The High Court today (Wednesday 1 May 2024) directed a second round of submissions, with a potential further hearing, on the substantive detail of the case being taken by An Taisce for a Judicial Review of the Government’s fifth Nitrates Action Programme (NAP). 

Clean water is of critical importance to Ireland and the Irish public. Water pollution impacts us all, our waterways are the commons we all share. This cannot be overstated, and we are obligated to do everything we can to protect and restore them. 

We acknowledge and welcome the rigour of the Court and of all the participants, as the outcome of these proceedings may have implications for how we mind our waters and protect them for the decades ahead. 

We will take some time to study the detail of the judgment but for context it is important to remember that right now: 

  • Nearly half of rivers and lakes and 2/3 of estuaries are polluted. 

  • Nitrate pollution is increasing in the south and southeast of the country. 

  • Agriculture is the biggest pressure on water quality. 

Without ambitious and correctly targeted action to protect our waterbodies, these trends won’t change.