European superhighway E01
European Superhighway E01, explores the road that runs along the east of Ireland from Larne in Northern Ireland to Rosslare Port in the south. The road has caused significant controversy and protests during its construction, especially from small rural communities most affected by its construction. The communities directly impacted by the road are perceived to be collateral damage rather than being perceived as essential destinations with cultures and communities to support.
In 1973 Ireland joined the European Union, along with the United Kingdom and Denmark. In a move that would later open doors for smaller nations to increase job creation and economic growth, Ireland became more appealing to multinational companies looking to set up European headquarters. At the turn of the century with EU funding, Ireland invested heavily in the development of its infrastructure, making much needed improvements to its’ roads and communications networks across the country.
However, the improvement in infrastructure comes at a significant cost, especially for small rural communities who are most affected by major roads cutting through farmlands, isolating small villages, producing noise and air pollution, and threatening the livelihoods. With Britain leaving the European Union, many of the lorry drivers carrying goods between Ireland and mainland Europe are attempting to avoid complications with British Customs by taking a new route between the Irish port of Rosslare and Dunkirk. The increased traffic on this route has led to plans for further ‘improvements’ and more disruption which will exacerbate the effects already felt by rural communities.