The Judicial Review granted to FIE by the High Court challenging a windfarm near Donald Trump’s Doonbeg Golf Resort is to be fast-tracked in the Commercial Court.
FIE first successfully opposed the developer’s 45 turbine windfarm in the area in 2012 to protect the freshwater pearl mussel. As 31 turbines were subsequently permitted with a further 13 in the neighbourhood, this new application for 12 turbines had been refused by Clare County Council and refusal recommended by the Appeal Board’s Inspector to protect the fresh water pearl mussel but granted nonetheless by the Board itself.
This is a species in severe decline and, in many cases, unable to reproduce because of poor water quality. As the mussel lives in fast-flowing rivers, the tiny juvenile mussels have to burrow into the river bed to prevent being washed to sea. With the increase in nutrients and sediment entering rivers, the gravels into which they burrow become clogged with silt, algae and rooted-plants, so the young mussels can no longer survive. In many Irish rivers, pollution has become so severe that the adults are also dying, starved of oxygen and food.