Fresh blow to Galway Outer BypassJune 29, 2012 - 7:15am
BY CIARAN TIERNEY
The ill-fated Galway City Outer Bypass project has been hit with a fresh delay this week with confirmation that an oral hearing by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been postponed by a further two months.
Galway County Council officials were contacted by the ECJ on Wednesday with notice that the hearing has been put back from July 5 to September 12 next due to a backlog in cases being heard by Europe’s highest court.
The bypass issue was submitted to the ECJ by Ireland’s Supreme Court, following claims that the proposed motorway from Barna to Doughiska would affect Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) along the proposed route.
A Council spokesman confirmed to the Galway City Tribune yesterday that the hearing has been deferred until September 12. It was originally hoped to begin proceedings next Thursday (July 5), before the ECJ takes its annual summer recess.
Galway West TD Brian Walsh (FG) has described the delay as “disappointing”, but insignificant given that initial design work dates to as far back as 1999.
“It is a small delay in the context of the overall project,” said Deputy Walsh. “I hope that the final judgement will be issued by the ECJ towards the end of the year.
The ECJ will decide on whether or not the proposed road, with a fifth bridge over the River Corrib, complies with EU Habitats Directives. In October 2010, the National Roads Authority (NRA) estimated that a staggering €14m had already been spent on the project.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.