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Tuesday 21 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# Environment
Inishowen residents take 24-year wastewater plant dispute to Europe
Plans to build a wastewater plant on the Foyle estuary have been opposed by Donegal locals since 1989.

RESIDENTS NEAR THE northern tip of Donegal have submitted a complaint to the European Commission in a dispute over a proposed wastewater treatment plant that has dragged on for 24 years.

The Community for a Clean Estuary claim that they have been denied access to justice following a High Court ruling last year which backed the approval by An Bord Pleanála of the scheme as planned by Donegal County Council.

The treatment plant on the Inishowen peninsula was first muted in 1989 when the scheme  envisaged a treatment plant that would discharge out into the estuary Lough Foyle in between Moyville and Greencastle.

This was opposed by local residents and a plan to move the plant five miles north of Greencastle so that the pipe discharged into the Atlantic was backed by councillors.

But in 1996 a decision was taken by the council to relocate the the plant back within the confines of the estuary and the dispute has continued ever since. An Bord Pleanála backed the council’s plan despite claims by community representative Enda Craig that an inspector from An Bord Pleanála had expressed concerns.

The community, represented by Craig, applied for a judicial review of this decision which was heard last year with the High Court finding in favour of An Bord Pleanála.

Craig told that the group were not able to afford an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“We could not appeal to the Supreme Court because of the cost of the local community, we had to forgo that possibility and accept the judgement,” he said.

But the community have now made a complaint to Europe which Craig says has been accepted by the EU Commission.

“25 years we’re fighting with the council and finally we have gone to Europe. We have sent in a complaint alleging that relevant EU legislation has been ignored,” he said

Read: Confusion reigns over ‘ownership’ of Lough Foyle >