An Taisce vindicative and arrogant anti-rural campaign completely reckless –McGrath
The bitter move by An Taisce this week, seeking leave to appeal the High court ruling means the organisation again cross the line and are abusing their status.The Leader of the Rural Independent Group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath stated: “We are shocked that An Taisce would now seek to appeal the high court ruling, dismissing their challenge, in respect of the Belview cheese plant, to the supreme court. The combined impact of An Taisce’s four consecutive challenges to this project has already resulted in a two year delay to the project.”“This again demonstrates a deeply rooted bias against rural development by this organisation. The fact that this body would continue with such a vindictive campaign, despite being funded by the taxpayer and designated as a powerful prescribed organisation under the planning laws raises serious questions about the use of public funds and the abuse of power.
“We are calling on the government to now intervene without delay. This organisation cannot be allowed o hold rural communities to ransom and potentially use public funds to frustrate, undermine and delay the planning process.”“We have been repeatedly calling on the government to undertake an independent financial review of An Taisce, to clarify how the annual taxpayer funding of up to €5million the organisation receives is being spent. It is also necessary to ensure that none of those funds are being used to pay for expensive legal challenges like this one.”“This organisation is blatantly abusing its position as a prescribed body under the planning laws. Therefore, we are also calling on the government to delist An Taisce as a prescribed body.”“In the event that the government will not act now and delist this organisation, then the Rural Independent Group will move a private members motion on this issue, at our earliest opportunity when the Dail resumes.”
“Rural communities are already under increasing pressures to survive, as the government prioritises job creation and economic development in our cities instead of rural areas. Thus, we cannot allow a government funded organisation to frustrate the system and endeavour to derail a major job boosting cheese production facility in the heart of rural Ireland.”“The Belview cheese plant project is crucial to the long-term sustainability of the Irish Dairy sector and to rural employment. It is critical to rural Ireland’s post-Covid recovery and is vital to the 4,500 farm families who supply milk to Glanbia. The government cannot now stand idly by and allow An Taisce to delay this project for another year or two,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.