"Gombeen" law    VERSUS     European Union law

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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 3:14 PM
Subject: "Gombeen law"   VERSUS   EU law
----- Original Message -----
From: "William Finnerty" <wfinnerty@eircom.net>                                                              
To: "Green Party (Ireland)" <greenireland@yahoogroups.com>; "Nature Ireland" <natureireland@yahoogroups.com>; "Tara / Skreen Group" <taraskreen@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 1:27 PM
Subject: [nature-irl] Fw: "Gombeen law"  VERSUS  EU law

----- Original Message -----
From: William Finnerty
To: <<<   The Turoe Celtic Society    >>>   <<< All details withheld >>>
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 1:14 PM
Subject:  "Gombeen law"   VERSUS   EU law

Dear X,

Thanks for the meeting-minutes information.

I truly hope the Turoe Celtic Society "Group-Petition" to the European Parliament goes ahead (if it has not already done so).  In my view the argument for having Fr Tom's archaeological work included for consideration in the Environment Impact Statement is very valid, and very powerful.

From what I have learned about such petitions, and though I have not seen it stated anywhere, the European Parliament always seems to refer to the EU Commission. This is good (I believe): because the "gombeen politics" of the village pump probably holds very little sway in the EU Commission I suspect.  Far more importantly, the EU Commission has all the legal powers they need (as far as I know) to enforce EU law, and to prevent Member States from breaking it. 

Like everything else in life I do believe that the "gombeen politics" has its own rightful place, and it probably always will.  One of the big problems in Ireland at present though (as I see it) is that political activities of the "gombeen" kind are still getting FAR too much attention from ordinary people - at a time when the "Internet Age" is already well established here.

I don't believe the "gombeen" politicians can help us significantly with problem situations such as those now associated with Turoe/Knocknadala (N6), and Tara/Skreen (M50):  EVEN if they wanted to. They can however do us enormous harm (I believe): if we were to pay too much attention to them - by falsely imagining (for example) that, at the end of the day, they have more power than the EU Commission.

Changing the subject, and as you may already know, Galway County Council granted Celtic Waste permission to locate their rubbish dump close to Woodlawn House (near New Inn) a few days ago: without ANY consultation whatsoever with local people. The news came too late for last week's local papers.  This week's papers are likely to be full of it I imagine.  I, for one, will be VERY interested to see if the newspapers in question include any mention at all of the Aarhus Convention principles which both the Republic of Ireland, and the EU, "signed" in favour of in 1998.

Any spare time I have in coming weeks is likely to be spent on issues connected with this added threat to the preservation of Woodlawn House.  Nevertheless, I hope to attend the Athenry meeting this coming Sunday if I can.

Best Wishes,



Sample of Petition to EU Parliament can be seen at:


Aarhus Convention information can be found at:


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  EU Directive 97/11/EC:


Please Note: Point 3, in Annex IV seems particularly important:

  "A description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the proposed project, including, in particular, population, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climatic factors, material assets, including the architectural and archaeological heritage, landscape and the inter-relationship between the above factors."


  Environmental Assessment 

"Environmental assessment is a procedure that ensures that the environmental implications of decisions are taken into account before the decisions are made."



  Information on petitioning the European Parliament 


Direct link to EU web site:

  Procedure for submitting a petition to the European Parliament 


  Sample of petition sent to the European Parliament on September 22nd 2003


The petition at the address below concerns the plan to put the new N6 Galway/Dublin Upgrade Road right through the middle of the Celtic "Iron Age" oppidium centred around Turoe & Knocknadala: which is thought to be the first to date to be identified in Ireland, and possibly the largest (by far) of all the 40 or so Celtic oppida yet found outside Ireland - in places like England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, and Hungry.



  The European Valetta Convention 


The Republic of Ireland ratified the European Valetta Convention  (European Treaty Series 143) on the Protection of Archaeological Heritage in 1997. Article 5, ii), b) seems particularly relevant to development projects such as roads: "the allocation of sufficient time and resources for an appropriate scientific study to be made of the site and for its findings to be published".



  Agenda 21 (United Nations) 


General information:

"Introducing the Aarhus Convention"
 (from the United Nations):

"It links environmental rights and human rights."
"It establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the involvement of all stakeholders."
"It links government accountability and environmental protection."
"It acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations."
"The subject of the Aarhus Convention goes to the heart of the relationship between people and governments."



  "Telling it like it is"  


This publication reviews progress in the Republic of Ireland during the first 10 years following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit Conference. Through the use of 34 stories it strongly suggests (on page 8) that: "In spite of millions of Euros in spending and international co-operation of a degree and depth never before seen, the agreements of Rio 92 have not translated into on-the-ground changes".



"Anyone can become angry - that is easy.  But, to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way: this is not easy."   Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.).  Quote from: "Nicomachean Ethics".

Aristotle  |  Nicomachean Ethics (350 B.C.)  |



Extract from Preamble:

    "Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice."  

Full Text:




  "Confucius say (on world order) ... "

  • "To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order;
  •   To put the nation in order, we must put the family in order;
  •   To put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life;
  •   And to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right."

(551-479 B.C.)  

  Confucius on: 
 |  War  |  Politicians  |  Problem Solving  |  Good Citizenship  | 



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