Maritime Area Planning Act 2021

Number 50 of 2021

MARITIME AREA PLANNING ACT 2021

REVISED

Updated to 14 May 2024

This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including the Employment (Collective Redundancies and Miscellaneous Provisions) and Companies (Amendment) Act 2024 (14/2024), enacted 9 May 2024, and all statutory instruments up to and including the Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (Commencement) Order 2024 (S.I. No. 208 of 2024), made 12 May 2024, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 50 of 2021


MARITIME AREA PLANNING ACT 2021

REVISED

Updated to 14 May 2024


CONTENTS

PART 1

Preliminary and General

Section

1. Short title, collective citations, construction and commencement

2. Interpretation - general

3. Application

4. Legal acts of European Union given effect to by this Act

5. Nearshore areas of CPAs

6. Marine planning policy statement

6A. Provision relating to first marine planning policy statement

7. Ministerial guidelines

8. Ministerial policy directives

9. Limitation on ministerial powers

10. Regulations, etc.

11. Expenses

12. Repeals and revocations

PART 2

Maritime Spatial Plans and Designated Maritime Area Plans

Chapter 1

Interpretation and application

13. Interpretation - Part 2

14. Application of Part 2, etc.

Chapter 2

Maritime spatial plans

15. Designation of competent authority for purposes of MSP Directive

16. Maritime spatial plans

17. Requirements of maritime spatial planning

18. Public participation on MSPs

19. Laying of MSPs before each House of Oireachtas

Chapter 3

Designated maritime area plans

20. Designation of public bodies who may make DMAPs

21. Proposals for DMAPs

22. Draft DMAPs, etc.

23. Public participation on DMAPs

24. Minister and draft DMAP

25. Laying of DMAPs before each House of Oireachtas

26. Reviews of DMAPs, etc.

Chapter 4

Laying of certain DMAPs before CPAs

27. Laying of certain DMAPs before CPAs

Chapter 5

Amendment of MSPs and DMAPs

28. Amendment of MSPs and DMAPs

Chapter 6

Competent authority (M) and DMAPs

29. Competent authority (M) may make DMAPs

Chapter 7

Public bodies and National Marine Planning Framework

30. Compliance by public bodies

31. Directions of Minister

32. Steps preliminary to deciding whether or not to issue direction under section 31

Chapter 8

Appropriate assessment and strategic environmental assessment

33. Appropriate assessment and strategic environmental assessment

Chapter 8A

Judicial review and MSPs and DMAPs

33A. Judicial review of matters relating to MSPs and DMAPs

33B. Provisions supplementary to section 33A

Chapter 9

Maritime Authorisation Database

34. Definitions - Chapter 9

35. Establishment of Maritime Authorisation Database

36. Data to which Database applies, etc.

37. Correction of Database

38. General power of Minister to obtain information relating to maritime area

39. Delegation by Minister to MARA

PART 3

Maritime Area Regulatory Authority

Chapter 1

Definitions and establishment day

40. Definitions - Part 3

41. Establishment day

Chapter 2

Establishment and functions of Maritime Area Regulatory Authority

42. Establishment of Maritime Area Regulatory Authority

43. Functions of MARA

44. Matters to which MARA shall have regard in performing functions

Chapter 3

Board of MARA

45. Establishment and membership of board of MARA

46. Casual vacancies

47. Functions of Board (M)

48. Membership of either House of Oireachtas or European Parliament, etc.

49. Removal of member of Board (M)

50. Potential conflicts of interest

51. Removal of all members of Board (M)

52. Meetings of Board (M)

53. Committees of Board (M)

54. Ineligibility of holders, etc., for appointment as member

55. Remuneration and expenses of members of Board (M) and committees

Chapter 4

Chief executive officer of MARA

56. Appointment of chief executive officer

57. Resignation, removal or disqualification of chief executive officer

58. Functions of chief executive officer

59. Delegation of functions

60. Accountability of chief executive officer to committees of Houses of Oireachtas

61. Appearance of chief executive officer before Committee of Public Accounts

62. Membership of either House of Oireachtas or European Parliament

63. Acting chief executive officer

Chapter 5

Staff of MARA and other resources available to MARA

64. Staff of MARA, etc.

Chapter 6

Co-operation

65. Provision for co-operation between MARA and public bodies

Chapter 7

Corporate strategy, accounts and annual reports of MARA

66. Corporate strategy of MARA

67. Accounts of MARA

68. Annual report of MARA

Chapter 8

Miscellaneous

69. Duty of MARA to give information

70. Disclosure of confidential information

71. Processing of personal data

72. Powers to specify form of document

73. Immunity from suit

PART 4

Maritime Area Consent

Chapter 1

Interpretation

74. Interpretation - Part 4

Chapter 2

When MAC is required, etc.

75. When MAC is required prior to seeking development permission, etc.

75A. When MAC is required after grant of certain development permission

76. When MAC is required but not development permission, etc.

76A. When MAC is not required

77. Application for declaration as to whether or not MAC is required, etc.

78. Fees for certain applications

Chapter 3

Grant or refusal of MAC and related matters

79. Application for grant of MAC

80. Criteria to which MARA shall have regard in determining MAC application

81. Grant or refusal of MAC

82. Conditions attached to MAC

83. Provisions supplementary to grant of MAC

84. Notification of grant or refusal of MAC, etc.

Chapter 4

Assignment or amendment of MAC

85. Assignment of MAC

86. Material amendment to MAC

87. Resolution of irreconciliation (if any) between MAC and planning permission

Chapter 5

Surrender of MAC

88. Surrender of MAC

89. Determination of application under section 88

Chapter 6

Certain persons who are not individuals may be declared fit and proper

90. MARA may declare person, etc., who is not individual to be fit and proper person

Chapter 7

Levies

91. Definition

92. Levy framework

93. Competitive process

94. When levy framework applies to MAC

Chapter 8

Rehabilitation of maritime area and emergency works

95. Definitions - Chapter 8

96. Obligations on holder of MAC in relation to rehabilitation of maritime area

97. Power of MARA to require holder of MAC to make application under section 86

98. Emergency works in maritime area

Chapter 9

Privately owned part of maritime area

99. Privately owned part of maritime area, etc.

Chapter 10

Special MAC cases

100. Definitions - Chapter 10

101. Relevant maritime usages and MACs before establishment day

102. Provisions supplementary to section 101

103. Certain MSPs and DMAPs and MACs after establishment day

Chapter 11

Keeping of records, etc.

104. Keeping of records and samples, etc., by holder of MAC

Chapter 12

Transitional provisions - foreshore authorisations, unauthorised usages and MACs

105. Transitional provisions for certain foreshore authorisations

106. Transitional provisions for certain unauthorised maritime usages

Chapter 13

Judicial review and MACs

107. Judicial review of matters relating to MAC applications or MACs

108. Provisions supplementary to section 107

109. Judicial review does not prevent applications for development permission

PART 5

Licences authorising certain maritime usages in Maritime Area

Chapter 1

Interpretation, application and competent authority

110. Interpretation - Part 5

111. Application

112. Competent authority

Chapter 2

Grant or refusal of licence and related matters

113. Prohibition against undertaking certain maritime usages in maritime area without licence

114. Exempted usage

115. Application for declaration as to whether or not licence is required, etc.

116. Fees for licences

117. Application for grant of licence

118. Provisions supplementary to section 117

119. Grant or refusal of licence

120. Conditions attached to licence

121. Provisions supplementary to grant of licence

122. Notification of grant or refusal of licence, etc.

Chapter 3

Compensation for exercise of relevant power

123. Compensation for exercise of relevant power

Chapter 4

Assignment or amendment of licence

124. Assignment of licence

125. Material amendment to licence

Chapter 5

Surrender of licence

126. Surrender of licence

127. Determination of application under section 126

Chapter 6

Keeping of records, etc.

128. Keeping of records and samples, etc., by holder of licence

Chapter 7

Transitional provisions - foreshore authorisations, unauthorised usages and licences

129. Transitional provisions for certain foreshore authorisations

130. Transitional provisions for certain unauthorised maritime usages

Chapter 8

Judicial review and licences

131. Judicial review of matters relating to licence applications or licences

132. Provisions supplementary to section 131

133. Costs in environmental matters

PART 6

Enforcement

Chapter 1

Interpretation, application and material change of circumstances

134. Interpretation

135. Application

136. Material change of circumstances

Chapter 2

Appointment and powers of authorised officers

137. Authorised officers of MARA

138. Powers of authorised officers

139. Privileged legal material

Chapter 3

Enforcement notices

140. Circuit Court’s jurisdiction under this Chapter

141. Issue of enforcement notices

142. Application for cancellation of direction specified in enforcement notice, etc.

143. Rules of court

Chapter 3A

Special enforcement notices

143A. Definitions

143B. Issue of special enforcement notices

143C. Application to High Court to confirm revocation of relevant authorisation under section 143B(6)

143D. Rules of court

Chapter 4

Termination of relevant authorisation

144. Automatic termination of relevant authorisation

144A. Termination of relevant authorisation for breach

144A. Disapplication of section 144(1)(a) or (b) of Act of 2021 in specified circumstances

Chapter 4A

Immediate suspension of relevant authorisation

145. Circumstances in which application may be made to High Court for immediate suspension of relevant authorisation, etc.

Chapter 5

Investigations and sanctions

146. Investigations

147. Actions to be taken by authorised officer and MARA upon completion of investigation

148. Confirmation of High Court required before decision under section 147(4)(a) to impose major sanction takes effect

149. Appeal to High Court against decision to impose major sanction

150. Application to High Court to confirm decision to impose major sanction

151. Provisions supplementary to sections 149 and 150

152. Matters to be considered in determining sanctions to be imposed

153. Protection for persons reporting alleged relevant ground, etc.

Chapter 6

Provisions supplementary to Chapters 4 and 5

154. Effect of termination or revocation of relevant authorisation

155. Effect of suspension of relevant authorisation

156. Notice of revocation or suspension of relevant authorisation to be given to certain bodies

157. No fee, etc., refundable following termination, revocation or suspension of relevant authorisation, etc.

Chapter 7

Offences and related provisions

158. Offences - general

159. False or misleading information

160. Obstruction

161. Evidentiary presumptions

162. Offences by bodies corporate

163. Vicarious liability

164. Summary proceedings

165. Time limit for offences that may only be brought by summary proceedings

166. Costs of prosecutions

Chapter 8

Civil remedies exercisable by holders of relevant authorisations

166A. Rights of action

PART 7

Miscellaneous

167. Definition

168. Disposal of relevant moneys

169. Recovery of relevant moneys

170. Ways of giving notice, etc.

PART 8

Amendment of Planning and Development Act 2000

171. Development in maritime area

172. Classes of development to which Chapter III of Part XXI of Act of 2000 applies

173. Relevant provisions for purposes of sections 309, 312 and 313 of Act of 2000

174. Amendment of certain other provisions of Act of 2000

PART 9

Consequential Amendments

Chapter 1

Amendment of Foreshore Act 1933

175. Application - Act of 1933 and Maritime Area Planning Act 2021

176. Amendment of section 10 of Act of 1933

177. Amendment of section 11 of Act of 1933

178. Amendment of section 12 of Act of 1933

179. Amendment of section 13 of Act of 1933

180. Environmental impact assessments - special cases

181. Amendment of section 18A of Act of 1933

Chapter 2

Amendment of Registration of Title Act 1964

182. Amendment of section 125 of Registration of Title Act 1964

Chapter 3

Amendment of Foreshore (Amendment) Act 1992

183. Definition

184. Application - Act of 1992 and Maritime Area Planning Act 2021

185. Amendment of section 5 of Act of 1992

186. Amendment of section 6 of Act of 1992

Chapter 4

Amendment of Electricity Regulation Act 1999

187. Definition - Chapter 4

188. Amendment of section 2 of Act of 1999

189. Amendment of section 14 of Act of 1999

190. Amendment of section 37 of Act of 1999

SCHEDULE

Maritime Spatial Planning Directive

SCHEDULE 2

Fit and Proper Person

SCHEDULE 3

Proposed maritime usages to which section 75(1) shall not apply

SCHEDULE 4

Proposed maritime usages to which section 76(1) shall not apply

SCHEDULE 5

Criteria that MARA shall have regard to in determining MAC application

SCHEDULE 6

Types of conditions that MARA may attach to MAC or that are deemed to be attached to MAC

