Galway Ring Road faces setback as judicial review proceedings begin

Friends of the Irish Environment has made a High Court challenge over the approval of the N6 Galway City Ring Road.

Judicial review proceedings began yesterday in the High Court when the NGO challenged An Bord Pleanála’s decision to approve the 18km ring road in December, citing environmental concerns.

The project is designed to alleviate traffic congestion entering Galway by stretching the existing N6 in the East to Barna in the West. 500 Landowners in total will be affected by the project.

The N6 Galway City Ring Road comes at a cost of €600m and 44 homes will need to be demolished to make way, of which many are occupied. A variety of species and habitats would also be disturbed.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Alan Cheevers has labeled the judicial review as a “disappointing development” that is against the people’s wishes, and he believes this will show in the next local elections ballots:

“It’s a very disappointing development, the majority of the residents in the city want this, the outer ring-road is vital to our economic development and alleviating traffic in the city.”

“I believe any political parties supporting this judicial review will get their answers as to how the residents of Galway feel in next elections.”

Galway Green Party Senator, Pauline O’Reilly said that the negative impacts of “emissions” and urban “sprawl” were not given proper consideration when the decision was made.

“I have huge concerns that An Bord Pleanála did not take into consideration the effects on emissions when coming to their decision.  They have obligations under the Climate Act and Climate Action Plan to do so and I welcome a transparent Judicial Review of the decision,” she said.

Following the launch of a judicial review, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on housing Eoin Ó Broin declined to “dip his toes in the controversy” of the Ring Road, but said, “We need to think about the integration of residential, transport and amenities in a much more integrated fashion.”

“We have to deal with traffic congestion in a way that’s environmentally sustainable, and I think it’s important that public transport comes in at the same time, or earlier than the other infrastructure.”

The N6 Galway City Ring Road is part of the Government’s National Development Plan between the years 2021 and 2030.

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