Compliance Insisted Upon by European Commission

Compliance Insisted Upon by European Commission

A recent communication from the EU Commission regarding Irelands non compliance with the C50-09 ruling of the EIA directive has given hope and a sense of vindication to residents on Lough Foyle who have campaigned to prevent effluent being pumped into the Estuary at the picturesque and traditional bathing beach at Glenburnie, Moville, Co. Donegal.

Mr Enda Craig ,spokesperson for the Save the Foyle campaign Group, this week received confirmation from the Commission that his assertions that Ireland was non compliant with their legal obligations led to an undertaking of compliance by the Irish Authorities. This follows on from a meeting between the Commission and the Dept of the Environment last November 17th in Dublin.
In this communication (please see full email attached) , Antoinette Long for the Commission states:

During that meeting, I Ireland undertook to make the necessary changes to ensure compliance with the EIA Directive (and the judgment in Case C-50) in the case of licensing and planning permission for waste water treatment plants. We are confident that the necessary amendments will be made.

Mr Craig commented “This is what we have argued from day one and finally we have got someone to listen to our concerns. Most of our local politicians rejected us, Donegal Co Council and An Bord Pleanala rejected us, the EPA rejected us, the High Court rejected us as did Irish Water and the the Irish Government. It’s a poor reflection on our country that its citizens must go to Brussels to access justice.”

“Now we have confirmation that Ireland was non compliant with very important legislation involving licensing and planning permission for waste water treatment plants. In particular for a case such as ours we have been seeking the protection of this and other EU legislation which was denied us in the lead up to and the granting of permission for the sewerage scheme.”

“This has implications for all major planning projects, particularly those that have potential to do serious damage to our environment. A discharge licence cannot just be tagged on at the end of a scheme that has already received planning permission. These schemes must not be split and must be assessed as one unit.”

“We in Save the Foyle have been down every road to highlight the idiotic decision of Donegal County Council to pump effluent into an enclosed Estuary when access to open sea is available. An executive decision by the Council went against the declared wishes of the elected members in 1990.”

See the following extract from the Meeting Minutes:

Minutes of a meeting held in 1990 regarding the Moville/Greencastle Sewerage Scheme

On the proposal of Cllr Keaveny, seconded by Cllr Mc Guinness, the following motion was considered by the Council :-

“That this Council reject any proposal to pump sewage or effluent from the propose Moville/Greencastle Sewerage Scheme into Lough Foyle and relocate the proposed treatment plant and outfall pipe at a more suitable location outside of the environs of the lough and inform the consulting engineers of this decision”.


Mr Craig added: “Ignoring this unanimous decision by the Council caused millions of euro to be spent on consultants proposing a scheme, an ultra expensive oral hearing, an appeal rejected by an Bord Pleanála (despite the opinion to refuse planning permission by the Boards Inspector on three seperate occasions).”

“Our community has had to stump up and support me in an expensive High Court Challenge which I believe failed to identify the requirements of C50/09 in a case of such environmental importance.”

“Irish Water should now be stood down in its plans to continue with procuring the scheme. In the communication from Antoinette Long the Commission states that they anticipate the scheme cannot progress until new legislation is in place.”

“That being the case, Irish Water throwing further good money after so much bad should not be an option. ”

“The responsibility for past 26 years of hell that this little community of Carnagarve has endured must be placed directly at the feet of Donegal County Council.”

“After having democratically and unilaterally selected the perfect location for the disposal of the properly treated effluent into the Wide Atlantic, North of Greencastle in 1990, they have spent (or rather wasted) millions manipulating the location to the beautiful beach at Carnagarve.”

See attached photos of Glenburnie Beach.

“These 26 years have been made even worse by the despicable treatment we have been subjected to by most of the agencies we have had to deal with. These agencies, whose function should be to inform and assist, have shown themselves incapable of transparency when it came to applying regulations.”

“Nothing less than a wide ranging investigation should be accepted into the incompetence that has left this community without an up and running plant for this past twenty years.”

A full history of our campaign and regular updates can be found on our web site:

Enda Craig
Spokesperson Community For A Clean Estuary CFCE
Moville, Co. Donegal.


Antoinette Long Email






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