A High Court judge has refused an application by Friends of the Irish Environment (FOIE) to bring the chief executive of Roscommon County Council before the High Court for an alleged breach of an order over flood works at Lough Funshinagh.

FOIE had sought to bring the chief executive of Roscommon County Council before the High Court for the alleged breach of a High Court order which halted the flood relief works.

The response of the chief executive and the council to the application was that there has been no breach of the High Court’s order.

Counsel for the local authority said that in the event of the court finding that it had breached the order, contrary to its understanding of it, then it would “immediately take such steps as are necessary to comply with the order as properly interpreted”.

Scaled back works

Court documents show that the chief executive had made an order purporting to authorise emergency flood relief works at Lough Funshinagh.

“It should be explained that the emergency works now proposed are said to be significantly scaled back from the original proposal.

“The chief executive’s order purports to determine, inter alia, that the emergency works are not likely to have any significant effect on a European site, so that no application to An Bord Pleanála for approval under section 177AE of the Planning and Development Act 2000 is required.

“The chief executive’s order also purports to determine that the emergency works do not comprise a project in respect of which environmental impact assessment is required,” the documents said.

Judge Justice Garrett Simons refused to grant the order and said if FOIE wanted to challenge the decision, it would have to begin separate proceedings challenging the decision.


In August, the emergency flood works were halted following a court order which sought that a number of environmental studies be undertaken on the impact of the flood works.

Lough Funshinagh is a turlough and is a special area of conservation (SAC).

In October, the council resumed the relief works, which it said were necessary, appropriate and lawful to protect persons, property and the environment. Some 150ac of land, farmyards and a number of homes are flooded in the area.

IFA reaction

Roscommon Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) chair Jim O’Connor welcomed the decision by the High Court that a standing court order was not breached by Roscommon County Council when carrying out flood relief works at Lough Funshinagh.

“[The] IFA has carefully monitored this case and we welcome this decision. We must have no more delays to these flood relief works. Rising water levels have threatened many family homes, farmyards and access roads.

“This is an important step in reaching a permanent solution to the flooding at Lough Funshinagh and ensuring that local families and farms are protected.”