Dublin must do more to protect Irish birds

Ireland has fallen foul of the European authorities for failing to thoroughly map out environmentally sensitive areas which need legal protection.

The European Commission, in response to complaints concerning failure to comply with a number of obligations imposed by the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive, raised court proceedings against Ireland. The ECJ held that Ireland had failed to meet its obligations under the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive in that it failed:-

With respect to the Birds Directive :

• to classify, since 1981, in accordance with Article 4(1) and (2), all the most suitable territories for the species in Annex I to that directive, with some exceptions;

• to ensure that, since 1981, the provisions of Article 4(4) were applied to areas requiring classification as special protection areas (SPAs);

• to transpose and apply the requirements of Article 4(4) fully and correctly;

• to take all the measures necessary to comply with Article 10.

With respect to the Habitats Directive

• to take all the measures necessary to comply with Article 6(2) in respect of all SPAs and in respect of recreational use of all SPAs;

• to take all the measures necessary to comply: with Article 6(3) and (4) in respect of plans; with Article 6(3) in respect of authorisation of aquaculture programmes; and with Article 6(2) to (4) in respect of the drain maintenance works in the Glen Lough SPA.

Judgement: C-418/04 may be accessed via the website of the ECJ at www.curia.europa.eu

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