PART 1

Types of conditions MARA may attach to MAC

PART 2

Conditions deemed to be attached to MAC

SCHEDULE 7

Maritime Usages which may be undertaken in Maritime Area pursuant to Licence

SCHEDULE 8

Types of conditions that MARA may attach to Licence

SCHEDULE 9

Redress for Contravention of section 153(5)

SCHEDULE 10

Insertion of Eighth Schedule of Act of 2000

SCHEDULE 11

Insertion of Ninth Schedule of Act of 2000

SCHEDULE 12

Amendment of certain provisions of Act of 2000


Acts Referred to

Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act 1919 (9 & 10 Geo. 5, c. 57)

Arbitration Act 2010 (No. 1)

Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956 (No. 45)

Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 2005

Companies Act 1963 (No. 33)

Companies Act 1990 (No. 33)

Companies Act 2014 (No. 38)

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 (No. 8)

Criminal Justice Act 1951 (No. 2)

Dumping At Sea Act 1996 (No. 14)

Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (No. 23)

Electricity Regulation Acts 1999 to 2002

Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (No. 7)

Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 (No. 22)

European Parliament Elections Act 1997 (No. 2)

Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 (No. 23)

Foreshore (Amendment) Act 1992 (No. 17)

Foreshore Act 1933 (No. 12)

Foreshore Acts 1933 to 2014

Gas Act 1976 (No. 30)

Interpretation Act 2005 (No. 23)

Land Law (Commission) Act 1923 (No. 27)

Land Law Acts

Local Government Act 2001 (No. 37)

Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2021 (No. 28)

Merchant Shipping (Commissioners of Irish Lights) Act 1997 (No. 37)

Merchant Shipping Act 1894 (57 & 58 Vict., c. 60)

Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1939 (No. 36)

National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1987 (No. 17)

Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960 (No. 7)

Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851 (14 & 15 Vict., c. 93)

Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018 (No. 16)

Planning and Development Act 2000 (No. 30)

Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2020

Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (No. 14)

Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003 (No. 29)

Registration of Title Act 1964 (No. 16)

Roads Act 1993 (No. 14)

Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (No. 31)

State Property Act 1954 (No. 25)

Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (No. 39)

Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 (No. 10)

Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015

Workplace Relations Act 2015 (No. 16)


Number 50 of 2021


MARITIME AREA PLANNING ACT 2021

REVISED

Updated to 14 May 2024


An Act to regulate the maritime area, to achieve such regulation by means of a National Marine Planning Framework, maritime area consents for the occupation of the maritime area for the purposes of maritime usages that will be undertaken for undefined or relatively long periods of time (including any such usages which also require development permission under the Planning and Development Act 2000) and licences for the occupation of the maritime area for maritime usages that are minor or that will be undertaken for relatively short periods of time, to establish a body corporate, the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority, to grant, revoke and suspend such consents and licences, take administrative responsibility for foreshore authorisations and generally oversee the enforcement of this Act in so far as it relates to such consents and licences, to amend the Planning and Development Act 2000 to provide for how that Act will treat applications for development permission which must have a maritime area consent before being made and to provide for consequential amendments to other enactments; and to provide for related matters.

[23rd December, 2021]

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows:

PART 1

Preliminary and General

Section 1
1

Short title, collective citations, construction and commencement

1. (1) This Act may be cited as the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021.

(2) The Foreshore Acts 1933 to 2014 and Chapters 1 and 3 of Part 9 may be cited together as the Foreshore Acts 1933 to 2021 and shall be construed together as one.

(3) The Electricity Regulation Acts 1999 to 2002 and Chapter 4 of Part 9 may be cited together as the Electricity Regulation Acts 1999 to 2021 and shall be construed together as one.

(4) The Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2020, Part 8 and Schedules 10 to 12 may be cited together as the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2021 and shall be construed together as one.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), this Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may by order or orders appoint either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes and different provisions.

(6) Chapters 1 and 3 of Part 9 shall come into operation on the establishment day.

Annotations

Editorial Notes:

E1

A table of commencement information ordered by section number is available at https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/isbc/2021_50.html.

E2

Power pursuant to subs. (5) exercised (13.05.2024) by Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (Section 6) (Commencement) Order 2024 (S.I. No. 202 of 2024).

2. The 13th day of May 2024 is appointed as the day on which section 6 of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (No. 50 of 2021) shall come into operation.

E3

Power pursuant to subs. (5) exercised (17.07.2023) by Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2023 (S.I. No. 369 of 2023).

The 17th day of July 2023 is appointed as the day on which the following provisions of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (No. 50 of 2021) shall come into operation:

(a) section 12;

(b) sections 40 to 55;

(c) sections 57 to 71;

(d) section 73;

(e) sections 105 to 109;

(f) Part 5;

(g) Part 7;

(h) Section 182;

(i) Schedules 7 and 8.

E4

Power pursuant to subs. (5) exercised (15.05.2023) by Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) Order 2023 (S.I. No. 225 of 2023).

2. The 15th day of May 2023 is appointed as the day on which Part 2 (other than Chapter 9) of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (No. 50 of 2021) shall come into operation.

E5

Power pursuant to subs. (5) exercised (1.12.2022) by Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) (No. 4) Order 2022 (S.I. No. 599 of 2022).

2. The 1st day of December 2022 is appointed as the day on which section 56 of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (No. 50 of 2021) shall come into operation.

E6

Power pursuant to subs. (5) exercised (1.10.2022) by Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) (No. 3) Order 2022 (S.I. No. 488 of 2022).

2. The 1st day of October 2022 is appointed as the day on which the following provisions of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (No. 50 of 2021) shall come into operation:

(a) Part 8, and

(b) Schedules 10, 11 and 12.

E7

Power pursuant to subs. (5) exercised (31.07.2022) by Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2022 (S.I. No. 394 of 2022).

2. The 31st day of July 2022 is appointed as the day on which the following provisions of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (No. 50 of 2021) shall come into operation:

(a) Part 1, other than sections 6 and 12,

(b) Chapter 4 of Part 9, and

(c) Schedules 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9.

E8

Power pursuant to subs. (5) exercised (10.03.2022) by Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) Order 2022 (S.I. No. 112 of 2022).

2. The 10th day of March 2022 is appointed as the day on which the following provisions of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (No. 50 of 2021) shall come into operation:

(a) section 72;

(b) Part 4 (other than Chapter 12); and

(c) Part 6.

Section 2
2

Interpretation - general

2. (1) In this Act—

“Act of 1933” means the Foreshore Act 1933;

“Act of 1963” means the Companies Act 1963;

“Act of 2000” means the Planning and Development Act 2000;

“Act of 2001” means the Local Government Act 2001;

“Act of 2014” means the Companies Act 2014;

“Act of 2018” means the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018;

“Act of 2021” means the Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2021;

“applicant”, in relation to an application under this Act, means the person who made the application;

“appropriate assessment” shall be construed in accordance with, as appropriate—

(a) section 177V of the Act of 2000, or

(b) Part 5 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations (S.I. No. 477 of 2011);

“authorised officer” means a person appointed under section 137(1) to be an authorised officer;

“Birds Directive” has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 2000;

“Board (P)” means An Bord Pleanála;

“coastal planning authority” means the planning authority (within the meaning of section 2 of the Act of 2000) for any of the following:

(a) the county of Louth, Meath, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim or Donegal;

(b) the City of Dublin, Cork or Galway;

(c) Waterford City and County or Limerick City and County;

“company” means—

(a) a company formed and registered under the Act of 2014, or

(b) an existing company;

“continental shelf” shall be construed in accordance with the Act of 2021;

“Convention” has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 2021;

“CPA” means coastal planning authority;

“designated maritime area plan” shall be construed in accordance with section 20(1);

“development” means development (other than exempted development within the meaning of the Act of 2000) within the meaning of Part XXI of the Act of 2000;

“development permission”, in relation to any maritime usage which, if undertaken, would be development, means any permission (including any alteration thereto), within the meaning of section 2 of the Act of 2000, required under that Act in order for the undertaking of such usage to be lawful;

“DMAP” means designated maritime area plan;

“enactment” has the meaning assigned to it by the Interpretation Act 2005;

“environmental impact assessment” has the meaning given to it by the Act of 2000;

“Environmental Impact Assessment Directive” has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 2000;

“establishment day” means the day appointed under section 41 ;

“existing company” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Act of 2014;

“existing NMPF” means the marine spatial plans within the meaning of Part 5 of the Act of 2018 and known collectively, under that Part, as the National Marine Planning Framework;

“foreshore” has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 1933;

“foreshore authorisation” means an authorisation (howsoever described) granted (or otherwise given) under section 2, 3, 10 or 13 of the Act of 1933 by the appropriate Minister, within the meaning of section 1B of that Act, who falls within paragraph (c) of such section 1B;

“functional area”, in relation to a CPA, has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 2000;

“General Data Protection Regulation” means Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 20161 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC2;

“Habitats Directive” has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 2000;

“indemnity” includes, in addition to a contract of indemnity—

(a) a contract of insurance,

(b) a guarantee,

(c) a surety,

(d) a warranty,

(e) a bond, or

(f) a financial security prescribed, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, for the purposes of this paragraph;

“levy” means a levy referred to in Chapter 7 of Part 4;

“infrastructure” means any facility, structure or installation (or any part thereof) situated in the maritime area, and references in this Act to “proposed maritime usage” shall be construed to include any related proposed infrastructure;

“licence” means a licence granted under section 119(1)(a);

“licence application” means an application under section 117(1);

“local authority” has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 2001;

“MAC” means maritime area consent;

“MAC application” means an application under section 79(1);

“MARA” shall be construed in accordance with section 42(1);

“marine planning policy statement” shall be construed in accordance with section 6(1);

“maritime area” shall be construed in accordance with section 3;

“maritime area consent” means consent under section 81(1)(a);

“maritime spatial plan” shall be construed in accordance with section 16(1);

“Maritime Spatial Planning Directive” means Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 20142 establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning (the text of which is set out, in the English language and for ease of reference, in Schedule 1 );

“maritime usage”, in relation to the maritime area, means any activity, operation, works or development undertaken in that area for any purpose (including conservation), and includes—

(a) the construction or use, or both, of any infrastructure in that area associated with, or otherwise supporting, the activity, operation, works or development, and

(b) the maintenance of such infrastructure,

and references in this Act to “proposed maritime usage” shall be construed accordingly;

“material change of circumstances” shall be construed in accordance with section 136;

“Minister” means the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage;

“MSP” means maritime spatial plan;

“MSP Directive” means the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive;

“National Marine Planning Framework” means the following:

(a) the existing NMPF—

(i) as in force immediately before the coming into operation of Chapter 2 of Part 2, and

(ii) until it is replaced by the first MSP;

(b) each MSP for the time being in force;

(c) each DMAP for the time being in force;

“national newspaper” means a newspaper published and circulating generally in the State, whether in hard copy or electronic copy, or both;

“National Planning Framework” means the National Planning Framework referred to in Chapter IIA of Part II of the Act of 2000;

“nearshore area”, in relation to a CPA, shall be construed in accordance with section 5 ;

“obligations” includes liabilities;

“Order 84” means Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No. 15 of 1986);

“personal data” has the meaning it has in the General Data Protection Regulation;

“powers” includes rights;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this Act;

“public body” means—

(a) a Minister of the Government,

(b) a local authority,

(c) a body (other than a company) established by or under an enactment,

(d) a company established pursuant to a power conferred by or under an enactment, and financed wholly or partly by—

(i) moneys provided, or loans made or guaranteed, by a Minister of the Government, or

(ii) the issue of shares held by or on behalf of a Minister of the Government;

“record” includes—

(a) a book or other written or printed material in any form (including in any electronic device or in machine readable form),

(b) a map, plan or drawing,

(c) a disc, tape or other mechanical or electronic device in which data other than visual images are embodied so as to be capable, with or without the aid of some other mechanical or electronic equipment, of being reproduced from the disc, tape or other device,

(d) a film, disc, tape or other mechanical or electronic device in which visual images are embodied so as to be capable, with or without the aid of some other mechanical or electronic equipment, of being reproduced from the film, disc, tape or other device, and

(e) a copy or part of any thing which falls within paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d),

and a copy, in any form, of a record shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to have been created at the same time as the record;

“screening for appropriate assessment” shall be construed in accordance with, as appropriate—

(a) section 177U of the Act of 2000, or

(b) Part 5 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 477 of 2011);

“sea” includes—

(a) an area which is submerged at high water of ordinary or medium tides,

(b) an estuary or arm of the sea, and

(c) the tidal waters of a channel, creek, bay, river, canal, waterway or other watercourse;

“seabed” means land under sea, and includes silts or other deposits lying on the land;

“specified” —

(a) in relation to a form, means specified under section 72, and

(b) in relation to a fee, means specified in regulations made under section 78 or 116, as appropriate;

“strategic environmental assessment” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Act of 2000;

“submissions” include observations;

“water” includes the water of rivers, streams, canals, waterways, ponds, lakes or any other form of watercourse or body of water or sea.

