Business Irish

Saturday 16 December 2017

Dalkey oil drilling licence case struck out

Tim Healy

THE High Court today struck out proceedings over the granting of an oil and gas drilling licence for a site off the coast of Dalkey in Dublin.

It followed the surrendering last month of the licence by mining company Providence Resources plc because there was a transposition error in Ireland's implementation of an EU directive governing Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for projects like this one.

Providence had been awarded the foreshore licence in September 2012 by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government permitting it to carry out of a well site survey and the drilling of an exploration well in the Kish Bank Basin, about ten miles from Dalkey Island.

But the heritage body, An Taisce, launched a High Court bid to try to overturn the granting of the licence claiming the government had acted unlawfully by holding no EIA was required.

The proceedings were against both the Minister for the Environment and the Junior Minister at the Department Jan O'Sullivan TD, who was delegated the power to grant foreshore licences on behalf of the state.  Providence was a notice party to the proceedings.

After surrendering the licence, Providence said while it was frustrating that this situation had arisen and it would delay the project, it considered the move necessary to allow the Government make the necessary amendments to the relevant legislation and then a new application can be made.

Today, the president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told of the surrender of the licence and the An Taisce proceedings could be struck out.

The judge was also told the Ministers concerned intend to fully implement the relevant directive and transpose it into Irish law.

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