Residents battle explosives company.
Groups fighting plans to open an explosives
factory close to the Shannon Estuary are celebrating having won
the latest round in their legal battle.
Kildysart residents have been granted a High Court injunction that prevents the local authority from giving a hearing to Shannon Explosives Ltd. On their plan to open a factory in the area. By law, certain types of operation require not just planning, but must also undergo an assent hearing with the relevant local authority.
Objectors to the plan told Clare Co. Council that they did not have all the information they needed to present their case at such a hearing. They argued that the company could invoke their legal right not to disclose parts of the operation plan if that information could be considered a security risk.
The objectors, spearheaded by the Cáirde Chill an Díseart Teo. Tourism group, managed to have the hearing put off until they could go to the High Court with an action against the minister for Justice. The group is demanding that they be given details on how the company plan to operate.
Terence Corry, spokesman for the Cáirde group, said "We had lodged our case with the High Court, but the company also applied to have a court hearing in the meantime. "The County Council agreed, out of court, to let them have their hearing," he added.
The objectors immediately moved to have an injunction placed on the hearing in the meantime and they were successful in the High Court on Wednesday last.
"It is vital that we get technical information and details on the planned company operations. Otherwise we are going into the County Council hearing with one hand tied behind our backs. "We have to be given time to seek legal redress for a situation in which the company can use the law to deny us this information." Said Mr. Corry.
Mr. Bob Morhard, managing director of Shannon Explosives, dismissed the courts decision saying: "The court battle is not related to the safety or technology of the facility. It is focusing on small ridiculous points designed to delay the building of the factory." Mr. Morhard added that despite the injunction, he was confident the factory would go ahead.
The plan to open a factory on a 66-acre site in the area has met with strong local opposition. People living in Kildysart say the factory would damage local tourism as well as the price of property in the area and severely interfere with the lives of people living in the "buffer" safety zone around the factory. The company does not have to buy the land in this zone but locals say it will stop home and landowners extending their houses or farms.
Source: Bernie English. The Limerick Evening Echo.