(2) A reference in this Act to an enactment (including this Act) includes a statutory instrument made under the enactment.

(3) A reference in this Act to a MAC includes—

(a) the maritime usage the subject of the MAC,

(b) the conditions attached, or deemed to be attached, to the MAC by virtue of section 82, and

(c) the rehabilitation schedule within the meaning of Chapter 8 of Part 4.

(4) A reference in this Act to a licence includes—

(a) the Schedule 7 usage (within the meaning of section 110) the subject of the licence, and

(b) the conditions attached, or deemed to be attached, to the licence by virtue of section 120 .

(5) (a) A reference in this Act to a MAC for a maritime usage (howsoever expressed) shall be construed as a reference to the occupation of a specified part of the maritime area for the purposes of such usage.

(b) A reference in this Act for a licence for a maritime usage (howsoever expressed) shall be construed as a reference to the occupation of a specified part of the maritime area for the purposes of such usage.

Annotations

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Functions transferred and references to "Housing, Local Government and Heritage" construed as "Environment, Climate and Communications" (14.05.2024, vesting day) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), ss. 24, 25, 29, S.I. No. 218 of 2024, subject to transitional provisions in ss. 26, 27, 28.

Transfer of functions to Minister

24. The functions conferred on the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage by or under the Act of 2021 are transferred to the Minister on the vesting day.

...

Transfer of administration and business

25. (1) The administration and business in connection with the performance of the functions transferred by section 24 are, on the vesting day, transferred to the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

(2) References to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage contained in any enactment (other than this Act) in so far as they relate to the administration and business transferred by subsection (1) shall, from the vesting day, be construed as references to the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

...

Construction of references to Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage

29. (1) References to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage contained in any enactment (other than this Act) in so far as they relate to any function transferred by section 24 shall, from the vesting day, be construed as references to the Minister.

(2) References to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage contained in the constitution of any company in so far as they relate to any function transferred by section 24 shall, from the vesting day, be construed as references to the Minister.

1 OJ No. L119, 4.5.2016, p. 1

2 OJ No. L257, 28.8.2014, p.135

Section 3
3

Application

3. F1[(1)] Subject to section 14, this Act applies to that area of the State (in this Act referred to as the “maritime area”) extending from the high water of ordinary or medium tides of the sea to the outer limit of the continental shelf, and includes—

(a) the sea and tidal areas of internal waters of the State as construed in accordance with the Act of 2021,

(b) the territorial seas of the State as construed in accordance with the Act of 2021,

(c) the exclusive economic zone as construed in accordance with the Act of 2021, and

(d) the continental shelf F2[as construed in accordance with the Act of 2021].

F3[(2) Where, but for this subsection, a public body would not be able to perform, in relation to any matter whatsoever, one or more than one of its public functions by virtue of the matter relating, whether in whole or in part, to the continental shelf or any part thereof, then, by virtue of this subsection, the public body may perform the public function concerned in relation to that matter as if the continental shelf or the part thereof concerned were a part of the State where the public body may perform such function, and the other provisions of this Act or of any other enactment shall, with all necessary modifications, be construed accordingly.

(3) A public body shall, in the performance, in relation to any matter whatsoever, of its functions under this Act or any enactment amended by this Act, have regard to—

(a) the obligations placed on the State by the Convention, and

(b) the obligations in respect of the rights of the public or any class of the public over the foreshore in relation to navigation and fishing.

(4) For the purposes of this section, "foreshore" means the bed and shore, below the line of high water of ordinary or medium tides, of the sea and of every tidal river and tidal estuary and of every channel, creek, and bay of the sea or of any such river or estuary.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F1

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 43(a), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

F2

Inserted (31.12.2023) by Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (26/2022), s. 276, S.I. No. 653 of 2023.

F3

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 43(b), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 4
4

Legal acts of European Union given effect to by this Act

4. Effect or further effect, as the case may be, is given to by this Act to an act specified in the Table to this section, adopted by an institution of the European Union or, where appropriate, to part of such an act:

Table

Item No.

(1)

Directive

(2)

1.

Habitats Directive.

2.

Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 27 June 20013 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment.

3.

Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 20034 on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EC.

4.

Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 20035 providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC.

5.

Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 20086 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) as amended by Commission Directive (EU) 2017/845 of 17 May 2017.

6.

Birds Directive.

7.

Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

8.

Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 20147 amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

9.

MSP Directive.

3 OJ No. L197, 21.7.2001, p. 30

4 OJ No. L41, 14.2.2003, p. 26

5 OJ No. L156, 25.6.2003, p. 17

6 OJ No. L164, 25.6.2008, p. 19

7 OJ No. L124, 25.4.2014, p. 1

Section 5
5

Nearshore areas of CPAs

5. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where a part of the maritime area (which part is in this Act referred to as the “nearshore area”) meets all of the following requirements, that part shall, for the purposes of this Act, in so far as this Act relates to nearshore areas and CPAs, be the nearshore area of the CPA referred to in paragraph (a)(i) as if the boundaries between the nearshore area of that CPA and the adjoining nearshore area of another CPA were equidistant between the two of them as taken from the high water mark:

(a) the part is contiguous to either or both of the following:

(i) the functional area of a CPA;

(ii) reclaimed land adjoining such functional area that does not form part of the functional area of another local authority;

(b) the part is below the line of high water (in this section referred to as the “high water mark”) of ordinary or medium tides of—

(i) the sea,

(ii) every tidal river and tidal estuary, and

(iii) every channel, creek and bay of—

(I) the sea, and

(II) every tidal river and tidal estuary;

(c) the part does not extend further than—

(i) the prescribed distance from the nearest point of the high water mark, or

(ii) if no such distance is prescribed for the time being, three nautical miles from the nearest point of the high water mark.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), the Minister may, by order, vary the nearshore area of a CPA.

(3)(a) Subject to paragraph (b), an order under subsection (2) shall specify the boundaries of the varied nearshore area, whether by reference to a map or otherwise.

(b) Those boundaries shall—

(i) have the high water mark as their baseline, and

(ii) have their outer limit determined in accordance with subsection (4).

(4) The Minister, in exercising his or her power under subsection (2) in respect of the nearshore area and a CPA, shall, in so far as determining the boundaries of the varied nearshore area concerned, take into account the following:

(a) the representations (if any) of the CPA given to the Minister pursuant to subsection (5)(a);

(b) the representations of members of the public given to the Minister pursuant to subsection (5)(b);

(c) the distance between the high water mark and the low water mark of the nearshore area;

(d) the geography of the nearshore area, including islands, sandbars, sand spits, river mouths, bays and beaches;

(e) practical matters relating to the boundaries of the CPA and the proposed boundaries of the varied nearshore area;

(f) the practicability of the CPA effectively performing its functions under this Act in respect of the nearshore area as proposed to be varied.

(5) Where the Minister proposes to make, amend or revoke an order under this section, he or she shall—

(a) give a copy of the proposed order to the CPA concerned and invite the CPA to make representations in writing thereon to the Minister, not later than six weeks after the CPA is given that copy, at an address (which may be an electronic address) specified in the copy, and

(b) publish, in not less than one national newspaper, a notice—

(i) stating that the Minister proposes to make, amend or revoke an order under this section,

(ii) stating that a copy of the proposed order may be inspected on a website of the Government, and

(iii) inviting members of the public to make representations in writing thereon to the Minister, not later than four weeks after the date of publication of the notice in the newspaper (or, if the notice is published in more than one such newspaper, the last date of such publication), at an address (which may be an electronic address) specified in the notice.

Section 6
6

Marine planning policy statement

6. (1) Subject to subsection s (4) to (10), the Minister shall from time to time prepare and publish in accordance with this section a statement (in this Act referred to as the “marine planning policy statement”) containing information setting out the principles and priorities of the Government in relation to maritime planning by the State in the maritime area for the period to which the statement relates.

(2) Where the Minister proposes to prepare a marine planning policy statement, he or she shall lay a draft of the statement, together with the Environmental Statement and Appropriate Assessment Determination in respect thereof if required, before each House of the Oireachtas, and shall not prepare the statement until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.

(3) The Minister shall, in the preparation of the marine planning policy statement, have regard to any resolution, report or recommendation of any committee of both Houses of the Oireachtas or either such House in so far as such resolution, report or recommendation, as the case may be, relates to a draft laid before each such House in accordance with subsection (2).

(4) The Minister shall ensure that the first marine planning policy statement is prepared and published in accordance with this section not later than F4[twelve months] after the coming into operation of this section and relates to a period of not less than three years commencing on the date of the first publication of that statement.

(5) The Minister shall, in preparing the marine planning policy statement, have regard to the following:

(a) the National Planning Framework;

(b) the National Marine Planning Framework;

(c) obligations of the State under the Convention and the Act of 2021;

(d) the MSP Directive;

(e) Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 20088 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive);

(f) the Habitats Directive;

(g) the Birds Directive;

(h) any current policy of the Government relating to maritime planning;

(i) representations (if any) referred to in subsection (10).

(6) The Minister shall cause a copy of the marine planning policy statement to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as is practicable after the statement has been prepared.

(7) The Minister shall—

(a) publish, on a website of the Government, the marine planning policy statement as soon as is practicable after the statement has been prepared, and

(b) otherwise publish or cause to be published, in such manner as he or she considers appropriate, that statement.

(8) A public body shall have regard to the F4[marine planning] policy statement when performing a function under this Act F5[, or the Act of 2000,] to which information, setting out the principles and priorities of the Government referred to in subsection (1), contained in the statement is relevant.

(9) The Minister may amend or revoke the F4[marine planning] policy statement prepared under this section.

(10) Where the Minister proposes to prepare the marine planning policy statement or amend or revoke it, he or she shall publish, in not less than one national newspaper, a notice—

(a) stating that the Minister proposes to prepare, amend or revoke a marine planning policy statement,

(b) stating that a copy of the proposed statement, amendment or revocation may be inspected on a website of the Government, and

(c) inviting members of the public to make representations in writing thereon to the Minister, not later than four weeks after the date of publication of the notice in the newspaper (or, if the notice is published in more than one such newspaper, the last date of publication), at an address (which may be an electronic address) specified in the notice.

Annotations

Amendments:

F4

Substituted (13.05.2024) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), s. 31(1)(a), (b), (c), commenced as per subs. (2) by S.I No. 202 of 2024.

F5

Inserted (13.05.2024) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 44, S.I. No. 203 of 2024.

