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A Blog About Human Rights
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Voltaire, international edition
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Legal Aid Board refusal to fund environmental NGO faces High Court challenge
Irish legal costs ‘prohibitively expensive’
The High Court will tomorrow [June 30] hear a two-day challenge to the Legal Aid Board’s refusal to provide legal aid to the environmental charity Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE].
The NGO sought the funding in April of 2018 to support its Judicial Review of the National Development Plan and the National Planning Framework. This case alleges that the Government of Ireland erred in law in failing to adequately fulfil its obligations under the Strategic Environmental Assessment and the Habitats Directive when approving the plans. read full story / add a comment
PLANNING BOARD QUESTIONS DURSEY ISLAND MASS TOURISM PROJECT
Not Satisfied Over Bird Protection on Remote Island
An Bord Pleanála has sought further information on the application by Cork County Council in partnership with Fáilte Ireland for a €10 million development on Dursey Island off the west Cork coast.
The 6.5 km long uninhabited island, currently accessed by a cable car with a capacity of 6 and return journey time of 20 minutes, is to be replaced by a state-of-the-art two-way cable car system capable of carrying up to 300 people each way every hour. The project includes an extensive Visitor Centre with restaurant, gift shop and glazed elevator on the mainland. read full story / add a comment
The Programme for Government produced by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party promises a lot that is encouraging, but on the issue of US military use of Shannon Airport - which the majority of Irish people oppose - it is disappointing. The change of government provided an opportunity to end Irish complicity in the ongoing cycles of war and occupation that have been responsible for the loss of millions of lives this century. The military industrial complex is also the single biggest polluter on the planet (see recent study from Brown University’s Costs of War project). The US. Department of Defense has a larger annual carbon footprint than most countries on earth, and with its global network of bases and logistics networks the US military is the single biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world outside of nation-states themselves.  read full story / add a comment
High Court to hear challenge against unsustainable fishing in Ireland and the EU
The Irish High Court today formally initiated a Judicial Review proceedings aimed at challenging the EU Regulation setting 2020 fishing quotas under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) because of its failure to meet a legally defined deadline of ending overfishing in all stocks by 2020.
A judge will be assigned on July 15th to hear the application for leave to apply for a Judicial Review from the environmental charity Friends of the Irish Environment. read full story / add a comment
Bord na Móna ‘Enforcement Holiday’ flies in the face of a High Court Judgment
Semi-state accused of declaring Brexit for 80,000 hectares
An ‘enforcement holiday’ currently being exercised by Bord na Mona to allow industrial harvesting to continue this year across its bogs ‘flies in the face of a High Court Judgment’, according to the environmental charity Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE]. read full story / add a comment
The following is a letter to Irish media outlets from our friend, anti-war activist Tarak Kauff. Tarak spent most of a year in Ireland as a result of his non-violent action to inspect a US military plane at Shannon Airport. read full story / add a comment
Amidst questions of upcoming G7 meeting dates and which countries are participating, G7 Finance Ministers met virtually about economic issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The G7 meeting focused on aid, debt and transparency issues affecting developing countries impacted by the coronavirus. read full story / add a comment
Councils must publish planning documents online within 5 days
Regulations impose time frame to ensure public access to planning applications
Local authorities are now obliged to put online planning applications within 5 days of their acceptance.
A Statutory Instrument published May 26, 2020 and signed by Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, requires that Local Authorities must ‘publish the application and all documentation accompanying the application on its internet website within five days’. read full story / add a comment
Bord na Mona warned over unauthorised peat extraction on Timahoe Bog, Co. Laois
Bord na Mona has received a second solicitor’s letter warning that ongoing continuing industrial peat extraction on its bogs is unauthorised. The new warning relates to land leased by Bord na Mona to a private operator on the semi-state body’s Timahoe Bog in County Laois. read full story / add a comment
EU Biomass Case Denied Access to The Courts
Applicants considering appeal to end burning forest wood as renewable and carbon neutral
In March 2019 applicants from six countries including the USA brought a claim stating that the EU’s 2018 Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) will devastate forests and increase greenhouse gas emissions by promoting burning forest wood as renewable and carbon neutral.
