, Writer;

Ass. Prof. Fiorenzo Fantaccini (Irish Studies, University of Florence);

Victoria Patterson;

Shay Patterson-Byrne;

Eve Patterson-Byrne;

Shelley Tracey, Poet;

Dolores McManus;

Margaret O’Driscoll, Poet;

Helen Siri;

Betty Sweeney;

Silvia Penas Estaeves Musician;

Estevo Creus Andrade, Author;

Laura Cameron;

Marie Kenny;

Dr. Joanna McMinn;

Tony Hickland, Author & Poet;

Dave Lordan Poet;

Stephanie Conn, Poet;

David Atkinson, Poet;

Keith Payne, Poet;

Josh Schultz;

Nandi Jola, Poet;

Colm McGinn;

James Heaney;

Charo Lanao, Arts Facilitator;

Brian McManus;

Martina Brigitte Dunne;

Teresa McManus;

James McGrath;

Seamus Camplisson;

Katie Donovan, Poet;

Anthony Quinn, Author;

Olive Broderick, Poet;

Declan Meade, Editor & Publisher;

Michael Faulkner, Writer;

Jane Robb;

Claire Bradley;

Stephen Campbell;

Chelley McLear, Poet;

Mike Herron;

Rosie Cowan;

Garry McFeeter;

Karen J. McDonnell;

Kathryn Baird;

Rosie Graham;

Abigail McGibbon, Actress;

Clara Wilde;

Sharon Matthews;

Emmett McManus;

Jo McManus;

Marie-Therese Davis;

Angela Carr;

Joelle Gartner;

Alan Rotherham;

Mrs. Catherine Hatt;

Liadhan Charlton;

Jane Cohen;

Ruth Moody;

Teresa Kane;

Patricia Lúbeck;

Judith Lowens Thurley;

Karen McMinn;

Drea Hodgins;

James Harrold;

Derval Leahy;

Peter Butler;

Eileen Geoghan;

Clare Leftfield McWilliams;

Sara Camplisson;

Jim Johnston;

Anne Doughty;

Helen McDonnell;

Mairi McCurdy;

Djinn Gallagher;

Anthony Glavin, Writer;

Eunice Yeates;

Dawn Patterson;

Brian Howard;

Olive MacDonald;

Reggie Chamberlain-King;

Margaret Hickey;

Petey Burns;

Peter Adair;

Dr. Michael Scott Cardiologist (retired);

Sharon Dempsey, Writer;

Prof. Paul Jeffcut, writer;

Malcolm Kidd;

Maureen Hill, Poet;

Ray Givens, Poet;

Imelda Maguire, Poet;

Julie Williams-Nash;

Karen Mooney;

Emma Wallace;

Palas Athena;

Charlene Hurtubise;

Patricia Donald;

Jill Crawford, Actress/ Writer;

Jacqueline Podevin;

Karine Talec;

Loulou Tempest;

Clare McLaughlin;

Joan Hunter;

Heather McCraken;

Marie Mulholland