Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has welcomed the High Court’s decision to rule against objections by An Taisce opposing Glanbia’s new cheese manufacturing plant in Bellview, Co. Kilkenny.

“This is a victory for common sense. Crucially it will come as a major relief to dairy farmers across Munster and South Leinster.

“Fundamentally, the High Court ruled that An Taisce’s issues with government policy should not be dealt with through the planning system. This is something I have said all along. The Government, working with the Oireachtas, sets government policy.

“If An Taisce’s objections had been allowed to stand, a serious crisis would have emerged in the dairy sector in Ireland. Hundreds of farmers have invested to increase their production capacity to meet the requirements of this new plant.

“Hopefully Glanbia can now move ahead with their plans for the facility, and working with local dairy farmers, ensure the facility is up and running as quickly as possible.

“I would also call on Glanbia to announce that the potential production caps, previously mooted, would now be taken off the table. Dairy farmers need to hear this news quickly,” concluded Kelleher.