Supreme Court dismisses fishermans appeal.

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a fisherman against a government refusal to grant him a permit to land passengers on Skellig Michael Rock. Timothy Casey from West End, Portmagee had sought a declaration that the procedure employed in assessing his suitability for the permit was unfair, in breach of natural justice and invalid. The court heard that Skellig Michael is a particularly valuable site because it’s constructed almost entirely of dry stone. The unique nature of the site was recognized by UNESCO when in 1996 it was designated a World Heritage Site. In his application to the court Timothy Casey said the then Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands Sile De Valera operated an unfair policy in the allocation of landing permitsIn a statement of opposition the Minister disagreed saying the policy was appropriate in the contexts of preserving Skellig Michael and of protecting visitor safety. The Supreme Court yesterday ruled unanimously to dismiss Mr Casey`s appeal. Giving the judgment Mr Justice Murray said the then Minister had acted within the scope and ambit of her powers. In the 1970’s there were only four boat men making the trip to Skellig Michael with visitors. By 1995 the number of visitors to the island had increased to over 12 and a half thousand over 100 days.

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