Sinn Fein councillor Jack Murray had been advised by council officials that he couldn’t include the issue of a new sewage pipe proposal for Moville at next Tuesday’s meeting of the Inishowen Electoral Area.
However Cllr Murray has asked those officials to re-examine their decision.
The ongoing dispute over the waste water treatment plant and disposal pipe in Moville is now in the High Court as campaigners seek a judicial review of a decision to give it the go-ahead.
But the completely separate issue on the compulsory purchase of Dan McGuinness’s land on the peninsula has been banned from discussion at the Inishowen Electoral Area meeting next Tuesday.
Sinn Fein councillor Jack Murray has been warned that he cannot discuss the issue because he has been told it is sub judice – in other words prejudicial to the High Court case which is heard before a judge.
Today Cllr Murray told donegaldaily.com: “I have raised the controversial Waste Water Treatment Plant in Carnagarve and voiced my opposition to the council’s proposals at almost every Inishowen Electoral Area Committee meeting since I joined the council last year. I feel very strongly that this matter needs to be discussed.
“I have been in regular contact with the Community for a Clean Estuary group and after discussing recent developments with them, I made the request for the CPO in Carnagarve to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the IEAC.
“I was advised by council officials that this could not be done as they feel that the case should be treated as sub-judice. As I am not a lawyer, I spoke to Dan McGuinness who then sought legal advice on the matter and subsequently forwarded that advice to the council.
“I followed up on that email and again requested that the item was placed on the agenda.”
Mr McGuinness also claims the authorities are ignoring the fact that the foreshore of Lough Foyle is owned by the UK.
“The item specifically to be included on the agenda for next Tuesday’s Inishowen Electoral Area Committe meeting is ‘Greencastle/Moville Sewage Outfall compulsory purchase order,” Mr McGuinness.
“There were two separate applications made by Donegal County Council, one for the WWTP and separately, one for CPOs, ref 05XA0002, for the acquisition of lands needed.
“These were determined separately under their separate reference numbers. The WWTP approval was judicially reviewed on 6th October 2011. The CPO confirmed by on 12th August 2011, was not judicially reviewed and neither was it referred to in the pleadings supporting the Judicial Review Application. As things currently stand, the Compulsory Purchase Application is not under legal challenge.
“In these factual circumstances, Donegal County Council cannot apply the Sub Judice rule as it is clear that no element of that order is currently before the court.”
He has taken legal advice on what he claims is a denial of his democratic rights.
“I have spoken to my solicitor and his clear unambiguous view is that this item on the agenda CAN be discussed as it is not part of any ongoing court proceedings. It is not sub judice,” said Mr McGuinness.
He added: “Cllr Murray has been a constant supporter of me and local residents in our opposition to these plans.”
Meanwhile the UK claim on land on the Donegal side of Lough Foyle up to the high water mark remains a bitter part of the dispute.
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