(see also EU
Commission Press Release &
On Friday last, 19 October, the
High Court granted permission to Ringaskiddy Residents Association
to bring a Motion for Discovery seeking an order to force the State
to produce papers sent from the EU Commission in June. This followed
a refusal by the State to produce the documents which are directly
relevant to the Ringaskiddy Incinerator Case against the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). The existence of these documents, which emerged
last week, has been confirmed by the European Commission.
This Motion for Discovery will be before the High Court on Tuesday
next, 23 October.
The Ringaskiddy Applicants asked the State to release all the relevant
documents exchanged between it and the European Commission following
the announcement last week that the Irish State would be before the
European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the grounds of non-compliance with
the EC Directive on Environmental Impact. The State refused.
The relevant documents are legal documents relating to the current
action being taken by Europe against the State, which refer to grounds
originally included in the Ringaskiddy Case. The Ringaskiddy Residents
offered to drop these grounds out of respect for a preceding Supreme
Court decision (Meath Case, May 2007). The State, despite being aware
for several months on an impending ECJ action, chose to keep this
knowledge secret, and responded by seeking legal costs against Ringaskiddy
A CHASE spokesperson said, “The State has obstructed the Ringaskiddy
Residents Case. Documents served by the Commission in June give a
final warning of impending ECJ action against the State. The key question
is whether it was deliberate obstruction - by keeping these documents
secret, or sheer incompetence where documents were just left sitting
on some Minister or Civil Servants desk. These documents must be produced
so that these questions can be answered.”
The High Court is scheduled to hear the Application for a Judicial
Review of the EPA licence on Wed 24 October.
For further information:
Mary Hurley, 0214831070 086 8162448
Linda FitzPatrick, 021 4374506 087 7410849
Summary of Events
• Originally, the overall
assessment of environmental impact was one of the legal grounds included
in the Case being brought by Ringaskiddy Residents Association against
• In May 2006, in another Case (Meath Incinerator), the Supreme
Court held that the assessment system was legally acceptable.
• Out of respect for the Supreme Court decision, Ringaskiddy
Residents offered to drop that ground from their Case.
• The State did not disclose the imminent ECJ Case of non-compliance
with the EC Directive on Environmental impact.
• Instead the State responded by seeking legal costs against
the Residents Association for dropping that part of the action.
• Documents served by the Commission in June give a final warning
of impending ECJ action against the State. Non compliance with the
EC Directive has been argued strongly by those opposed to the Ringaskiddy
incinerator at all stages of Planning and EPA licensing.
• Last week as a result of the Commission announcement the Ringaskiddy
Applicants immediately asked the State to release all the relevant
documents exchanged between it and the EU Commission.
• The State refused.
• The Commission confirmed that it served a final formal warning
letter on the State regarding an ECJ action as far back as last June.
• On Friday 19 October, the High Court granted permission to
bring a Motion of Discovery against the State.
• This hearing will take place on Tuesday 23 October.
• Leave for a Judicial Review of the EPA licence is scheduled
for Wed 24 October at the High Court.