Bord Pleanala Appeal
Note added on July 22nd 2004
The references in the e-mail below to "Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2002" are the result of the following sentence in a letter dated December 19th 2003 from Deputy Padraic McCormac TD: "I think this validity was given to him in the Waste Management Amendment Act 2002."
An Internet search carried out today suggests that there is no Waste Management Amendment Act 2002. Consequently, it is thought that Mr McCormac may have meant to write "Waste Management Amendment Act 2001". Assuming that is the case, all occurrences of the year "2002" in the e-mail below should be read as "2001".
Celtic Waste landfill-site at Kilconnell, County Galway, Ireland
Bord Pleanala references:
PL 07.205181 P.A.Reg.Ref: 02/3811
February 21st 2004
From: William Finnerty
To: Bord Pleanala
Cc: Margot Wallstrom (European Union Environment Commissioner) ; Prime Minister Bertie Ahern ; Minister for Justice (Mr. Michael McDowell) ; Martin Cullen T.D. (Republic of Ireland Minister for the Environment and Local Government) ; Deputy Trevor Sargent T.D. (Republic of Ireland Leader of The Green Party) ; CelticParty(Yahoo) ; New Inn Anti-Dump Chairman (Vincent Costello) ; Kilconnell Anti-Dump Group Secretary (Annette Gilchrist) ; Kilconnell Anti-Dump Internet Group ; New Inn AntiDump Internet Group ; Commission of the European Communities (Attn. Secretary-General) ; EU Chairman of the Committee on Petitions (Mr Nino Gemelli) ; Mr Gearoid Geraghty (Lawyer, Fair Murtagh, Ballinasloe) ; Self (Yahoo) ; Self (Eircom) ; Self (Hotmail)
Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2004 12:03 PM
Subject: Board Pleanala Appeal (for the attention of Ms Catherine Nolan)
For attention of:
Ms Catherine Nolan
64 Marlborough Street
Your reference: PL 07 205181 (Celtic Waste landfill site at Kilconnell, County Galway).
Dear Ms Nolan,
Following our telephone conversation of last Thursday, I would like to object (as an observer) to the Celtic Waste plan for Kilconnell.
Later today I will send a signed copy of this e-mail to you through the registered post, together with a cheque for €50 to cover the fee you mentioned.
I wish to object to the proposed Celtic Waste landfill site at Kilconnell on the following grounds:
1) Constitutionality of Waste Management Act 2002
As I mentioned to four local politicians at the end of an Anti-Dump Meeting in Kilconnell on December 8th 2003, I have long believed that Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2002 is in breach of Article 28A of the written Constitution of the Republic of Ireland. This is because of the fact that it completely removes all power from the democratically elected local government politicians regarding important local community matters connected with the location of huge rubbish dumps (e.g. those now planned for Kilconnell and New Inn), and instead places it entirely in the hands of UNELECTED County Council managers.
The following day (i.e. December 9th 2003) I sent backup letters through the registered post to the four politicians concerned (Deputy Callanan T.D., Deputy Connaughton T.D., Deputy McHugh T.D., and Counsellor Michael Mullins), and asked them, and their political colleagues, to have the constitutionality of Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2002 reviewed. To date, I have not received any reply at all from any of the four people in question.
Counsellor Michael Mullins told me (twice) on December 8th 2003 that he would write to President Mary McAleese about the matter: which, as President McAleese is the guardian of our Constitution, seemed very appropriate to me. For reasons unknown to me, and although she could easily have checked the matter with the Supreme Court (at no expense to herself) I believe, it appears to be the case that President McAleese refused to do so: even though an article in the Irish Times Newspaper dated July 11th 2001 clearly states: "An appeal was made in the Dail yesterday to the President, Mrs Mary McAleese, to refer the controversial Waste Management Bill to the Supreme Court. Nora Owen (FG, Dublin North) urged the President, " the third element of the Oireachtas", to ask the Supreme Court to test the constitutionality of the Bill". At an earlier period in time, Ms Nora Owen was (I understand) Minister for Justice in the Republic of Ireland.
I also e-mailed all of the Galway TDs regarding this matter on December 17th 2003. In response, I received an e-mail from Minister Eamon O'Cuiv T.D. dated December 23rd 2003 stating that as Article 28A (and the closely related Aarhus Convention Agreement) "comes under the remit" of Minister for Justice Michael McDowell T.D., he had forwarded my e-mail to him for "direct reply" to me. To date, I have heard nothing at all from Minister McDowell.
As I trust Board Pleanala will understand, the fact that the politicians concerned appear unable to answer me suggests that there really is something VERY seriously wrong regarding the constitutionality of Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2002.
Further details (including copies of the registered letter receipts to the 4 politicians referred to above) can be seen at Internet page location:
Please note that the problem with Article 28A of the Constitution has also been pointed out to the European Parliament (just over 2 years ago). This can be seen at:
2) Serious bribery allegation not being investigated
For a very considerable time now, there are allegations that (in the presence of TWO witnesses) the Chairman of the Kilconnell Anti-Dump Group was offered a bribe of €50,000 to help Celtic Waste implement their plans for their landfill site in Kilconnell. Though this matter has been raised in the Dail by Deputy Trevor Sargent T.D. (Leader of the Green Party), no attempt whatsoever (that I know of) has been made to investigate it.
