The Ballinasloe Says No community group welcome their third High Court win. The group took legal action to prevent Galway County Council granting a permit to operate a wate transfer station in April 2021 at Poolboy, Ballinasloe. The group have succeeded in their recent case in the High Court in Dublin who have quashed the decision by Galway County Council on environmental grounds.
Chairperson Dr Vincent Parsons, consultant radiologist at Portiuncula Hospital stated
‘’This is now the third High Court Order preventing a Waste facility at this site in Ballinasloe. This is a clear message from the High Court yet again to Galway County Council.
There is significant risk to the environment; including adverse effects on the adjacent River Suck Callows and flood plains - home to several species of migratory and wintering birds. This is a special area of conservation - an SPA under EU law.
We ask Galway CC to take cognisance of these findings and High Court Orders, and refuse any application for a permit or extension or renewal of planning permission for this high risk waste facility in Poolboy. The people of Ballinasloe have been fighting this for years and it is time to bring this saga to an end.
“The original High Court Order from 1999 stipulates that the closed Poolboy Landfill in 2006 will be ’so rehabilitated to be designated as an open space/park/amenity area for the use of the community’’.
“We are aware of other landfills in Ireland which have been fully remediated in this timeframe, with landscaping, walkways, cycleways and youth activity facilities. Monies for this remediation was made available. We now ask Galway CC to proceed with the necessary works to fully rehabilitate this site as a community park and amenity area. This site is in close proximity to the proposed Galway to Dublin Cycleway.”
“I would like to thank the people of Ballinasloe and surrounding area, who, despite the difficulties presented by Covid, have supported this campaign, including fundraising. A special word of thanks to our local legal team and Barristers, especially Gearoid Geraghty and Solicitors who have meticulously guided us through the complexities of the High Court. Hopefully we will not have to go there again.’’
Co-founder & PRO, Senator Aisling Dolan stated
“This is a win for every single person who made a submission, signed petitions, helped us fundraise over the past 4 years.
“Thank you to our volunteers, clubs, schools, community groups, business community as well as all our public representatives. Ballinasloe Says No started in 2018 when we stood up to say No to hundreds of 10 ton, 15 ton and 30 tons trucks through the centre of town, past residential and urban areas, schools, playgrounds and Portiuncula University Hospital to access the site. How can this be smart planning? How does this keep children and families safe on our roads?
“As a community we were unaware of planning permission granted in 2016 and my brother Brian Dolan started the campaign. We fought against the first permit granted in 2018 all the way to the High Court. In 2019 our campaign led to the Council refusing the 2nd permit and now a win for our town at the High Court decision challenging the 3rd permit. Close to 3,000 families submitted objections to Galway County Council from 2018 even during a pandemic and severe lockdown.”
“We are a local community group fighting for the health and safety of families in this area and to ensure the protection of our environment. I would like to thank people who bravely joined our legal case as well as our outstanding legal team Geraghty & Co. solicitors with Ciarán Smyth and senior team of barristers Stephen Dodd SC, Christopher Hughes JC and Michael O’Donnell JC”
“Ballinasloe is now going to be a stop on the multi-million euro Galway to Dublin Cycleway project through this same area of the Grand Canal, River Suck Callows and unique boglands full of biodiversity in Poolboy, a treasure for generations to come.”
Galway County Councillor Dr Evelyn Parsons stated
“This welcome decision vindicates the people of Ballinasloe and shows the commitment of our group. I am currently working on the Ballinasloe Local Area Plan for our town and it’s clear this proposal is in contradiction to our goals and objectives. I'm also a member of Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) where I have raised environmental concerns on a number of occasions.
Throughout the Galway County Development Plan (CDP) process I’ve championed the guiding principle of Environmental Justice for ‘fair’ distribution of environmental benefits and burdens to enable communities such as ours equitable opportunities to prosper within the county in terms of environment, quality of life, health and future economic growth opportunities including attracting investment & sustainable tourism.”
Photo – Pre-Covid of the Ballinasloe Says No group.