On 11 May 2020 the EU Court published an order that the applicants who have brought this case, including individuals and groups from Estonia, France, Ireland, Romania and Slovakia, do not have legal standing and that it will not therefore make a decision on whether or not the biomass provisions of RED II should be annulled. read full story / add a comment
Sellers of plants should warn public of dangers of contaminated garden matter with Australian Flat Worm
national / environment / press release Sunday May 03, 2020 22:40 by foie 1 comment (last - saturday may 09, 2020 01:09)
Invasive Australian flatworm reaches west Cork
Sellers of plants should warn public of dangers of contaminated garden matter
The invasive Australian flatworm has reached the Beara peninsula in west Cork. Flatworms from New Zealand were first recorded in Ireland in the 1960’s but the Australian flatworm was not recorded until 1981.
Flatworms are top-level predators of soil organisms. They eat earthworms and appear to have met no natural enemies of their own in Ireland. According to the National Biodiversity Centre, the implications of its indefinite spread for the drainage and fertility of our soil ‘pose a threat to Ireland’s biodiversity and economy’. Japanese knotweed and the zebra mussels are examples of invasive species now out of control in Ireland. read full story / add a comment
Pressure mounting on forming Government to reject plans for imported fracked gas terminals from 130 groups
national / environment / press release Friday May 01, 2020 11:30 by no to fracking gas 1 comment (last - wednesday july 15, 2020 09:55)
130 national and international groups have today written to all Irish Party leaders requesting them to remove support for fracked gas infrastructure in Ireland. The letter comes as negotiations for Government intensify and requests an explicit policy statement to be included in the next Programme for Government against the development of all new fossil fuel infrastructure in the form of LNG import terminals that could facilitate the entry of unconventional fracked gas into the Irish energy mix.
Two fracked gas terminals, or - LNG - terminals are currently proposed, in Shannon and Cork. The terminals would be developed as import hubs, allowing fracked gas into the European market from the USA where there is currently an oversupply of this controversial fuel. The terminals would play an important role in the shale gas supply chain, the market for which is currently very unstable. read full story / add a comment
On April 26th, the Dundrum Climate Vigil group celebrated one year of climate action since its first vigil took place on Main Street Dundrum on that date in 2019. read full story / add a comment
High Court to rule Friday on challenge to National Development Plan
‘Project Ireland 2040’ will lock-in fossil-fuel dependent infrastructure
The failure of the State to properly assess the impact of the National Development Plan and National Planning Framework (‘Project Ireland 2040’) and to fully examine the alternatives will be the subject of a High Court Judgment to be published electronically this Friday, 24 April, 2020.
Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE] was granted leave to challenge the Irish Government’s adoption of ‘Project Ireland 2040’ in May 2018. Mr. Justice Barr presided over four days of hearings beginning on 10 March, 2020. read full story / add a comment
Shannonwatch are appalled at the continuing use of Shannon Airport by US military troop carriers, despite the issuing of a stop movement order to the US military by US Defence Secretary Mark Esper on March 25th. This was intended to halt travel and movement abroad for up to 60 days in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. However, troop carriers have been landing at Shannon as recently as April 10th, 11th and 12th.
“We are astonished that in these times of national emergency, our leaders continue to permit the landing of foreign troops at Shannon Airport” said Shannonwatch spokesperson John Lannon. “Facilitating the movement of troops half way across the world to invade and occupy other countries is never good. But now more than ever it is absolutely unconscionable and unacceptable.” read full story / add a comment
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA Network, an interfaith religious group, is urging President Trump to lead the G20 on coronavirus global debt relief plans. read full story / add a comment
High Court refuses State’s request for Covid-19 adjournment in Shannon LNG Judicial Review
Administration of Justice Can Not ‘Grind To a Halt’
The High Court has issued a Judgment refusing the State’s application for a delay in hearing an environmental challenge to the inclusion of the €500 million Shannon LNG fracked gas terminal on the fourth EU Projects of Community Importance (PCI) list. Inclusion on this list makes a project eligible for up to 50% funding and requires ‘the most rapid treatment legally possible’. read full story / add a comment
Saudi Arabia chaired an emergency virtual G20 meeting for Presidents and Prime Minsters as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the global economy. read full story / add a comment
The International Monetary Fund asked G20 countries and other lending countries to stop collecting debt from poor countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. read full story / add a comment
On Monday the heads of the IMF and World Bank stated support for debt relief for very poor countries as the coronavirus spreads. African Finance Ministers called for suspension of debt payments to free up $44 billion to fight Covid-19. Ecuador's Congress also demanded its government stop paying debt. read full story / add a comment