FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT
11 AUGUST 2014
Injunction sought in High Court against fish farm
An injunction is being sought by the environmental group Friends of the Irish Environment in the High Court to require Marine Harvest to cease the extraction of water from a lough in Connemarra, to remove a three kilometre pipeline, and to restore the site to its natural condition.
The injunction, taken under Section 160 of the Planning and Development Act, comes after Galway County Council ruled that the development was unauthorised and required planning permission.
The group says that in spite of this the Council has taken no action while Marine Harvest has applied for retention of their pipeline. FIE says that this application is invalid, as retention can not be sought when a development requires assessment under European law.
‘Marine Harvest is gaming the system’, FIE Director Tony Lowes said. ‘We believe they have support from the highest levels and that neither the Council nor Irish water will take any action against this multinational, in spite of the threat to public water supplies in the area due to this extraction.
The group’s submission to the Council details how Údarás na Gaelteachta, the Regional Authority, established a company, Bradan Beo Teo. on 2 July 2012 to which a license was transferred. ‘Directly and indirectly’, Mr Lowes said ‘the State controls this operation’.
The water is required to treat amoebic gill disease, which last year contributed to the ‘Exceptional Mortality’ leading to the company recording loses of €6.57 million. The Irish operation is the only one of the multi national operations to lose money.
In the detailed submission to the Planning Authority seeking the rejection of the retention application, the group has quoted extensive research showing the environmental importance of the area. The group says that two salmon rivers enter this bay and that the sea bed at Ardmore Point hosts rare corals and anemones. It cites research by the Heritage Council and by the Parks and Wildlife Service that shows protected birds, vulnerable to the slightest disturbances, nest along the coastline.
‘Kilkieran Bay is one of two most valuable coastal sites in Ireland. It is madness to run pipelines across the area to support an industrial size fish farm’, Mr. Lowes said.
Tony Lowes 087 2176316
Submission on website:
Section 160 of the Planning and Development Act
160.—(1) Where an unauthorised development has been, is being or is likely to be carried out or continued, the High Court or the Circuit Court may, on the application of a planning authority or any other person, whether or not the person has an interest in the land, by order require any person to do or not to do, or to cease to do, as the case may be, anything that the Court considers necessary and specifies in the order to ensure, as appropriate, the following:
(a) that the unauthorised development is not carried out or continued;
(b) in so far as is practicable, that any land is restored to its condition prior to the commencement of any unauthorised development;