8 OJ No. L164, 25.6.2008, p. 19

Section

F6[Provision relating to first marine planning policy statement

6A. (1) For the avoidance of doubt, following the coming into operation of this section—

(a) a section 6 requirement shall apply to a thing done under a specified Act during the period of twelve months referred to in section 6(4) only where the Minister has prepared and published the first marine planning policy statement under section 6 prior to the thing being done, and

(b) a thing done under a specified Act shall not be invalid by reason only of being done under a specified Act otherwise than in accordance with a section 6 requirement during the period of twelve months referred to in section 6(4) where the Minister has not yet prepared and published the first marine planning policy statement under section 6 prior to the thing being done.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt—

(a) a section 6 requirement shall not apply to a thing done under a specified Act prior to the coming into operation of this section, and

(b) a thing done under a specified Act prior to the coming into operation of this section shall not be invalid by reason only of being done otherwise than in accordance with a section 6 requirement.

(3) In this section—

"section 6 requirement" means an obligation or requirement for a thing done under a specified Act—

(a) to be consistent with,

(b) not to cause any significant inconsistency with,

(c) to ascertain whether there is any inconsistency with, or

(d) to have regard to,the marine planning policy statement;

"specified Act" means—

(a) this Act, or

(b) the Act of 2000.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F6

Inserted (13.05.2024) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), s. 32(1), commenced as per subs. (2) by S.I. No. 202 of 2024.

Section 7
7

Ministerial guidelines

7. (1) Subject to subsection (8), the Minister may, at any time, prepare and issue marine planning guidelines to public bodies regarding any of their functions under this Act and public bodies shall have regard to those guidelines in the performance of their respective functions.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), and for the purposes of that subsection, a public body, in having regard to the guidelines issued by the Minister under that subsection, shall consider the policies and objectives of the Minister contained in the guidelines when performing a function under this Act to which the guidelines relate.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), guidelines under that subsection may contain specific marine planning policy requirements with which public bodies shall, in the performance of their respective functions under this Act, comply.

(4) The Minister may amend or revoke guidelines issued under this section.

(5) The Minister shall cause a copy of any guidelines issued under this section and of any amendment or revocation of those guidelines to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as is practicable after the guidelines have been prepared or, as appropriate, the amendment or revocation has been made.

(6) A public body shall make available for inspection by members of the public any guidelines issued to it under this section.

(7) The Minister shall publish or cause to be published, in such manner as he or she considers appropriate, guidelines issued under this section.

(8) The Minister shall, in preparing guidelines under this section (including any amendment to such guidelines), have regard to the matters listed in section 6(5)(a) to (i).

Section 8
8

Ministerial policy directives

8. (1) Subject to subsection (6), the Minister may, from time to time, prepare and issue policy directives to public bodies regarding any of their functions under this Act and the public bodies shall comply with any such directives in the performance of their respective functions.

(2) The Minister may amend or revoke a policy directive issued under this section.

(3) The Minister shall cause a copy of any policy directive issued under this section to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(4) A public body shall make available for inspection by members of the public any policy directive issued to it under this section.

(5) The Minister shall publish or cause to be published, in such manner as he or she considers appropriate, policy directives issued under this section.

(6) The Minister shall, in preparing policy directives under this section (including amendments to such policy directives), have regard to the matters listed in section 6(5)(a) to (i).

(7) Subsections (3) to (5) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to an amendment made to, or a revocation of, a policy directive issued under this section as those subsections apply to a policy directive issued under this section.

Section 9
9

Limitation on ministerial powers

9. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), Parts 4 and 5 and Part XXI of the Act of 2000, the Minister shall not exercise any power or control in relation to—

(a) any particular MAC application, MAC, or enforcement matter relating to a particular MAC, with which the MARA is either involved or could be involved, or

(b) any particular licence application, licence, or enforcement matter relating to a particular licence, with which the MARA is either involved or could be involved.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not affect the performance by the Minister of functions transferred to him or her by the Heritage (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2020 (S.I. No. 339 of 2020) or transferred (whether before or after the coming into operation of this section) to him or her from the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media by an order under section 6(1) of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1939.

(3) This section shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to a foreshore authorisation as it applies to a MAC or licence.

Section 10
10

Regulations, etc.

10. (1) The Minister may by regulations provide for any matter referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed.

(2) Regulations made under this Act may contain such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulations.

(3) Every order under section 5(2) F7[, 20] or 90(1) or regulation made by the Minister under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order or regulation is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the order or regulation is laid before it, the order or regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

Annotations

Amendments:

F7

Inserted (13.05.2024) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), s. 33, S.I. No. 208 of 2024.

Section 11
11

Expenses

11. Any expenses incurred by the Minister or the MARA in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Section 12
12

Repeals and revocations

12. (1) Sections 6, 7, 8, 9 and 17 of the Act of 1933 are repealed.

(2) Part XV of the Act of 2000 is repealed.

(3) Part 5 of the Act of 2018 is repealed.

(4) Each prohibitory order made under section 6 of the Act of 1933 is revoked.

(5) Each prohibitory notice made under section 7 of the Act of 1933 is revoked.

(6) (a) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a permission granted under Part III of the Act of 2000 in relation to an application made—

(i) pursuant to a requirement under section 225 of that Act, and

(ii) before the commencement of that subsection,

shall continue to have effect, and Part XV of the Act of 2000 shall continue to apply in relation thereto, as if that subsection had not been commenced.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (2), Part XV of the Act of 2000 shall continue to apply in relation to an application for permission made under Part III of the Act of 2000—

(i) pursuant to a requirement under section 225 of that Act, and

(ii) before the commencement of that subsection,

as if that subsection had not been commenced.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (2)

(i) an approval granted under section 226 of the Act of 2000 in relation to an application made thereunder before the commencement of that subsection shall continue to have effect, and Part XV of the Act of 2000 shall continue to apply in relation thereto, as if subsection (2) had not been commenced, and

(ii) Part XV of the Act of 2000 shall continue to apply in relation to an application made before the commencement of that subsection for an approval under section 226 of the Act of 2000 as if subsection (2) had not been commenced.

PART 2

Maritime Spatial Plans and Designated Maritime Area Plans

Chapter 1

Interpretation and application

Section 13
13

Interpretation - Part 2

13. (1) In this Part—

“competent authority (D)” shall be construed in accordance with section 20(1);

“competent authority (M)” shall be construed in accordance with section 15 ;

“protected site” means a site within (whether in whole or in part) the maritime area that is afforded some form of protection under another enactment;

“relevant proposal” shall be construed in accordance with section 21(1).

(2) Unless the context otherwise requires, a word or expression that is used in this Part and is also used in the MSP Directive has the same meaning in this Part as it has in that Directive.

Section 14
14

Application of Part 2, etc.

14. (1) This Part shall not apply to an area outside the maritime area (in this section referred to as an “outside area”) unless it is expressly stated that this Part applies to the outside area concerned.

(2) A public body performing any function under this Part shall, in the performance of that function, have regard to appropriate land-sea interactions with a view to promoting integration and coherence between any thing arising from such performance and any thing arising from the performance by a public body of a function under Part II of the Act of 2000.

(3) A public body performing any function under Part II of the Act of 2000 shall, in the performance of that function, have regard to appropriate land-sea interactions with a view to promoting integration and coherence between any thing arising from such performance and any thing arising from the performance by a public body of a function under this Part.

(4) This Part shall not apply to maritime usages that relate solely to defence or national security.

Chapter 2

Maritime spatial plans

Section 15
15

Designation of competent authority for purposes of MSP Directive

15. The Minister shall be the competent authority (in this Part referred to as the “competent authority (M)”) for the purposes of the MSP Directive.

Section 16
16

Maritime spatial plans

16. (1) The competent authority (M) shall, following the carrying out of a process of maritime spatial planning, prepare and publish on a website of the Government a plan (in this Act referred to as a “maritime spatial plan”) for the maritime area in accordance with this Part and the MSP Directive.

(2) The objectives of a MSP shall be—

(a) to analyse and organise maritime usages in the maritime area for the purpose of achieving ecological, economic and social priorities,

(b) to establish a national strategy for the Government in relation to the strategic planning and sustainable maritime usages in the maritime area,

(c) to apply an ecosystem based approach for the purpose of supporting proper planning and sustainable maritime usages in the maritime area, and

(d) to promote the coexistence of different types of maritime usages in the maritime area.

(3) The competent authority (M) may prepare—

(a) one MSP for the whole of the maritime area,

(b) different MSPs for different geographical or sectoral areas, or both, of the maritime area, or

(c) a MSP referred to in paragraph (a) and different MSPs referred to in paragraph (b).

(4) The competent authority (M) shall, in the performance of his or her functions under this section—

(a) give consideration to the matters specified in paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the MSP Directive, and

(b) aim to contribute to the matters specified in paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the MSP Directive.

(5) A MSP shall identify the matters specified in paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the MSP Directive and the competent authority shall, when making a MSP, ensure compliance with paragraph 2 of that Article.

Section 17
17

Requirements of maritime spatial planning

17. (1) The competent authority (M) shall, for the purpose of marine spatial planning and the preparation of a MSP—

(a) comply, or ensure compliance, with the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 6, and Articles 10, 11 and 12, of the MSP Directive,

(b) take account of circumstances particular to the marine region to which the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, done at Paris on 22 September 1992, applies, and

(c) have regard to the obligations of the State under the Convention and the Act of 2021.

(2) The Minister shall, not later than six years after the existing NMPF was first published, carry out a review thereof and, following the completion of the review, either—

(a) prepare and publish, in accordance with this Part and the MSP Directive, a MSP to replace the existing NMPF, or

(b) in circumstances where he or she decides not to prepare and publish such MSP, as soon as is practicable after making that decision, prepare a statement setting out the reasons why he or she has made that decision and publish the statement on a website of the Government.

(3) The Minister shall, not later than six years after a MSP (being a MSP for the time being in force) was first published, carry out a review thereof and, following the completion of the review, either—

(a) prepare and publish, in accordance with this Part and the MSP Directive, a new MSP to replace the first-mentioned MSP, or

(b) in circumstances where he or she decides not to prepare and publish such new MSP, as soon as is practicable after making that decision, prepare a statement setting out the reasons why he or she has made that decision and publish the statement on a website of the Government.

Section 18
18

Public participation on MSPs

18. (1) The competent authority (M) shall, as soon as is practicable after initiating a review referred to in section 17(2) or (3), as appropriate, and for the purposes of ensuring compliance with Article 9 of the MSP Directive, prepare and publish on a website of the Government a statement (in this section referred to as the “public participation statement (M)”) of the processes settled by the competent authority (M) in relation to the involvement of interested persons in the preparation of a relevant document.

(2) The competent authority (M) shall take all reasonable steps to comply with the public participation statement (M).

(3) The competent authority (M) shall keep the public participation statement (M) under review and, if the competent authority (M) considers it necessary or expedient to revise the statement and does so, the competent authority shall publish on a website of the Government the statement as so revised.

(4) The Minister may by regulations specify requirements with which a public participation statement (M) shall comply, including requirements relating to any of the following:

(a) appropriate time periods for public consultation;

(b) arrangements for the publication of notices relating to relevant documents;

(c) the contents of notices, including the following:

(i) public consultation timeframes, including periods during which submissions may be made;

(ii) information on how submissions received will be acknowledged, considered and published;

(iii) information on the proposed methods of public participation;

(d) specific arrangements (including, if the Minister considers it appropriate to do so in the interests of clarity, separate sets of regulations made under this section) in relation to MSPs that fall within section 16(3)(a), (b) or (c);

(e) arrangements relating to the establishment of methods of public participation.

(5) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (4), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies:

(a) compliance with the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark on 25 June 1993;

(b) compliance with Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 20039 providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC - statement by the Commission;

(c) compliance with Article 9 of the MSP Directive;

(d) the opportunity to incorporate national and international good practices relating to public participation;

(e) public participation in the process is inclusive;

(f) the administrative burden on the competent authority (M) and participants is considered, making use, where possible, of existing public participation processes and methods;

(g) that public participation is initiated at an early stage in and continued throughout the development of MSPs;

(h) that appropriate use is made of a wide range of media to raise awareness to maritime spatial planning and public participation opportunities;

(i) that appropriate use is made of information technology;

(j) particular requirements relating to MSPs that fall within section 16(3)(a), (b) or (c).

