Skip to main content

Court to hear objection to Corrib gas pipeline

The High Court has said it will hear opposing arguments from the State and An Bord Pleanala before deciding whether to grant leave to An Taisce and two Co Mayo residents to bring judicial review actions aimed at quashing permission for the gas pipeline linked to the Corrib gas field. 

In separate proceedings, An Taisce, the heritage protection agency, and the local residents Monica Muller and Peter Sweetman, of Rossport South, Ballina, Co Mayo who own land 500m south of the proposed pipeline claim that the planning authorities decision is in breach of EU directives relating to the conservation of natural habitats.

They claim that the pipeline the subject of the planning permission traverses several areas of special interest in Co Mayo that are governed by a number of EU directives.

They have brought judicial review proceedings against the Bord, Ireland the Attorney General and the Minister for the Environment the applications aimed at overturn the board's decision of January 11 last to grant planning permission to Shell E&P to construct 8.3km of pipeline between the Corrib gas field and the gas terminal at Béal an Átha Bui, Co Mayo.

Shell E&P Ireland is a notice party to the proposed actions.

At the High Court on Monday both An Taise and Mr Sweetman and Ms Muller sought permission to bring challenges against the board's decision.

Today at Mr Justice Michael Peart said that the application for leave to bring the proceedings "ought to be done" on notice to both the defendants and the notice party.

Noting the large volume of papers in the case the Judge said that while there were substantial grounds were raised on which leave could be given on an ex-parte (one side only) basis he told the parties that he was of the opinion that the application "would benefit from submissions from the other side."

The Judge made the matter returnable to later this month.

In their action the applicants are seeking a number of orders and declarations from the court including that the board in its assessment of the application failed to carry out any appropriate assessment in relation to the impact of the development had on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.

They are also seeking declarations that the Bord failed to comply with the requirements of a number of EU Council Directive concerning ares of special environmental interest, and in particular failed to carry out an appropriate assessment of the project for the purposes of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

They are also seeking a stay, pending determination of proceedings, on commencement of works on the pipeline the subject of the board's decision.