Irish mussels producer fails in bid to bring European appeal

Company says financial losses caused by implementation of an EU regulation

The Killorglin-based company cultivates mussels in Castlemaine harbour.

The Killorglin-based company cultivates mussels in Castlemaine harbour.


A Co Kerry mussel producer has failed in its attempt to bring an appeal against a decision to the Grand Chambre full court of the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The court had denied an application from the Killorglin-based company, which cultivates mussels in Castlemaine harbour, to say that its financial losses were a violation of its right to property. The company said its losses had been caused by the implementation of an EU regulation.

O’Sullivan McCarthy Mussel Development Ltd v Ireland arose out of a decision by the Irish Government in 2008 temporarily to prohibit mussel seed fishing in the harbour where the company operates. The decision came after the EU’s Court of Justice found Ireland had failed to fulfil its obligations under two EU environmental directives. The company thus had no mature mussels to sell in 2010, causing a loss of profit.

The ECHR said in June that the protection of the environment and compliance with Ireland’s obligations under EU law were both legitimate objectives.

Ireland, the court said, had ensured a fair balance between the general interests of the community and the protection of individual rights. There had therefore been no violation of the company’s property rights.

The application to have the case heard by the full Grand Chambre was rejected by the court on Monday.