Fintan O'Toole: Compulsory purchase OK for Mayo farmer's land but State will not do the same for NMH

Twenty years ago, the State threw its full weight behind the coercion of small landowners

From left,   Micheál Ó Seighin, Willie Corduff, Philip McGrath, Brendan Philbin and  Vincent McGrath – the five Mayo farmers jailed  for refusing to give an undertaking not to obstruct the construction of the Corrib gas pipe line. Photograph: Alan Betson

From left, Micheál Ó Seighin, Willie Corduff, Philip McGrath, Brendan Philbin and Vincent McGrath – the five Mayo farmers jailed for refusing to give an undertaking not to obstruct the construction of the Corrib gas pipe line. Photograph: Alan Betson

In the conflict over the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH), the Government has effectively ruled out the compulsory acquisition of the land on which it is to be built. The State has not always been so timid.

Twenty years ago, on November 15th, 2001, the minister for the marine and natural resources, Fianna Fáil’s Frank Fahey, issued Statutory Instrument 517. It gave him the power to make compulsory acquisition orders (CAOs) for lands in the Erris peninsula in Co Mayo.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.