Taoiseach intervenes in battle over €140m Kilkenny cheese plant
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has called on An Taisce to drop its latest appeal against the planned new €140 million Glanbia cheese manufacturing facility in county Kilkenny.
Addressing the Dáil, Mr Martin made it clear he was unhappy with An Taisce’s decision to appeal the High Courts decision to dismiss their case against An Bord Pleanála.
The Taoiseach said: “That project is of immense economic importance to the region, but also to the dairy industry and to the expansion of the dairy industry.
“I would appeal that there would be no further appeals against this project now, given the fact that the courts have ruled very clearly in relation to it and that many, many jobs depend on it.
“We can’t all be absolutist in pursuit of our own objectives to the exclusion of the wellbeing of others in society. And I think the balance has been tipped in the wrong scale here now,” the Taoiseach added.
Last year the national planning authority granted Glanbia permission to proceed with their plans to build a European cheese manufacturing facility at Belview in the Port of Waterford.
An Taisce appealed this decision to the High Court late last year, but the case was dismissed last month.
Last week the State environmental body announced it plans to appeal the court ruling, a decision that could result in the huge project being dropped altogether, with the loss of significant local employment opportunities.
TDs and Senators from across the south east, along with farmers’ groups, have all urged An Taisce not to pursue its latest appeal.