Friends of the Irish Environment, Press Release, 12 Aug 2014: Welcome for Galway Council’s rejection of fish farm application



12 AUGUST 2014


Welcome for Galway Council’s rejection of fish farm application


Friends of the Irish Environment, who are seeking an injunction to remove Marine Harvest’s three kilometre pipe line extracting water from a lough in Connemarra, have welcomed the decision of the Council to reject Marine Harvest’s application to retain the works.


The Council ruled last month that the work required planning permission and was not exempt development. The Company then applied for permission to retain the illegal development.


FIE Director Tony Lowes welcomed the Council’s decision today.


‘This international company is not short of legal advice – it knew well from the outset that it needed planning permission for this work and that any retroactive planning permission would not be legally valid.


‘Marine Harvest tried to cash in on the ‘retention culture’ – developers who build first and ask afterwards – but those days are gone. The European Courts have made it quite clear that you must assess the impact of a project before you begin, not after it is done.’


‘The company’s claim that this was an emergency situation is arrant nonsense’, Mr. Lowes said. ‘Amobic gill disease is well known; the company’s own annual report from last year cites it as one of the causes of ‘Exceptional Mortality’ leading to recorded loses of  €6.57 million in its Irish operations. To pretend that they did not know that they would need fresh water to deal with any outbreak is simply sending the fool further.’


‘To take water from a lake used as a public water supply at no cost and without any permission when the public is to be required to pay for every litre is an insult to the Irish people.’


Mr. Lowes claimed that the state is ‘deeply complicity’ in the operation. ‘Údarás na Gaelteachta, the Regional Authority, established a company, Bradan Beo Teo. on 2 July 2012 to which a abandoned fish farm license was transferred. Thus, the State is the license holder and is legally liable for Marine Harvest’s actions. Marine Harvest itself has no legal presence in Ireland but operates through a number of companies ‘trading as’ Marine Harvest Ireland.




Tony Lowes 087 2176316



Council rejection letter


FIE Submission seeking rejection:





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