The daily fines being applied against the State in relation to the Derrybrien wind farm in Co Galway are to cease, the European Commission has confirmed to the Department of Housing.

An EU investigation had found that the wind farm had been built without the proper environmental assessment.

The Department said it has received a response confirming that the Commission consider that, on foot of An Bord Pleanála’s decision of 4 February 2022 to refuse substitute consent, Ireland has taken all measures necessary to ensure compliance with the judgment.

Once the final instalment of daily fines is paid, Commission services will initiate an internal process to propose to the College of Commissioners to close this file.

This final instalment of daily fines covers the period 13 November 2021 to 4 February 2022. The final sum due to be paid is €1.245m.

Over €17m in fines has accrued to date.


The exact details in relation to the future of the site in terms of decommissioning and site restoration is a matter for Galway County Council and the owner of the site to address, the Department said, noting the planning enforcement role of the county council as the relevant planning authority.

On 16 March 2022, the ESB decided to cease operations at the Derrybrien wind farm permanently and it is understood that it is preparing to decommission the wind farm in line with regulatory and legal requirements.

Planning legislation specifies that a development that has been refused substitute consent is deemed to be an “unauthorised development” by primary legislation.

In 2003, during the wind farm’s construction, a landslide caused environmental damage to farmland, forestry, fish life and watercourse.