High Court permits Artane resident to pursue challenge over north Dublin bus corridor

Áine Kelly opposed to placement of 24-hour bus stop directly outside cottages with no front gardens

BusConnects aims to overhaul the Dublin bus system by creating 230km of dedicated bus lanes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The High Court has permitted an Artane resident to pursue her challenge to the approval of a BusConnects corridor due to run from Clongriffin to the city centre.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) had asked the court to refuse to grant “leave”, which would have stopped Áine Kelly’s case at the first opportunity.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys ruled on Wednesday that she had shown she has substantial grounds of challenge and, therefore, met the threshold for proceeding with aspects of her claim. However, she must amend her papers for better clarity.

Ms Kelly, a university lecturer, is opposed to the removal of two existing sheltered bus stops in the Malahide Road area and their replacement with one unprotected stop outside her home.


She is seeking an order quashing An Bord Pleanála’s decision to permit the 5.7km Clongriffin to city centre bus corridor, which is one of 12 proposed as part of the capital’s flagship bus project. It also includes 11.9km of cycling infrastructure.

She says she is a daily bus user and is in favour of BusConnects and the route.

However, she alleges there is insufficient footway (which is to be narrowed under the plan) to accommodate the 24-hour stop in front of cottages with no front gardens. She says residents would experience reduced enjoyment of their properties and greater antisocial behaviour.

The proposal will have a “disproportionate impact” on her right to privacy, to the dwelling and to personal safety.

The NTA, which is a notice party in Ms Kelly’s case against An Bord Pleanála, contested her application for leave of the court to proceed with her claim.

In his ruling on Wednesday, Mr Justice Humphreys said Ms Kelly demonstrated substantial grounds for claiming the route would have disproportionate effects on her property and other rights.

The judge said she did well to “get across the first line of defences” without legal representation against “teams of lawyers drawn from the leading ranks”, but her next hurdle is a “panorama of further procedural landmines”.

Her submissions were “very persuasive and well-delivered”, he said, but he wanted to draw her attention to the benefits of obtaining legal representation.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is High Court Reporter with The Irish Times