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Environmental Law

The National Risk Assessment for 2014

The Taoiseach has published the Draft National Risk Assessment for 2014. The good news is that, by implication, there will be another in 2015 and that it is open for public comments until the 30th June. The bad news is that, in briefly harking back to the past, it fails to correctly describe what really happened. Then there’s the tone; the authors never question the possibility that they are not competent to write the Assessment. Presumably, they followed the nostrum […]

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Austerity

There are many varieties of austerity. There is the modest hope of Padraic Colum’s “Old woman of the roads” , thinking of the possible house she would be content to own: “I could be quiet there at night Beside the fire and by myself, Sure of a bed and loth to leave The ticking clock and the shining delph!” And then, there is the austerity and integrity of Fran Halsall in her book, “From Shore to Summit”. You get two things […]

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Irish Foreign Policy

It would be really nice and reassuring if we could know what Ireland’s foreign policy is on some important matters. Recently, I heard the minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on the radio; he asserted he was working very long hours and working hard. He said it was a privilege. I was immediately concerned. The assessment of his work is not his to make; it is ours. He should, instead have reported on the issues, not on his workload. With […]

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Scientists

This office will be attending the BT Young Scientist of the Year exhibition in the RDS. I can remember seeing the work of one of the early winners; he had constructed a (working) model of the human digestive system, in glass and chemicals. I was incompetent to judge the work because there was in those days a bias against biology. Biology was not real science. Consequently, I cannot say if the model had a colon or not. I believe it did […]

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Mistakes

What does it mean to make a mistake? To make a mistake is to be wrong. Luckily, there’s a book on that. I recommend that book; in fact it’s some time since I read it and it’s time to read it again. However, being wrong is not the subject of this post. There is a sub-set of being wrong; it is to be ignorant. So, the re-formulated question is; what does it mean to be ignorant? It means you are […]

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The Actio Popularis, Aarhus Convention and class actions in Ireland

Ireland currently has a limited form of class action. It is the “actio popularis”. It is not like the US form of class action; it is not of direct benefit to individual members of the public. They get the benefit when they are in the class that benefits from the judgment. They do not simply lodge their claim for compensation, say. The Irish courts have accepted “actio popularis” claims in only one such proceedings; Digital Rights Ireland Ltd. v The […]

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Bother your Aarhus?

A friend tells this writer that the Minister has authorized a seismic survey off the west coast of Ireland. The survey involves months of work. The work includes the creation of loud noises in pulses every fifteen seconds. This will go on for the duration of the survey.

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…and Finally Falling…

What happened, then, to those Bye Laws on the repeal of Section 54 of the Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878 in 1996?

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Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878 – Sect 54

This legislation clearly states that the snow is a nuisance. It is a public nuisance if it is on the public pavement. If it is not cleared off by the adjoining occupier, it is being maintained by him/her. Consequently the occupier is answerable for injury sustained by passersby who fall on the snow.

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The Waste Bin

What is of moment is this: we no longer care about traffic, that is, the private motor car. We have changed our viewpoint. We cheerfully squeeze it daily into a narrow traffic lane in Patrick Street. That’s not the only change. Dublin Corporation is now Dublin City Council: it hasn’t gone away and it is still an institution of vision.

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