The High Court has ruled against objections to the controversial Dublin Mountain Visitors Centre at the Hellfire heritage site. There has been widespread opposition to the scale of the project both by local residents and environmental campaigners. One of the issues, in relation to the protection of birds, raised by the campaigning group is being referred by the High Court to the European Court of Justice. Gino Kenny TD (People Before Profit) and Cllr Madeleine Johansson both opposed the proposal and Gino made a presentation at the An Bord Pleanala oral hearing in 2019.
Gino Kenny TD commented: “I’m very disappointed to see the High Court’s ruling on this unnecessary visitors centre. I’m concerned about the impact the project will have on biodiversity in the area, and I think that the scale of this is out of proportion. I welcome that some issues are being referred to the European Court of Justice.” “The purpose of the development seems to be to bring in foreign tourists, without any regard for local residents and those living in the Dublin region who use the area for recreational purposes. In these uncertain times we need to spend our resources on the community, not on visitor centres for foreign tourists.”
Cllr Madeleine Johansson said: “I’m very concerned that a private operator will be brought in to manage the facility. Once again we see our public spaces being privatised. Our natural environment and heritage sites should not be open for profiteering by private companies. I will continue to argue within South Dublin County Council that this facility be managed by a public body, not a private company. “Some works are required in the area to safeguard the heritage site and improve facilities. The money that is to be spent on the centre could instead be used to upgrade the car park and provide necessary facilities like toilets which do not impact on the natural environment.”