Larne Lough: Preliminary hearing ahead of next year’s Appeal

Press release
Latest stage in legal challenge over damaging gas storage caverns
  Published:  15 Nov 2023    |      2 minute read
  • Friends of the Earth and No Gas Caverns have set up a crowd justice page here to provide vital financial support for the case 

Friends of the Earth and No Gas Caverns will be back in court on today (Wednesday 15 November) in the latest stage of their legal appeal against plans to construct seven large gas storage caverns underneath Larne Lough.

Wednesday’s preliminary hearing will consider the steps needed to progress the case ahead of the substantive hearing next year, where the court will hear detailed argument on the grounds of the appeal.

Friends of the Earth and No Gas Caverns lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal in October 2023, to continue their legal challenge against the Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs [DAERA] over plans for a controversial and destructive gas storage project under Larne Lough. The area, near Islandmagee, which is designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest, is where  key scenes from the Game of Thrones series were filmed. 

James Orr, Director of Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland, said:  

“The planet and its people don’t deserve to suffer from reckless and polluting developments in Larne Lough. That is why we will stand with the local community and do everything we can to protect our seas and our climate.  We are tired of Northern Ireland being a sacrifice zone for the polluters and nature wreckers fuelling the environment crisis.”

 Lisa Dobbie, of No Gas Caverns, said:  

“Our excellent legal team is back in court to defend nature and the environment from this damaging fossil fuel project and poor decision making by our government. Ordinary people are again going to extraordinary lengths to hold a government to account in a climate and biodiversity crisis alongside our amazing partner Friends of the Earth”.


Notes to editors:

1. The Friends of the Earth legal team consists of: Conor Fegan of Francis Taylor Building Chambers, Maria O’Loan of Tughans Solicitors and its own in-house legal specialists. 

  1. DAERA’s notice of Environmental Consent Decision can be found here 
  1. No Gas Caverns website 
  1. Friends of the Earth NI and No Gas Caverns press release ahead of the High Court of Northern Ireland hearing on 2 May 2023 - which contains details of the case - is here.  
  1. The Decision of Mr Justice Humphreys sitting in the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland can be found here

Friends of the Earth and No Gas Caverns press release about our appeal to the Court of Appeal can be found here