Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
   Home     About CHASE     Events     Quick Guide     Newsletters     Contact Us

  Press Releases

  Media Reports

  Letters to the Media

  Related News

  Questions & Answers
  Information in Depth
  Campaign History
  The Alternatives
  Photo Gallery
  Campaigns (Ireland)
  Campaigns (Internat)
  Zero Waste
  State/National Bodies
  International Bodies
  Other links
  Make a donation
  Send us an email
  Become a member

For immediate release                                                                               

September 24, 2004

Irish Government Guilty of Alarming Breaches in EU Waste Law
according to European Court Advocate-General

In a devastating indictment in the European Court yesterday (Luxemburg, 23 September) of the Irish Government’s neglect of the waste issue over several years, the Advocate General of the Court slammed the Irish authorities for  ‘persistent widespread and serious’ failure to comply with EU Waste Law, and recommended that the Court should declare Ireland to be in breach of no fewer than five separate Articles of the Waste Directive* and also in breach of Article 10 of the EC Treaty.

European Court Advocate-General Geelhoed rejected claims by Irish Government lawyers that these breaches were isolated incidents and that there was no evidence of actual environmental harm claims and in a strongly worded opinion said that “ there are sufficient grounds for establishing that Ireland has infringed the waste directive in a ‘general and structural manner”.

He recommended that the Court should declare that Ireland has infringed its obligations because, among other reasons, it has failed to “prevent the abandonment, dumping and uncontrolled disposal of waste, thereby endangering human health and causing environmental harm”.

A spokesperson for CHASE said “This is the first time any EU Member State has been criticised for breaching EU health and environment law in a ‘general and structural manner’. The Advocate General’s opinion is likely to prove devastating to the Government’s overall defence strategy in this landmark case.  His recommendation that Ireland should pay the legal costs of the case if followed by the Court would see a hefty legal bill for the Irish taxpayer.  The Irish Government has failed to obey and uphold a fundamental law which is supposed to protect public health and the environment, and must start to take its environmental obligations seriously.”

The EU Commission brought the case to the Court following complaints about breaches of EU waste law at twelve separate locations throughout the country, including Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Limerick, Carlow, Laois and Louth.  Both parties’ arguments were heard by the Court’s Grand Chamber (full Court panel) in July. 

*These articles require member states to take the necessary measures to ensure that waste is recovered or disposed of without endangering human health and without using processes or methods which could harm the environment. 

The full text of the Advocate General’s Opinion is on the European Court’s website

Click here to view Case Number C-494/01.

Click here for the list of articles breached.

----- ENDS ----

For further information contact:

Linda FitzPatrick, CHASE PRO   Tel: 021 4374506  Mobile: 087 7410849
Mary O’Leary, Chairperson, CHASE    Tel: 021 4811952  Mobile: 086 8177737



Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
(All content, logos, and images sourced from third parties are the copyright of the respective sources)