Today’s development that the works at Lough Funshinagh must stop indefinitely has been described as a sad day for Ireland by independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

The elected representative for the Roscommon-Galway constituency said: “Today is a sad day for Ireland as a country, as it now seems our own national law stands for nothing.

“It is extremely disappointing that the imperative works at Lough Funshinagh to protect peoples’ homes and livelihoods have now been halted; without even the opportunity for the case to be heard.

“The reality of this situation is that Michael D Higgins signed the Habitats Directive which I and many others that were affected by it early on in communities where designations occurred warned of the consequences for Ireland.

“Not alone in the impact it could have on the remedial works referred to already, but in the construction of homes or roads, in forestry, in milling peat, in dealing with flooding or turloughs, in developing infrastructure such as ports or railways – which affects people from all walks of life around this country,

“Today’s development is a damning inditement of the Habitats Directive. One would now have to question the foresight of our current President when he signed in this directive in his previous role as a minister – he obviously didn’t consider the wide-ranging impact it would have.

“The consequences of what this is doing in Ireland is unbelievable.

“If the project at Lough Funshinagh has to now go jump through hoop after hoop with all of the red tape and environmental assessments, the project won’t be completed for three years. How many more homes will be flooded in the meantime,” he added.

Continuing, Fitzmaurice called for people to avoid getting involved in the blame game.

“People need to very clear on this. I have heard people blaming this one and that one; that will solve nothing. But it needs to be clarified that the National Parks and Wildlife Service had no hand, act or part to play in today’s case relating to Lough Funshinagh.”

The independent TD called for Irish people to make some tough decisions, adding that: “Ireland, as a country, needs to decide if we are going to keep swallowing these directives from Europe which are going to block prosperity, people living in certain areas or allowing people to be flooded out of their homes.

“Have we to start questioning our membership of the European Union?

“As legislators, are we wasting our time developing laws in this country if European directives overshadow them at every turn?

“Europe seems to have become a dictatorship, deciding how people will live their lives in this country.

“And I for one will not accept that Europe will be dictating to me how I live my life. Let people now decide. Ireland, as a country, needs to wake up and decide where it is going in this full European project,” he concluded.

For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565

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