I have also sent letters through the registered post to Prime Minister Ahern T.D. and Environment Minister Cullen T.D. on July 11th 2003 requesting that this bribery matter be investigated. To date, I have not received any reply from either Minister Ahern or Minister Cullen.
Further information, including copies of the registered letter receipts to Prime Minister Ahern and Minister Cullen, and an Internet link to the Deputy Sargent / Minister Cullen Dail debate can be found at the following Internet page location:
As I trust Bord Pleanala will understand, the fact that this bribery matter is not being investigated appears totally irresponsible to me; and, among other things, it leaves me feeling that I must be living in a "banana republic" of some kind.
3) Woodlawn House
During the summer of 2001 a group of local people from around the Woodlawn area of east County Galway held meetings (often informal) for the purpose of trying to find ways of co-operating with anybody who might be interested in restoring Woodlawn House - which has a very long, and a very interesting history that is closely connected with the Lord Ashtown title. The Lord Ashtown title is held by the Trench Family - who, apart from being huge landowners in Ireland at one time, are also closely associated with what many now regard as the most decisive battle in recorded Irish history: The Battle of Aughrim (1691).
Though the Friends Of Woodlawn House Group were doing very well with their efforts to have the property restored, in terms of attracting interest from property developers, they were forced to shelve their plans when word got out that Celtic Waste - with the help and support of Galway County Council please note - were planning to install a huge rubbish dump just a mile or so from the property. Further information (including photographs of the main Woodlawn House building) can be found at:
It may also be worth mentioning that Woodlawn House is situated just 100 yards or so from the Esker Riada - the "Great Road" ( "An Sli Mor") of ancient Ireland, and by far the most important of the "5 great roads" frequently referred to in the ancient histories of Ireland. Not surprisingly, the whole area close by is completely festooned with ancient monuments of many different kinds, from many different periods of history. For example, the world famous Turoe Stone is just about 4 miles to the west, and Kilconnell Friary is just a mile or two to the east. For further information on these three important heritage sites, please see:
Kilconnell Friary: http://homepage.tinet.ie/~williamfinnerty/Kilconnell_Meeting/Kilconnell_Friary_.htm
Please note also that if the Celtic Waste plan goes ahead, one side of the proposed rubbish dump will come very close to the Esker Riada ridge.
4) Rejected recycling proposal
Though few (if any) local people knew anything much about it until the first few weeks in January of this year, it appears that Galway County Council rejected (around July 2002) what seems to be an excellent plan for dealing with the County's waste. This proposal, which depended heavily on recycling, was made by a consortium of three companies lead by local businessman Mr. Tommy Roche (Roche Engineering Limited); and, it completely avoided the need for the two things most people wish to avoid: superdumps and incinerators.
Detailed information on this particular proposal can now be found at:
I had a lengthy discussion a few months ago with Mr Roche about this matter. Assuming I understood him correctly, the offer to Galway County Council set out at the above Internet address STILL stands. I would ask Bord Pleanala to please take very careful note of this point. I would also ask them to note that nobody I know (including Mr Roche) can come up with any GOOD reason why Galway County Council rejected this offer.
Though I can only guess at a reason for Galway County Council rejecting this "people and environment friendly" plan, I tend to think that it must be something to do with the fact that recycling is labour intensive (by comparison to throwing rubbish of all kinds into a landfill site in an "any-old-way-will-do" manner), and that the big financial profits associated with the Celtic Waste type of superdump landfill sites would be badly affected. (Though this is something Bord Pleanala might wish to verify for themselves, local reports in widespread circulation suggest that superdump operators such as Celtic Waste can make profits in the region of EUROS 500,000 per day from sites such as that proposed for Kilconnell - and all at the expense of the local communities of course.)
5) Shortcomings in the Republic of Ireland legislation
With due regard for the contents of section 4) above, I feel it is very inappropriate for the Republic of Ireland Government to be now RUSHING headlong ahead (in the way they seem to be) with such things as superdump projects when the EU Commission are clearly unhappy about what they see as "shortcomings in the Irish legislation governing EIAs (Environment Impact Assessments)."
Another of the several problems bothering the EU Commission at present involves the way citizens are charged for submitting information of the kind I am submitting in this letter: which, when lost earnings are taken into account over the past five years or so, has already cost me hundreds of thousands of Euros to compile in forms such as these presented in this e-mail (and in several others contained in the two web sites listed at the end of this letter).
The following piece of text comes from the EU web page address provided just below: "The Commission has decided to make two referrals to the Court of Justice with regard to Ireland. One relates to Irish legislation requiring citizens to pay a fee of €20.00 (and €45.00 on appeal) if they want their opinions taken into consideration when an EIA is carried out. The cumulative amount can represent fifty percent of the weekly income of those on social security. In the Commission's view, charging citizens for submitting information makes it less likely that they will contribute to the environmental decision-making process and so works against the interests of the Directive. Ireland has not yet indicated any intention of withdrawing this fee-based system."
The full text of the July 22nd 2003 EU Press Release can be seen at:
For your convenience, and for future reference purposes, you may wish to note that I intend to place a copy of the text of this e-mail at the following Internet address (sometime within the coming day or so):
Mr William Finnerty
ENCLOSED (with printed copy of this e-mail letter):
Bank of Ireland cheque for €50 made out to Bord Pleanala.
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