Book of Kells jams traffic in Dublin

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The Independent Online
IRELAND'S eighth-century Book of Kells should be moved from Trinity College in Dublin to try to ease 21st-century traffic congestion, Irish coach drivers said yesterday.

They said the ancient tome containing illustrated Latin text of the four gospels should be transferred to a new home in its native town of Kells, 40 miles from Dublin, in Co Meath.

The book, on display in a locked glass case in the library of Trinity College, is viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It was moved from Kells to Dublin during the Cromwellian invasion in the 17th century and later presented to the university. A copy is on display in Kells.

Joe Lavery, secretary of the Irish Coach Drivers' Association, said the Book of Kells was Dublin's biggest tourism attraction. Every day coaches clog the streets close to the city-centre university.

He said: "With more tourists coming to Dublin, particularly in the wake of the Northern Ireland peace deal, the situation will get completely out of hand."

Mr Lavery said the shortage of parking for coaches in Dublin added to congestion, and warned that coach drivers would stage a protest in Dublin early in the new year if plans were not made to relieve parking problems.