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Judicial review sought

By: 
The Connaught Telegraph

An Taisce, the national trust of Ireland, is seeking a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála's approval for the final section of the Corrib gas pipeline. The environmental organisation's chairman Charles Stanley-Smith his members were very disappointed with the planning appeal board's decision.
"We consider that the implications of this decision go far beyond the Corrib gas pipeline and have major repercussions for the status of implementation of European Directives in Ireland. In this instance, An Taisce has concerns both in relation to Irish and European Law.

"We have decided to pursue a judicial review in relation to the ruling. The environment is without question our most important resource and is fundamental to indigenous industries in agri-food, tourism and the equine sector, which between them employ in and around 450,000 people."
An Taisce has been successful in pursuing a number of judicial reviews of decisions made by An Bord Pleanála.

Rossport-based Pobal Chill Chomáin has welcomed An Taisce's move.
A statement issued by the group explained: "We cannot but conclude that An Bord Pleanála has yet again made a decision on political and pragmatic grounds in order to facilitate this flawed project, as it did in 2004 behind closed doors.
"The piecemeal approach to consents which has characterised the Corrib project has permitted Shell, Statoil and Vermilion to advance the development incrementally so that at each stage a fait accompli is being presented.

"As with the 'too big to fail' approach to Anglo Irish Bank it appears that An Bord Pleanála has accepted the lie that it is 'too late to stop now'
"As is now clear to all, the Irish State has long been reckless in regards to the wellbeing of its citizens. In the case of Corrib the State has at all times put the interests of multi-national corporations above the safety of our community. The Corrib gas project has been disastrous from the outset.

"The wrong location for the refinery was selected and as a result no possible safe pipeline route exists. The consequences of failure remain the same for us and no conditions can be attached that will render this project safe.
In a related development, Labour Party president Michael D Higgins has called for further clarification from Minister for Justice Brendan Smith and the Garda Síochána on a mutual agreement with Britain which allowed an undercover British police officer to spend time in Ireland – including a visit to the Corrib gas protest in north Mayo.