(6) For the purposes of assisting any committee of the Oireachtas to engage in the public participation the subject of this section, the Minister shall cause a copy of the public participation statement (M) (including any such statement as revised under subsection (3)) to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(7) In this section, “relevant document” means—

(a) a draft of a MSP that falls within section 16(3)(a), (b) or (c),

(b) a document specified in the public participation statement (M) as a document to which this paragraph applies, or

(c) a document specified in regulations made under subsection (4) as a document to which this paragraph applies.

9 OJ No. L156, 25.6.2003, p. 17

Section 19
19

Laying of MSPs before each House of Oireachtas

19. (1) This section shall not apply to a DMAP to which Chapter 4 applies.

(2) Where the competent authority (M) proposes to make a MSP, he or she shall lay a draft of the MSP, together with the Environmental Statement and Appropriate Assessment Determination in respect thereof, before each House of the Oireachtas, and shall not make the MSP until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.

(3) The competent authority (M) shall, in the making of a MSP, have regard to any resolution, report or recommendation of any committee of both Houses of the Oireachtas or either such House in so far as such resolution, report or recommendation, as the case may be, relates to a draft laid before each such House in accordance with subsection (2).

(4) The competent authority (M) shall cause a copy of a MSP to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as is practicable after the MSP has been made.

Chapter 3

Designated maritime area plans

Section 20
20

Designation of public bodies who may make DMAPs

20. (1) Without prejudice to section 15 but subject to subsections (3) to (5) and (7), the Minister may, F8[by order,] designate one or more than one public body (other than a public body which falls within paragraph (d) of the definition of “public body”) to be a competent authority (in this Part referred to as a “competent authority (D)”) for the purposes of preparing and publishing on a website of the public body a maritime area plan (in this Act referred as a “designated maritime area plan”) in accordance with this Chapter and the MSP Directive and any such designation may be in respect of one or more than one of the following:

(a) all or specified activities of a competent authority for the purposes of the MSP Directive;

(b) acting as a coordinating body for some or all of the competent authorities for some of their activities;

(c) one or more than one designated geographical or sectoral area, or both, of the maritime area.

(2) A competent authority (D) shall be deemed to have all the functions necessary to perform functions for the purposes of the designation concerned.

(3) Where the Minister F9[proposes to designate by order a public body] as a competent authority (D) and the body is—

(a) a Minister of the Government, or

(b) any other public body that, in the opinion of the Minister, is a body directly or indirectly responsible to a Minister of the Government,

then the Minister F9[shall not make the order] without the consent of the Minister of the Government concerned.

(4) Where the Minister proposes to F9[designate, by order, a] public body as a competent authority then, without prejudice to subsection (3) where that subsection applies, the Minister shall consult with that body F9[before making the order].

F9[(5) An order amending or revoking an order designating a public body as a competent authority (D) may provide for any matters ancillary or consequential to such amendment or revocation.]

(6) F10[]

(7) Where the competent authority (M) has prepared and published on a website of the Government a DMAP in accordance with Chapter 6, the Minister may designate F8[by order] under this section, and with all necessary modifications to this section, a public body to perform any functions under this Act in relation to that DMAP that would, in the absence of F9[such order being made], otherwise have to be performed by the competent authority (M).

Annotations

Amendments:

F8

Inserted (13.05.2024) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), s. 34(a), (f)(i), S.I. No. 208 of 2024.

F9

Substituted (13.05.2024) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), s. 34(b)(i), (ii), (c)(i), (ii), (d), (f)(ii), S.I. No. 208 of 2024.

F10

Deleted (13.05.2024) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), s. 34(e), S.I. No. 208 of 2024.

Section 21
21

Proposals for DMAPs

21. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a competent authority (D) shall, as soon as is practicable after its designation under section 20 as such or where section 26(1)(a) applies, prepare a proposal for a DMAP (in this Chapter referred to as the “relevant proposal”).

(2) The relevant proposal shall specify—

(a) the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework that it is proposed that the DMAP will seek to attain or assist in the attainment of,

(b) the geographical areas (including, at the discretion of the competent authority (D), alternatives thereto) of the maritime area proposed to be the subject of the DMAP,

(c) the protected sites proposed to be taken into consideration during the preparation of the DMAP,

(d) the maritime usages proposed to be the subject of the DMAP,

(e) any prohibitions or restrictions proposed to be imposed on the maritime usages referred to in paragraph (d),

(f) the proposed evidence base of the DMAP,

(g) the proposed statement referred to in section 23(1),

(h) the existing DMAPs or existing maritime usages, or both, proposed to be taken into consideration during the preparation of the DMAP,

(i) the timeframe within which it is reasonably expected that the DMAP will be prepared, and

(j) any other matters to which it is proposed that the competent authority (D) have regard to in preparing the DMAP.

(3) The competent authority (D) shall, as soon as is practicable after preparing the relevant proposal, submit the relevant proposal to the Minister for the Minister’s approval to the competent authority (D) preparing a draft DMAP based on such proposal.

(4) Where the Minister receives a relevant proposal, he or she shall—

(a) if satisfied that such proposal complies with all the requirements of this Part and the MSP Directive in so far as they relate to the proposal, approve the competent authority (D) preparing a draft DMAP based on such proposal, or

(b) in any other case, giving a notice in writing to the competent authority (D) refusing to approve the competent authority (D) preparing a draft DMAP based on such proposal and stating the Minister’s reasons for the refusal.

(5) The competent authority (D) shall, as soon as is practicable after it has been approved under subsection (4)(a) to prepare a draft DMAP based on the relevant proposal, publish, or cause to be published, such proposal on its website.

(6) Where the relevant proposal of a competent authority (D) is refused approval under subsection (4)(b), the competent authority (D) may prepare a new relevant proposal to take account of the Minister’s reasons for such refusal and, in any such case, the other provisions of this section (including subsection (4)(b)) shall apply accordingly.

Section 22
22

Draft DMAPs, etc.

22. (1) The competent authority (D) shall, as soon as is practicable after the competent authority (D) has been approved under section 21(4)(a) to prepare a draft DMAP based on the relevant proposal concerned, prepare a draft DMAP consistent with—

(a) subject to subsection (4), such proposal,

(b) the marine planning policy statement,

(c) the National Marine Planning Framework (except that, in the case of a DMAP forming part of such Framework, only to the extent that the draft applies to the same geographical or sectoral areas, or both, of the maritime area to which the DMAP applies),

(d) guidelines issued under section 7 to the extent that the guidelines are relevant to the draft DMAP, and

(e) policy directives issued under section 8 to the extent that the directives are relevant to the draft DMAP.

(2) The draft DMAP shall specify—

(a) the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework that it is proposed that the DMAP will seek to attain or assist in the attainment of,

(b) the geographical or sectoral areas, or both, of the maritime area proposed to be the subject of the DMAP,

(c) the proposed extent of the maritime area (represented spatially or otherwise) proposed to be utilised by the maritime usages the subject of the DMAP,

(d) particulars of the maritime usages referred to in paragraph (c),

(e) any prohibitions or restrictions proposed to be imposed on the maritime usages referred to in paragraph (c),

(f) any proposed colocation or coexistence of the maritime usages referred to in paragraph (c),

(g) any proposed measures to avoid or mitigate any adverse impact of the maritime usages referred to in paragraph (c) on protected sites, species or habitats,

(h) any proposals to—

(i) avoid or mitigate any potentially adverse effect on the environment of the undertaking of one or more than one of the maritime usages referred to in paragraph (c), or

(ii) benefit the environment or protected sites taking into account the potential effect on the environment of the undertaking of one or more than one of the maritime usages referred to in paragraph (c),

and

(i) any proposals to avoid or mitigate any potentially adverse impact on other lawful users of the maritime area of the undertaking of one or more than one of the maritime usages referred to in paragraph (c).

(3) The competent authority (D) shall cause an appropriate assessment and a strategic environmental assessment to be carried out in relation to the draft DMAP.

(4) The draft DMAP may be inconsistent with the relevant proposal if the Minister has given notice in writing to the competent authority (D) that the Minister has no objection to the inconsistency concerned.

Section 23
23

Public participation on DMAPs

23. (1) The competent authority (D) shall, as soon as is practicable after the relevant proposal has been approved under section 21(4)(a) and for the purposes of ensuring compliance with Article 9 of the MSP Directive, prepare and publish on its website a statement (in this section referred to as the “public participation statement (D)”) of the processes settled by the competent authority (D) in relation to the involvement of interested persons in the preparation of a relevant document.

(2) The competent authority (D) shall take all reasonable steps to comply with the public participation statement (D).

(3) The competent authority (D) shall keep the public participation statement (D) under review and, if the competent authority (D) considers it necessary or expedient to revise the statement and does so, the competent authority (D) shall publish on its website the statement as so revised.

(4) The Minister may by regulations specify requirements with which a public participation statement (D) shall comply, including requirements relating to any of the following:

(a) appropriate time periods for public consultation;

(b) arrangements for the publication of notices relating to relevant documents;

(c) the contents of notices, including the following:

(i) public consultation timeframes, including periods during which submissions may be made;

(ii) information on how submissions received will be acknowledged, considered and published;

(iii) information on the proposed methods of public participation;

(d) specific arrangements (including, if the Minister considers it appropriate to do so in the interests of clarity, separate sets of regulations made under this section for different competent authorities (D)) in relation to DMAPs prepared by different competent authorities (D);

(e) arrangements relating to the establishment of methods of public participation.

(5) When the Minister makes regulations under subsection (4), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies:

(a) compliance with the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark on 25 June 1998;

(b) compliance with Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 200310 providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC - Statement by the Commission;

(c) compliance with Article 9 of the MSP Directive;

(d) the opportunity to incorporate national and international good practices relating to public participation;

(e) public participation in the process is inclusive;

(f) the administrative burden on the competent authority (D) and participants is considered, making use, where possible, of existing public participation processes and methods;

(g) that public participation is initiated at an early stage in and continued throughout the development of DMAPs;

(h) that appropriate use is made of a wide range of media to raise awareness to maritime spatial planning and public participation opportunities;

(i) that appropriate use is made of information technology;

(j) particular requirements relating to DMAPs that are made by different competent authorities (D).

(6) For the purposes of assisting any committee of the Oireachtas to engage in the public participation the subject of this section, a copy of the public participation statement (D) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(7) In this section, “relevant document” means—

(a) a draft of a DMAP,

(b) a document specified in the public participation statement (D) as a document to which this paragraph applies, or

(c) a document specified in regulations made under subsection (4) as a document to which this paragraph applies.

10 OJ No. L156, 25.6.2003, p. 17

Section 24
24

Minister and draft DMAP

24. (1) The competent authority (D) shall, as soon as is practicable after complying with sections 22 and 23 in relation to the draft DMAP, revise (if necessary) the draft to take into account any relevant considerations arising from the public consultation, appropriate assessment and strategic environmental assessment carried out, as required by those sections, in relation to the draft and submit the draft to the Minister.

(2) The Minister shall review the draft DMAP to ascertain whether or not there are any inconsistencies between the plan and any of the following:

(a) the MSP Directive;

(b) the marine planning policy statement;

(c) the National Marine Planning Framework (except that, in the case of a DMAP forming part of such Framework, only to the extent that the draft applies to the same geographical or sectoral areas, or both, of the maritime area to which the DMAP applies);

(d) guidelines issued under section 7 to the extent that the guidelines are relevant to the draft;

(e) policy directives issued under section 8 to the extent that the directives are relevant to the draft.

