Extending Ringsend plant 'of critical importance'


Works to extend capacity at the Ringsend waste-water treatment plant are urgent and “of critical importance” to the economic revival of Dublin and the State, Dublin City Council has told the Commercial Court in opposing a challenge by a residents’ group to the €270 million works.

The council also said the State had given undertakings to the European Commission concerning the date by which the Ringsend plant would comply with the urban waste water treatment works directive, and further delays could lead to fines.

Owen McManus, senior engineer with the council, said the existing Ringsend plant was built in 2003 to cater for a population of 1.64 million in the greater Dublin region, but was now trying to cope with average daily influent of 1.8 million. The planned extension would provide capacity for 2.1 million.

The court heard some works had begun and were urgent on grounds including time restrictions to address concerns over the feeding grounds of geese.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday granted an application by James Connolly SC, for the council, to fast-track the challenge by the Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association to the works.

The transfer application was consented to by all parties.

Two issues

The court will decide two preliminary issues before any full hearing. The council contends that (1), the residents group is not entitled to bring such an action and (2), the case should be struck out on grounds that when the residents group sought an interim injunction halting works last month, that some works had already begun.

Niall Handy, for the residents, said his clients had not been aware at the time they sought the interim order any works had actually begun.

The residents would also contend it was entitled to bring the judicial review proceedings, he outlined.