Residents fail in bid to appeal rejection of Cork to Ringaskiddy motorway case

Locals lost legal challenge to An Bord Pleanála’s approval for a 14km long M28

Local residents who lost a legal challenge to An Bord Pleanála’s approval for a 14km long M28 motorway between Cork and Ringaskiddy have failed to get leave to appeal.

On Tuesday, the High Court’s Mr Justice Michael MacGrath refused the umbrella group representing local residents, the M28 Steering Group, leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal over his refusal of their challenge to the June 2018 planning approval.

The judge found the group had not met the criteria for an appeal as they had not raised points of law of exceptional public importance or shown an appeal was in the public interest.

He was also not satisfied the court ought to refer suggested questions to Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) for determination.


The suggested questions were based on the group’s continuing maintenance that the project under consideration is the road scheme and a disused quarry, the Raffeen quarry.

The court had found the project is the road scheme and acceding to the request for a reference would involve requesting the CJEU to consider an issue the High Court had concluded is not necessary for the determination of the issues in the case.

Last December, the judge said he was not convinced by the group’s arguments that the motorway project was not properly assessed by the board before it made its decision.

The group had claimed the board’s decision was flawed on grounds including the application for permission to construct the road was premature, incomplete and did not meet the requirements of domestic and European law.

It also argued the board failed to consider the whole project or the cumulative effects of the proposed development.

They claimed material to be used as part of the construction of the new road was to be extracted from the Raffeen quarry, located along the route.

The group claimed the quarry is important ecologically and home to an array of protected flora and fauna but no proper assessment of the impact of the proposed roadworks on the quarry was carried out.

In opposing the action, the board said the project was properly assessed before planning permission was granted.

Cork County Council, a notice party, also argued an appropriate assessment in respect of the proposed project had been carried out.