(3) Where the Minister ascertains an inconsistency referred to in subsection (2), he or she shall—

(a) make a recommendation in writing to the competent authority (D) to amend the draft DMAP to avoid or mitigate the inconsistency, or

(b) give notice in writing to the competent authority (D) of the inconsistency and in that notice state that the draft DMAP does not need to be amended to avoid or mitigate the inconsistency,

as the Minister thinks fit in all the circumstances of the case.

(4) Where subsection (3)(a) applies, the competent authority (D) shall—

(a) amend the draft DMAP in accordance with the recommendation concerned,

(b) cause an appropriate assessment and strategic environmental assessment to be carried out in relation to the amendment to the draft DMAP, and

(c) after paragraphs (a) and (b) have been complied with and, if necessary, revise the draft DMAP to ensure that section 33 is complied with.

Section 25
25

Laying of DMAPs before each House of Oireachtas

25. (1) This section shall not apply to a DMAP to which Chapter 4 applies.

(2) Where the competent authority (D) proposes to make a DMAP after section 24 has been complied with, a draft of the DMAP, together with the Environmental Statement and Appropriate Assessment Determination in respect thereof, shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and the competent authority (D) shall not make the DMAP until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.

(3) The competent authority (D) shall, in the making of a DMAP, have regard to any resolution, report or recommendation of any committee of both Houses of the Oireachtas or either such House in so far as such resolution, report or recommendation, as the case may be, relates to a draft laid before each such House in accordance with subsection (2).

(4) A copy of a DMAP made by the competent authority (D) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as is practicable after the DMAP has been made.

Section 26
26

Reviews of DMAPs, etc.

26. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a competent authority (D) shall, not later than six years after a DMAP (being a DMAP for the time being in force) prepared by the competent authority (D) was first published, carry out a review thereof and, following the completion of the review, either—

(a) prepare and publish, in accordance with this Part and the MSP Directive, a new DMAP to replace the first-mentioned DMAP, or

(b) in circumstances where the competent authority (D) decides not to prepare and publish such new DMAP, as soon as is practicable after making that decision, prepare a statement setting out the reasons why the competent authority (D) has made that decision and publish the decision on its website.

(2) (a) The Minister may issue a policy directive under section 8 requiring a competent authority (D) to review under subsection (1) a DMAP prepared by the competent authority (D) and to carry out such review in accordance with the provisions of the directive.

(b) The competent authority the subject of a policy directive referred to in paragraph (a) shall comply with the directive.

Chapter 4

Laying of certain DMAPs before CPAs

Section 27
27

Laying of certain DMAPs before CPAs

27. (1) This section applies to a DMAP that applies exclusively within the nearshore area of one or more than one CPA.

(2) Where the relevant competent authority proposes to make a DMAP to which this section applies, the relevant competent authority (or, in the case of such competent authority which is a CPA, the chief executive of the CPA concerned or, if there are two or more CPAs concerned, the chief executives jointly of such CPAs) shall lay a draft of the DMAP before each CPA referred to in subsection (1) concerned and the relevant competent authority shall not make the DMAP until a resolution approving of the DMAP has been passed by each such CPA.

(3) The relevant competent authority (other than in the case of such competent authority which is a CPA) shall, in the making of a DMAP, have regard to—

(a) in the case of a draft of that DMAP laid before only one CPA in accordance with subsection (2), any resolution, report or recommendation of the CPA in so far as such resolution, report or recommendation relates to the draft, or

(b) in the case of a draft of that DMAP laid before two or more CPAs in accordance with subsection (2), any joint resolution, report or recommendation of the CPAs in so far as such resolution, report or recommendation relates to the draft.

(4) The relevant competent authority (not being a CPA) shall cause a copy of a DMAP made by the relevant competent authority to be laid before each CPA referred to in subsection (1).

(5) In this section, “relevant competent authority”, in relation to a DMAP, means the competent authority (M) or competent authority (D) who prepared the DMAP.

Chapter 5

Amendment of MSPs and DMAPs

Section 28
28

Amendment of MSPs and DMAPs

28. (1) Where the relevant competent authority wishes to make a material amendment to a relevant plan without replacing the plan, the relevant provisions shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to the preparation and making of the amendment as they apply to the preparation and making of a relevant plan.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Minister may by regulations specify classes of amendments to a relevant plan that are, for the purposes of this section, non-material amendments.

(3) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (2), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies in relation to the proposed classes of amendments referred to in that subsection:

(a) that the amendments which fall within the class should be trivial, insignificant, minor or inconsequential;

(b) that the amendments which fall within that class should not cause any significant inconsistencies between the amendment concerned and any of the following:

(i) the MSP Directive;

(ii) the marine planning policy statement;

(iii) the National Marine Planning Framework;

(iv) guidelines issued under section 7 ;

(v) policy directives issued under section 8 ;

(c) that the amendments which fall within that class should not cause any significant erosion of the provisions of the relevant plan concerned relating to any avoidance or mitigation measures.

(4) Where the relevant competent authority is a competent authority (D) who wishes to make a non-material amendment to a relevant plan which is a DMAP, it shall give notice in the specified form to the Minister of the amendment not less than 10 working days before making the amendment.

(5) In this section—

“material amendment”, in relation to a relevant plan, means any amendment to the plan other than an amendment which falls within a class of amendments specified in regulations made under subsection (2);

“non-material amendment”, in relation to a relevant plan, means an amendment which falls within a class of amendments specified in regulations made under subsection (2);

“relevant competent authority” means—

(a) in relation to a relevant maritime spatial plan that is a MSP, the competent authority (M), and

(b) in relation to a relevant maritime spatial plan that is a DMAP, the competent authority (D) concerned;

“relevant plan” means—

(a) a MSP, or

(b) a DMAP;

“relevant provisions” means—

(a) in relation to a relevant plan that is a MSP, the provisions of Chapter 2 and, if applicable, Chapter 4, and

(b) in relation to a relevant plan that is a DMAP, the provisions of Chapter 3 and, if applicable, Chapter 4.

Chapter 6

Competent authority (M) and DMAPs

Section 29
29

Competent authority (M) may make DMAPs

29. (1) Subject to subsection (3), the competent authority (M) may prepare and publish on a website of the Government a DMAP in accordance with Chapter 3 and the MSP Directive in respect of one or more than one of the following:

(a) all or specified activities of a competent authority for the purposes of the MSP Directive;

(b) acting as a coordinating body for some or all of the competent authorities for some of their activities;

(c) one or more than one designated geographical or sectoral area, or both, of the maritime area.

(2) The competent authority (M) shall be deemed to have all the functions necessary to perform functions for the purposes of exercising his or her power under subsection (1).

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the provisions of Chapters 3 to 5 shall, for the purposes of subsection (1), apply to the competent authority (M) as if references in those provisions to the competent authority (D) were references to the competent authority (M).

(4) The following modifications shall apply, for the purposes of subsection (1), to the provisions of Chapters 3 to 5:

(a) section 20 shall be treated as being deleted (but without prejudice to the generality of section 20(7) once the competent authority (M) has prepared and published on a website of the Government a DMAP in accordance with Chapter 6);

(b) section 21(1) shall be treated as if the words “he or she decides to exercise the power under section 29(1) ” were substituted for the words “its designation under section 20 as such”;

(c) section 21(3) and (4) shall be treated as being deleted;

(d) section 21(5) shall be treated as if the words “he or she has prepared the relevant proposal, publish, or cause to be published, such proposal on a website of the Government” were substituted for the words “it has been approved under subsection (4)(a) to prepare a draft DMAP based on the relevant proposal, publish, or cause to be published, such proposal on its website”;

(e) section 21(6) shall be treated as being deleted;

(f) section 22(1) shall be treated as if the words “relevant proposal concerned has been published in accordance with section 21(5)” were substituted for the words “competent authority (D) has been approved under section 21(4)(a) to prepare a draft DMAP based on the relevant proposal concerned”;

(g) section 22(4) shall be treated as being deleted;

(h) section 23(1) and (3) shall be treated as if the words “a website of the Government” were substituted for the words “its website”;

F11[(i) section 24(1) shall be treated as if the words "and submit the draft to the Minister" were deleted;]

F12[(ia) section 24(3) to (4) shall be treated as being deleted;]

(j) section 25(2) shall be treated as if the words “after section 24 has been complied with” were deleted;

(k) section 26(2) shall be treated as being deleted;

(l) section 28(4) shall be treated as being deleted;

(m) section 28(5) shall be treated, in the definition of “relevant provisions”, in paragraph (b), as if the words “and subject to Chapter 6 if applicable” were inserted after “is a DMAP”.

Annotations

Amendments:

F11

Substituted (31.05.2024) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), s. 35(a), S.I. No. 208 of 2024.

F12

Inserted (31.05.2024) by Gas (Amendment) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2024 (11/2024), s. 35(b), S.I. No. 208 of 2024.

Chapter 7

Public bodies and National Marine Planning Framework

Section 30
30

Compliance by public bodies

30. (1) A public body shall adopt such measures, consistent with the body’s functions, as are necessary to secure the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework.

(2) In this section, “functions” includes—

(a) the formulation of any policy, programme or plan in relation to any maritime usage or proposed maritime usage,

(b) the giving of any authorisation by or under any enactment (whether the authorisation takes the form of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation) for the purposes of any maritime usage or proposed maritime usage, and

(c) the regulation of any maritime usage or proposed maritime usage.

Section 31
31

Directions of Minister

31. (1) Subject to section 32 , the Minister may give a direction to a public body to adopt such measures as are specified in the direction relating to—

(a) the implementation of maritime spatial planning,

(b) compliance with the National Marine Planning Framework, or

(c) compliance with the State’s obligation under the MSP Directive.

(2) (a) A direction under this section shall be in writing and may apply to one or more than one public body.

(b) The Minister shall cause a direction under this section to be published on a website of the Government at the same time as it is given to the public body concerned or as soon as is practicable thereafter.

(3) A public body to whom a direction under this section is given shall comply with the direction.

(4) In this section, “public body” does not include the Minister.

Section 32
32

Steps preliminary to deciding whether or not to issue direction under section 31

32. (1) This section applies where the Minister is minded to give a direction under section 31 (in this section referred to as the “direction concerned”) to a public body (in this section referred to as the “public body concerned”).

(2) The Minister shall, in the interests of procedural fairness, give a notice in writing to the public body concerned to which is attached a draft of the direction concerned stating that—

(a) the Minister is minded to give that direction to that body, and

(b) the body may, if it wishes to do so, within the period specified in the notice (being a period of not less than four weeks from the giving of the notice) make submissions in writing to the Minister on the direction.

(3) Where the Minister receives submissions referred to in subsection (2) before the expiration of the period referred to in that subsection, he or she may, after having regard to those submissions—

(a) give the direction concerned to the public body concerned with such revisions to the direction as the Minister considers are warranted in view of those submissions,

(b) give the direction concerned to the public body concerned without any revisions to the direction if the Minister considers that no such revisions are warranted in view of those submissions, or

(c) decline to give the direction concerned to the public body concerned if the Minister considers that—

(i) in view of those submissions, the direction is not warranted, or

(ii) for any other reason, the direction is no longer warranted.

(4) Where the Minister receives no submissions referred to in subsection (2) before the expiration of the period referred to in that subsection, he or she may—

(a) give the direction concerned to the public body concerned, or

(b) decline to give the direction concerned to the public body concerned if the Minister considers that, for any reason, the direction is no longer warranted.

(5) Where subsection (3)(c) or (4)(b) applies, the Minister shall, as soon as is practicable after making the decision referred to in that subsection, give notice in writing of that decision to the public body concerned.

Chapter 8

Appropriate assessment and strategic environmental assessment

Section 33
33

Appropriate assessment and strategic environmental assessment

33. (1) For the avoidance of doubt, the relevant competent authority shall, in the preparation of any thing to which this subsection applies, ensure that the thing does not contravene the following acts of the institutions of the European Union, or any provision of an Act of the Oireachtas enacted or made for the purposes of giving effect to any such act:

(a) Habitats Directive;

(b) Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 200111 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment;

(c) Birds Directive.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to each of the following:

(a) the marine planning policy statement;

(b) guidelines issued under section 7 ;

(c) policy directives issued under section 8 ;

(d) each draft MSP;

(e) each draft DMAP;

(f) a proposed material amendment under section 28 .

