Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE] is celebrating its 20th anniversary fund raiser in the High Court which is currently hearing two Judicial Reviews brought by the non-Governmental Organisation. Established in 1997 as a  network of volunteers dedicated to assisting the introduction into Ireland of European environmental legislation and to assist local groups and individuals in environmental and planning issues, the group’s activities have covered a wide range of environmental issues at national and European levels.

Two cases are currently being heard in the High Court. One is  a challenge to a new runway at Dublin airport on the grounds of the failure of the local authority to meet the requirements of Ireland's climate legislation and the right our constitution offer for inter-generational protection.


The other case relates to the widespread uncontrolled industrial extraction of turf by large horticultural companies, Westlands and Bulrush. FIE commissioned a satellite survey of exposed Peatlands across Ireland from UC C in 2010 that revealed many thousands of hectares of raised bogs being exploited, A subsequent ground truthing exercise in 2011 by 21 local authorities under the direction of the DoE confirmed more than 40 sites of over 30 hectares, some of them in excess of 100 hectares largely by eight companies, none of which had licences or planning permission. All were previously unknown to any authorities.


The extraction of peat is not only a nature conservation issue, but impacts on drinking water quality and destroys our finest carbon sinks.


With less than €10,000 a year from the plastic bag tax and landfill levies (distributed by the Irish Environmental Network) and entirely voluntary activists, the group has taken on a wide range of challenges from defending slugs and snails through fish farms and quarries to Donald Trump’s 'other wall' at Doonbeg in County Clare, where they successfully protected a tiny snail after 5 days in the High Court in 2000.


‘We felt that it was only fitting that we note and celebrate the coincidence of FIE’s two concurrent court cases  with our 20th anniversary €20 fund raiser and take the opportunity to thank the solicitors and barristers who have given their time and skills pro bono for so many years.


‘While the huge costs of litigation are greatly mitigated by the generosity of the legal profession, we still have to find funds for  photocopying fees, court fees, transcripts, expenses for experts and all the associated cost that can run into thousands of euros which we cannot expect our lawyers to meet out of their own pockets.


‘We appeal to the public to support our work - and help ensure openness and transparency in the Governments treatment of the environment.’


The group is asking supporters to contribute €20 through its website







CONTACT: Tony Lowes 353 (0)87-2176316   or  353 (0) 27 74771

Editors Notes:

Friends of the Irish Environment is a network of environmentalists with legal and planning skills established in 1997 to ensure implementation of European environmental law and assist individual and groups with environmental issues. It is entirely voluntary and supported by the plastic bag levy and landfills charges through the Irish Environmental Network, individual grants, and public donations. Its accounts are available on its website. It is a member of the Irish Environmental Network and the European Environmental Bureau and a registered company in Ireland.






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