"Ireland Warned of Failure to Implement EU Habitat Directive" - Whelan
Aontú representative for Slane and save the Boyne spokesperson sees precedent for referral to the European court of justice on the protection of the river Boyne .
Speaking today, Peter Whelan said "The European Commission has warned that Ireland could be referred to the European court of justice unless it takes action to halt the cutting of turf within special areas of conservation (SACs). This would be as a result of Ireland breaching the European directive to protect SACs . This is a very interesting precedent set by the European Commission in relation to the protection of Special areas of conservation (including rivers) "
Whelan continued "Dawn Meats were given permission by Meath county council to install a 7.2 km pipeline on public roads to the river Boyne , a special area of conservation (SAC) carrying treated effluent . The decision was appealed and is with An Bord Pleanala now for decision .There were over 400 submissions to Meath county council regarding this breach of the "The EU water framework directive (2000/60/EC). This directive requires all member states to protect and Improve water quality in all waters so that we achieve good ecological status by 2015 or at the latest by 2027 . It was given legal effect in Ireland by the European Commission (water policy) regulation 2003 S.I 1 Dec 2017 ."
"If an bord pleanala rules in favour of the applicant on this issue, I see the opportunity for us to bring this case to the European Court of Justice on the same grounds that the European Commission are referring to regarding the protection of SACs in Ireland. The Save The Boyne campaign has had many experts from different backgrounds including state bodies like Inland Fisheries Ireland make submissions and referrals to the European water framework directive. While I hope that the board of An Bord Pleanala will not allow this proposal to go ahead , I feel very strongly that we have a good case here to bring to Europe." Whelan concluded.