(3) In this section, “relevant competent authority” means the competent authority (M) or competent authority (D), as appropriate.

11 OJ No. L197, 21.7.2001, p. 30

F13[Chapter 8A

Judicial review and MSPs and DMAPs]

Annotations

Amendments:

F13

Inserted (17.07.2023) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 45, S.I. No. 370 of 2023.

Section

F14[Judicial review of matters relating to MSPs and DMAPs

33A. (1) Where a point of law arises on any matter with which a public body is concerned under this Part, the public body may refer the point to the High Court for decision.

(2) A person shall not question the validity of any decision made or other act done by a public body in the performance or purported performance of a function under this Part in relation to a MSP or DMAP otherwise than by way of an application for judicial review under Order 84.

(3) A public body may, at any time after the bringing of an application for leave to apply for judicial review of any decision or other act to which subsection (2) applies and which relates to a matter for the time being before the public body, apply to the High Court to stay the proceedings pending the making of a decision by the public body in relation to the matter concerned.

(4) On the making of such an application, the High Court may, where it considers that the matter before the public body is within the jurisdiction of the public body, make an order staying the proceedings concerned on such terms as it thinks fit.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), an application for leave to apply for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of a decision or other act to which subsection (2) applies shall be made within the period of eight weeks beginning on the date on which—

(a) the publication requirement of section 16(1), 17(2)(a) or (b), 17(3)(a) or (b), or 18(1) is complied with in respect of the public body’s decision,

(b) the publication requirement of section 26(1)(a) or (b), is complied with in respect of the public body’s decision,

(c) the publication requirement of section 29(1) is complied with, or

(d) the public body does the act concerned,

as appropriate.

(6) The High Court may extend the period provided for in subsection (5) within which an application for leave referred to in that subsection may be made but shall only do so if it is satisfied that—

(a) there is good and sufficient reason for doing so, and

(b) the circumstances that resulted in the failure to make the application for leave within the period so provided were outside the control of the applicant for the extension.

(7) References in this section to Order 84 shall be construed as including references to the Order as amended or replaced (with or without modification) by rules of court.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F14

Inserted (17.07.2023) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 45, S.I. No. 370 of 2023.

Section

F15[Provisions supplementary to section 33A

33B.(1) In this section—

"Court", where used without qualification, means the High Court (but this definition shall not be construed as meaning that subsections (2) to (6) and (9) do not extend to and govern the exercise by the Court of Appeal of jurisdiction on any appeal that may be made);

"section 33A leave" means leave to apply for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of a decision or other act to which section 33A(2) applies.

(2) (a) An application for section 33A leave shall be made by motion ex parte and shall be grounded in the manner specified in Order 84 in respect of an ex parte motion for leave.

(b) The Court hearing the ex parte application for leave may decide, having regard to the issues arising, the likely impact of the proceedings on the respondent or another party, or for other good and sufficient reason, that the application for leave should be conducted on an inter partes basis and may adjourn the application on such terms as it may direct in order that a notice may be served on that person.

(c) If the Court directs that the leave hearing is to be conducted on an inter partes basis it shall be by motion on notice (grounded in the manner specified in Order 84 in respect of an ex parte motion for leave)—

(i) to the public body concerned, and

(ii) to any other person specified for that purpose by order of the High Court.

(d) The Court may—

(i) on the consent of all of the parties, or

(ii) where there is good and sufficient reason for so doing and it is just and equitable in all the circumstances, treat the application for leave as if it were the hearing of the application for judicial review and may for that purpose adjourn the hearing on such terms as it may direct.

(3) The Court shall not grant section 33A leave unless it is satisfied that—

(a) there are substantial grounds for contending that the decision or act concerned is invalid or ought to be quashed, and

(b) (i) the applicant has a sufficient interest in the matter which is the subject of the application, or

(ii) where the decision or act concerned relates to a development identified in or under regulations made under section 176 of the Act of 2000, for the time being in force, as being development which may have significant effects on the environment, the applicant—

(I) is a body or organisation (other than a State authority, a public authority or governmental body or agency) the aims or objectives of which relate to the promotion of environmental protection, and

(II) has, during the period of 12 months preceding the date of the application, pursued those aims or objectives.

(4) A sufficient interest for the purposes of subsection (3)(b)(i) is not limited to an interest in land or other financial interest.

(5) If the court grants section 33A leave, no grounds shall be relied upon in the application for judicial review under Order 84 other than those determined by the Court to be substantial under subsection (3)(a).

(6) The determination of the Court of an application for section 33A leave or of an application for judicial review on foot of such leave shall be final and no appeal shall lie from the decision of the Court to the Court of Appeal in either case save with leave of the Court which leave shall only be granted where the Court certifies that its decision involves a point of law of exceptional public importance and that it is desirable in the public interest that an appeal should be taken to the Court of Appeal.

(7) Subsection (6) shall not apply to a determination of the Court in so far as it involves a question as to the validity of any law having regard to the provisions of the Constitution.

(8) If an application is made for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of part only of a decision or other act to which section 33A(2) applies, the Court may, if it thinks fit, declare to be invalid or quash the part concerned or any provision thereof without declaring invalid or quashing the remainder of the decision or other act or part of the decision or other act, and if the Court does so, it may make any consequential amendments to the remainder of the decision or other act or the part thereof that it considers appropriate.

(9) The Court shall, in determining an application for section 33A leave or an application for judicial review on foot of such leave, act as expeditiously as possible consistent with the administration of justice.

(10) On an appeal from a determination of the Court in respect of an application referred to in subsection (9), the Court of Appeal shall—

(a) have jurisdiction to determine only the point of law certified by the Court under subsection (6) (and to make only such order in the proceedings as follows from such determination), and

(b) in determining the appeal, act as expeditiously as possible consistent with the administration of justice.

(11) Rules of court may make provision for the expeditious hearing of applications for section 33A leave and applications for judicial review on foot of such leave.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F15

Inserted (17.07.2023) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 45, S.I. No. 370 of 2023.

Chapter 9

Maritime Authorisation Database

Section 34
34

Definitions - Chapter 9

34. In this Chapter—

“Database” means the Maritime Authorisation Database established under section 35(1);

“relevant data” means the data referred to in section 36(1);

“relevant particulars” means the particulars of relevant data required to be entered into the Database by regulations made under section 36 .

Section 35
35

Establishment of Maritime Authorisation Database

35. (1) The Minister shall, as soon as is practicable after the coming into operation of this section, establish and maintain a database to be known as the Maritime Authorisation Database.

(2) The Database shall be in the form of an electronic database which is easily accessible through public electronic telecommunications networks.

(3) The Minister shall enter the relevant particulars of the relevant data in the Database as soon as is practicable after he or she receives the data.

(4) Where relevant data is received by a public body other than the Minister, the public body shall, as soon as is practicable, give that data to the Minister in the form specified by the Minister.

(5) The Minister may, by notice in writing given to—

(a) a public body which has received relevant data, or

(b) a person who gave the relevant data referred to in paragraph (a) to the public body referred to in that paragraph,

require the public body or the person, as the case may be, to provide such additional relevant data, or additional information concerning relevant data, as the Minister reasonably considers necessary in maintaining the Database.

(6) The public body or person to whom a notice under subsection (5) has been given shall comply with that notice as soon as is practicable after the public body or person, as the case may be, has received the notice.

Section 36
36

Data to which Database applies, etc.

36. (1) The Minister may by regulations specify the data to which the Database applies, being data that the Minister is satisfied—

(a) relate to an authorisation (in this section referred to as a “relevant authorisation”) by or under this Act or any other enactment (whether the authorisation takes the form of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation) of any maritime usage or proposed maritime usage, and whether or not such authorisation also relates to an area outside the maritime area, and

(b) should be readily available for access by users or proposed users of the maritime area and interested members of the public.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), regulations made under that subsection may specify the particulars of the relevant data to which the Database applies that are to be entered in the Database.

(3) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (1) to which subsection (2) applies, he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies in relation to the particulars of relevant data that are to be entered in the Database:

(a) that the particulars should be sufficient to enable persons accessing the Database to readily ascertain—

(i) the part of the maritime area to which the relevant authorisation relates,

(ii) the maritime usage or proposed maritime usage the subject of the relevant authorisation, and

(iii) the name and contact details of the holder of the relevant authorisation;

(b) the need to know the date (if any), or the occurrence of the event (if any), on which the relevant authorisation expires; and

(c) if paragraph (b) applies, the need to know whether the relevant authorisation may be renewed.

(4) The Minister may, for the purposes of this Chapter, combine or link, in such manner as he or she thinks appropriate, the Database with any other database (by whatever name called) which contains relevant data.

Section 37
37

Correction of Database

37. (1) For the purposes of keeping the Database correct, the Minister may—

(a) subject to paragraph (b), amend or delete any relevant particulars entered in the Database, or

(b) where section 36(4) applies, request in writing the public body who maintains the other database to amend or delete any relevant particulars, specified in the request and for the reasons specified in the request, entered in the other database.

(2) The Minister shall take such steps as he or she considers necessary from time to time to ensure that the particulars entered in the Database are correct.

Section 38
38

General power of Minister to obtain information relating to maritime area

38. (1) The Minister may, for the purposes of promoting good governance in the sharing of information, whether under this Act or any other enactment, relating to the maritime area, give a direction in writing to a public body to give to the Minister, within the period specified in the direction (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), the information, relating to the maritime area, specified in the direction.

(2) A direction under subsection (1) may specify that the information concerned be given to the Minister on a periodic basis.

(3) A public body the subject of a direction under subsection (1) shall comply with the direction.

(4) The Minister may enter in the Database such particulars of information given to him or her pursuant to a direction under subsection (1) that the Minister is satisfied should be readily available for access by users or proposed users of the maritime area and interested members of the public.

Section 39
39

Delegation by Minister to MARA

39. (1) The Minister may delegate to the MARA any of his or her functions under this Chapter (except the Minister’s power to make regulations under section 36 ) which he or she considers can effectively be performed by the MARA and the Minister shall be responsible for monitoring, approving or reviewing the performance of such delegated functions by the MARA.

(2) Where a function of the Minister is delegated to the MARA under subsection (1), the delegation shall remain in force until the Minister revokes it.

PART 3

Maritime Area Regulatory Authority

Chapter 1

Definitions and establishment day

Section 40
40

Definitions - Part 3

40. In this Part—

“Act of 1990” means the Companies Act 1990;

“Board (M)” shall be construed in accordance with section 45(1);

“chairperson” means the chairperson of the Board (M);

“chief executive officer” shall be construed in accordance with section 56(1);

“statement of strategy”, in relation to the MARA, shall be construed in accordance with section 66 .

Section 41
41

Establishment day

41. The Minister shall, by order, appoint a day to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act.

Annotations

Editorial Notes:

E9

Power pursuant to section exercised (17.07.2023) by Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (Establishment Day) Order 2023 (S.I. No. 372 of 2023).

2. The 17th day of July 2023 is appointed to be the establishment day for the purposes of the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021 (No. 50 of 2021).

Chapter 2

Establishment and functions of Maritime Area Regulatory Authority

Section 42
42

Establishment of Maritime Area Regulatory Authority

42. (1) There shall stand established on the establishment day a body which shall be known as an tÚdarás Rialála Limistéir Mhuirí or, in the English language, the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (in this Act referred to as the “MARA”) to perform the functions assigned to it under this Act or any other enactment.

(2) The MARA is a body corporate with perpetual succession and an official seal and may—

(a) sue and be sued in its own name,

(b) with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, acquire, hold and dispose of land or an interest in land, and

(c) acquire, hold and dispose of any other property.

