Email dated November 19th 2004 to Deputy Ciaran Cuffe TD

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From: "William Finnerty" <>
To: "Deputy Ciarán Cuffe TD" <>
CC: "Minister Dick Roche TD (Environment & Local Government)" <>, "Marian Harkin TD & MEP" <>, "New Inn Anti-Dump Chairman (Vincent Costello)" <>, "Kilconnell Anti-Dump Group Secretary (Annette Gilchrist)" <>, "Turoe Stone Preservation Society" <>, "An Taisce (Yahoo Discussion Group)" <>, "Ann Marie Kelly Discussion Group" <>, "CelticParty(Yahoo)" <>, "Green Party Ireland (Yahoo Group)" <>,, "Kilconnell Anti-Dump Internet Group" <>, "Nature Ireland" <>, "New Inn AntiDump Internet Group" <>, "Siobhan Nevin's Yahoo Group" <>, "Tara / Skreen Group" <>, "Woodlawn House Preservation Society" <>, "Gearoid Geraghty (Lawyer, Fair Murtagh, Ballinasloe)" <>, "Martin Egan (Principal Lawyer, Fair Murtagh Law Firm)" <>, "Law Society (Republic of Ireland)" <>, "Republic of Ireland Ombudsman (Ms Emily O'Reilly)" <>, "Stavros Dimas (EU Commissioner for Environment & Social Affairs)" <>, "Margot Wallstrom (Vice President of EU Commission)" <>, "Jose Manuel Barroso (President of EU Commission)" <>, "Kofi Annan (Secretary-General of the United Nations)" <>
Subject: Minister Roche's reply (re Aarhus Convention Agreement)
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 13:48:42 -0000

Dear Ciaran,
Thank you very much for asking the question regarding the Aarhus Convention Agreement - as you have related it to me on your web site at Internet location:
Unfortunately, the answer the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr Dick Roche TD) has given you appears extremely evasive to me. 
You did not ask Minister Roche about "RATIFICATION", and I did not wish you to ask him (or anyone else in the Government) about ratification.  The question which concerns me most at the present times relates directly and solely to Article 29, 5, 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland, which reads as follows: " Every international agreement to which the State becomes a party shall be laid before Dail Eireann. "
It looks to me as though Minister Roche has answered an entirely different question to the one you asked him; and evasiveness of this kind only serves to strengthen my already strong belief that, in regard to the Aarhus Convention Agreement signed by the Republic of Ireland in June 1998, the Government really has been violating Article 29, 5, 1 of the Constitution for several years now: and that it is continuing to do so on an ongoing basis.  
With due regard for the fact the State, i.e. The Republic of Ireland, can be sued for the wrongful acts of its public servants, and that there exists an  EXTANT  WARRANT  FOR  MY  ARREST  which very directly relates to Aarhus Convention Agreement type environmental issues - which I will shortly be asking Fair Murtagh (Law Firm) to finally and fully resolve on my behalf -  I am sending Minister Roche a copy of this e-mail so that he can correct me directly if he feels the extremely serious conclusion I have now reached (and expressed) in the paragraph immediately above is in any way incorrect.   Alternatively, I am entirely happy for Minister Roche to contact me indirectly through you (or through any other TD or Republic of Ireland MEP), should that be preferable to him.
I feel I should point out to all concerned that I myself have earlier raised the above matter directly with the then Minister for Environment Martin Cullen TD (and several other senior politicians) on June 25th 2004; and, that I have NOT received an answer from ANY of the people concerned.  (Further information on the Aarhus / Article 29 question I put to Minister Cullen on June 25 2004, can be seen at Internet location: ).
I feel I should point out to you as well that Ms Marian Harkin TD & MEP has recently sent a Written Question to the Minister for Foreign Affairs regarding the Aarhus Convention Agreement issue.  (For further information relating to this please see: )
For future reference purposes, it is my intention to place a copy of this e-mail at the following Internet address:
Yours sincerely,
William Finnerty.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ciarán Cuffe" <>
To: "'William Finnerty'" <>
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2004 4:56 PM
Subject: RE: OIREACHTAS MEMBERS COPY > Everything you need to know > Aarhus
Convention Agreement Update


You'll find the non-committal reply on my website at this link:

Text from link immediately above (copied on November 19th 2004):

17th November 2004EnvironmentAarhus Convention

Ciarán Cuffe To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government the reason the international Aarhus Convention Agreement signed
on 25 June 1998 has not yet been laid before Dáil Éireann as apparently
required under Article 29.5.1 of the Constitution.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche):
Ireland signed the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public
Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental
Matters on 25 June 1998.

Ireland's progress towards ratification of the Convention is closely aligned
with work at EU level. To date, the European Union has adopted two
Directives as part of its ratification process for the Convention. These
deal with Public Access to Environmental Information (2003/4/EC) and Public
Participation in Certain Environmental Decision-Making Procedures
(2003/35/EC). Work is continuing in my Department on the transposition into
Irish law of these two Directives. Transposition will be required by
February 2005 in the case of Directive 2003/4/EC and by June 2005 in the
case of Directive 2003/35/EC.

With regard to the Access to Justice Pillar of the Convention, recent
developments suggest that it is now less clear as to when and if work
undertaken at EU level in drafting a Directive to give effect to this Pillar
will be completed. Any such Directive would, in due course, be transposed
into national law but my Department is exploring other options to enable the
Convention to be ratified in the event that no Directive on the Access to
Justice Pillar will be agreed.

When the above work is completed, the instrument of ratification will be
submitted to Government and laid before the Oireachtas in accordance with
the requirements of the Constitution.

Ciarán Cuffe TD
Dún Laoghaire Green Party
Dáil Éireann, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
W 01 618 3082
F 01 618 4341

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Heritage Protection Efforts


The Århus Convention Agreement
 (3 Main Points)

The Århus Convention establishes a number of rights of the public (citizens and their associations) with regard to the environment. Public authorities (at national, regional or local level) are to contribute to allowing these rights to become effective. The Convention provides for:

  1. The right of everyone to receive environmental information that is held by public authorities (“access to environmental information”). This can include information on the state of the environment, but also on policies or measures taken, or on the state of human health and safety where this can be affected by the state of the environment. Citizens are entitled to obtain this information within one month of the request and without having to say why they require it. In addition, public authorities are obliged, under the Convention, to actively disseminate environmental information in their possession;

  2. The right to participate from an early stage in environmental decision-making. Arrangements are to be made by public authorities to enable citizens and environmental organisations to comment on, for example, proposals for projects affecting the environment, or plans and programmes relating to the environment, these comments to be taken into due account in decision-making, and information to be provided on the final decisions and the reasons for it (“public participation in environmental decision-making”);

  3. The right to challenge, in a court of law, public decisions that have been made without respecting the two aforementioned rights or environmental law in general (“access to justice”).

Above text taken from:


National Development Plan

"The NDP is the largest and most ambitious investment plan ever drawn up for Ireland. It involves an investment of over  EUR 52 billion  of Public, Private and EU funds (in 1999 prices) over the period 2000-2006. The Plan involves significant investment in health services, social housing, education, roads, public transport, rural development, industry, water and waste services, childcare and local development."

The above quote was taken from on October 23rd 2004.



Bunreacht na hEireann:
(Constitution of the Republic of Ireland)

Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe:

Text of EU Constitution Draft Treaty:

Text of Environment Section of EU Constitution Draft Treaty:



Checking and correcting unconstitutional legislation (Republic of Ireland):

Legislation and the role of the President of the Republic of Ireland:

Irish Legislation (BAILII):

 Irish Legal Information Initiative (IRLII):


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