High court gives quarry company two months to wind down

Shillelagh Quarries based ‘in area of exceptional public amenity’ and must cease work

Last October, Ms Justice Marie Baker said she would order the winding down of work by Shillelagh Quarries on a 3.27- hectare area of the 25-hectare site near Brittas, Co Dublin.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne (stock image).

Last October, Ms Justice Marie Baker said she would order the winding down of work by Shillelagh Quarries on a 3.27- hectare area of the 25-hectare site near Brittas, Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne (stock image).

 

A quarrying company has been given more time to wind down its operations “in an area of exceptional public amenity”, following a High Court order directing it to cease all works.

Last October, Ms Justice Marie Baker said she would order the winding down of work by Shillelagh Quarries on a 3.27- hectare area of the 25-hectare site near Brittas, Co Dublin, on the north-facing slope of the 465-metre Butter Mountain.

Two special areas of conservation are located nearby.

Michael McCoy, a member of the Dublin Mountain Conservation Group, and South Dublin County Council, sought orders for the cessation and remediation of works already carried out at the site. The company opposed their application.

Following the judge’s order, the company sought a stay on it for 12 months pending appeal. It was argued that cases before the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court could now be dealt with within a year or so and a 12- month stay on the cease works order was appropriate.

Ms Justice Baker said she believed a stay of two months was appropriate “to do justice to all parties”, to the environment and to give the company an opportunity to seek to regularise the planning status of what was now an unlawful development.

It would also give the firm an opportunity to give protective notice to its employees so they could seek work elsewhere or arrange their financial affairs.

In granting a shorter stay, Ms Justice Baker took the view the company had had, in effect, a much longer time than that to get its affairs in order.

The case started in 2013, was heard in April 2015, and even after she gave her decision last October, the matter had to be relisted for further argument arising out of an error in her judgment, later rectified.