(3) The seal of the MARA shall be authenticated by—

(a) the signature of the chairperson or another member of the Board (M) authorised in writing by the chairperson to do so, and

(b) the signature of the chief executive officer or another officer of the MARA authorised in writing by the chairperson to do so.

(4) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of the MARA, and every document purporting to be an instrument made by the MARA and sealed with the seal of the MARA authenticated in accordance with subsection (3) shall, unless the contrary is shown, be received in evidence and be deemed to be that instrument without further proof.

Section 43
43

Functions of MARA

43. (1) The functions of the MARA are—

(a) considering MAC applications, granting MACs and revoking or suspending MACs,

(b) considering licence applications, granting licences and revoking or suspending licences,

(c) securing the enforcement of the provisions of this Act relating to MACs or licences,

(d) promoting and monitoring compliance with the provisions of this Act in so far as those provisions relate to MACs or licences, or both,

(e) investigating—

(i) instances of suspected offences under this Act, and

(ii) instances otherwise of suspected non-compliance with Part 3 , 4 , 5 or 6 or with the obligations to which holders and former holders of MACs or licences are subject,

(f) the prosecuting of offences under this Act by way of summary proceedings,

(g) at the discretion of the MARA, referring cases to the Director of Public Prosecutions where the MARA has reasonable grounds for believing that an indictable offence under this Act has been committed,

(h) fostering and promoting co-operation between regulators of the maritime area, whether or not pursuant to a co-operation agreement referred to in Chapter 6,

(i) the undertaking of all administrative responsibility for foreshore authorisations, including—

(i) performing functions under or in relation to such authorisations as if—

(I) the authorisations had been granted (or otherwise given) by the MARA, and

(II) references in the authorisations (howsoever expressed) to the Minister of the Government who falls within paragraph (c) of section 1B of the Act of 1933 were references to the MARA,

(ii) investigating instances of suspected offences under the Act of 1933, and

(iii) investigating instances otherwise of suspected non-compliance with the Act of 1933 or with obligations to which holders and former holders of the authorisations are subject,

and

(j) performing such other functions as are conferred upon it by this Act, the Act of 2000 or any other enactment.

(2) Subject to this Act, the MARA shall be independent in the performance of its functions.

(3) The MARA shall perform its functions through or by—

(a) the Board (M), or

(b) the chief executive officer or any other member of the staff of the MARA duly authorised in that behalf by the Board (M).

(4) The MARA shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions.

Section 44
44

Matters to which MARA shall have regard in performing functions

44. The MARA shall, in performing its functions, have regard to—

(a) the obligation imposed on it by section 30 ,

(b) obligations of the State under the Convention and the Act of 2021,

(c) the policies (whether set out in codes, guidelines or other documents, or any combination thereof) of the Government or any Minister of the Government to the extent that those policies may affect or relate to the functions of the MARA, and

(d) the need for co-operation between users of the same part, or adjoining parts, of the maritime area, or both.

Chapter 3

Board of MARA

Section 45
45

Establishment and membership of board of MARA

45. (1) The MARA shall have a board (in this Part referred to as the “Board (M)”) consisting of the following members:

(a) a chairperson;

(b) ordinary members as follows:

(i) an officer of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage;

(ii) an officer of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications;

(iii) an officer of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform;

(iv) a representative of the County and City Management Association;

(v) up to six other persons (if any).

(2) (a) Subject to subsection (1) and paragraphs (b) to (d), the Minister shall appoint to be the chairperson and other members of the Board (M) persons who, in the opinion of the Minister, have sufficient expertise and experience relating to—

(i) matters connected with the functions of the MARA, or

(ii) corporate governance and management generally,

to enable them to make a substantial contribution to the effective and efficient performance of those functions.

(b) The Minister shall—

(i) for the purposes of appointing a member who falls within subsection (1)(b)(i), (ii) or (iii), so appoint a nominee put forward by the Minister of the Government for the Department concerned where the Minister first-mentioned in this paragraph is of the opinion referred to in paragraph (a) as regards that nominee, and

(ii) for the purposes of appointing a member who falls within subsection (1)(b)(iv), so appoint a nominee put forward by the County and City Management Association where the Minister first-mentioned in this paragraph is of the opinion referred to in paragraph (a) as regards that nominee.

(c) The Minister shall, for the purposes of appointing members who fall within subsection (1)(b)(v), ensure that any such appointment does not result in there being more than—

(i) two members who are officers of the same Department referred to in subsection (1)(b)(i), (ii) or (iii), or

(ii) two members who are representatives of the County and City Management Association.

(d) The Minister shall, in so far as is practicable, endeavour to ensure that among the members of the Board (M) there is an equitable balance between men and women.

(3) The chairperson shall hold office for such period, not exceeding four years, from the date of appointment to the office as the Minister shall determine.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), each ordinary member shall hold office for such period, not exceeding four years, from the date of appointment to the office as the Minister shall determine.

(5) Of the ordinary members of the Board (M) first constituted under this section—

(a) three members shall hold office for a period of three years from the date appointed to the office, and

(b) three members shall hold office for a period of four years from the date appointed to the office.

(6) Subject to subsection (7), a member of the Board (M) (including the chairperson) whose term of office expires by the effluxion of time shall be eligible for reappointment to the Board (M), whether as an ordinary member or as the chairperson.

(7) A person who is reappointed to the Board (M) in accordance with subsection (6) shall not hold office for more than two consecutive terms and in any event may not serve for a period of more than eight years.

(8) A member may resign from office by letter sent to the Minister and the resignation shall take effect on the later of—

(a) the date specified in the letter, or

(b) the date of receipt of the letter by the Minister.

(9) The Minister shall, as soon as is practicable after a person is appointed to be a member of the Board (M), publish on a website of the Government a notice of the name of the person so appointed.

(10) The Minister may, by notice in writing, nominate an ordinary member of the Board (M) to be the deputy chairperson of the Board (M) to act as the chairperson if, for whatever reason, the chairperson is unable to perform his or her functions.

Section 46
46

Casual vacancies

46. (1) If a member resigns, dies, ceases to hold office (otherwise than by effluxion of time), ceases to be qualified to hold office or is removed from office, the Minister shall, as soon as is practicable, appoint, consistent with the provisions of section 45 , a person to fill the casual vacancy so arising.

(2) A person appointed under subsection (1) shall hold office for the unexpired period of his or her predecessor’s term of office or such other period as the Minister may determine not exceeding four years (including such unexpired period).

(3) A member appointed under subsection (1) is eligible for reappointment to the Board (M) on the expiry of the unexpired period or other period, as appropriate, referred to in subsection (2) but may not serve for more than two further consecutive terms and in any event may not serve for a period of more than eight years.

Section 47
47

Functions of Board (M)

47. (1) The Board (M) is the governing body of the MARA with authority, in the name of the MARA, to perform the functions of the MARA.

(2) The Board (M) shall—

(a) ensure that the functions of the MARA are performed efficiently, effectively and to the highest standards,

(b) set the objectives of the MARA consistent with those functions and the statement of strategy,

(c) ensure that appropriate systems and procedures are in place to perform those functions and achieve those objectives,

(d) design a comprehensive framework for the setting of levies under Chapter 7 of Part 4 , and

(e) advise and make recommendations to the Minister in relation to policies of the Government or a Minister of the Government affecting the functions of the MARA.

(3) In performing its functions, the Board (M) shall act in good faith with care, skill and diligence.

(4) The Board (M) may delegate to the chief executive officer any of its functions which it considers should be carried out by the chief executive officer and the Board (M) shall be responsible for monitoring, approving or reviewing the performance of such functions by the chief executive officer.

(5) Where a function of the Board (M) is delegated to the chief executive officer, the delegation shall remain in force until the Board (M) revokes it.

(6) The Board (M) shall submit such information regarding the performance of its functions as may be requested in writing by the Minister.

(7) Subject to this Part, the Board (M) may regulate its own procedure.

Section 48
48

Membership of either House of Oireachtas or European Parliament, etc.

48. (1) A person is not eligible for appointment as a member of the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M) if the person is—

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann,

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to be a member of the European Parliament,

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament, or

(d) elected or co-opted as a member of a local authority.

(2) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament or a local authority shall, while he or she is so entitled or such a member, be disqualified for membership of the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M).

Section 49
49

Removal of member of Board (M)

49. (1) The Minister may at any time remove from office a member of the Board (M) if, in the Minister’s opinion—

(a) the member has become incapable through ill-health of performing his or her functions,

(b) the member has committed stated misbehaviour,

(c) the member’s removal is necessary for the effective and efficient performance by the Board (M) of its functions,

(d) the member has contravened an applicable provision of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995, or

(e) in performing functions under this Act, the member has not been guided by a code of conduct that has been drawn up under section 10(3) of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 and that relates to the member.

(2) If a member of the Board (M) is removed from office in accordance with subsection (1), the Minister shall give the member a statement in writing of the reasons for the removal.

(3) The Minister shall remove from office a member of the Board (M) if such removal is necessary in order to ensure that section 45(2)(c) continues to be complied with.

(4) A member of the Board (M) shall cease to be qualified for office and shall cease to hold office if he or she—

(a) is adjudicated bankrupt,

(b) makes a composition or arrangement with creditors,

(c) is sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction to a term of imprisonment,

(d) is convicted of any indictable offence,

(e) is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, whether in connection with a company or not,

(f) is, or is deemed to be, the subject of an order under section 160 of the Act of 1990 or a disqualification order within the meaning of Chapter 4 of Part 14 of the Act of 2014, or

(g) is removed by a competent authority for any reason (other than failure to pay a fee) from any register established for the purpose of registering members of a profession in the State or any other jurisdiction.

(5) A member who does not, for a consecutive period of six months, attend a meeting of the Board (M) ceases at the end of that period to hold office unless the member demonstrates to the Minister’s satisfaction that the failure was due to ill-health.

(6) In this section, “applicable provision of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 ”, in relation to a member, means a provision of that Act that, by virtue of a regulation under section 3 of that Act, applies to that member.

Section 50
50

Potential conflicts of interest

50. (1) Where a matter is to be decided by the Board (M) at a meeting, any member of the Board (M) present at the meeting who has an interest in the matter, otherwise than as such a member, shall—

(a) at the meeting, in advance of any consideration of the matter, disclose to the Board (M) the fact of the interest and the nature of the interest,

(b) neither influence nor seek to influence a decision relating to the matter,

(c) absent himself or herself from any meeting or that part of the meeting during which the matter is discussed,

(d) take no part in any deliberation of the Board (M) or committee of the Board (M) relating to the matter, and

(e) not vote on a decision relating to the matter.

(2) Where a member discloses an interest in a matter under subsection (1)

(a) the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, and

(b) for so long as the matter is being dealt with by the meeting, the member shall not be counted in the quorum for the meeting unless the Board (M) or committee of the Board (M) otherwise determines.

(3) Where, at a meeting of the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M), a question arises as to whether or not a course of conduct, if pursued by a member of the Board (M) or committee of the Board (M), as the case may be, would be a failure by the member to comply with the requirements of subsection (1)

(a) the question may be determined by the chairperson of the Board (M) or of the committee of the Board (M), as the case may be, whose decision shall be final, and

(b) if the question is so determined, particulars of the determination shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned.

(4) Where satisfied that a member of the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M) has contravened subsection (1), the Minister may, if he or she thinks fit to do so, remove that member from office or take any other action that the Minister considers appropriate.

(5) A person who is removed from office under subsection (4) is disqualified from membership of the Board (M) or of a committee of the Board (M).

Section 51
51

Removal of all members of Board (M)

51. (1) The Minister may remove all members of the Board (M) from office if—

(a) the Board (M) fails to achieve a quorum for three consecutive meetings,

(b) the Board (M) does not comply with a judgement, order or decree of any court,

(c) the Board (M) does not comply with a direction of the Minister or any other requirement imposed on it by or under any enactment (including this Act), or

(d) the Minister is of the opinion that the Board (M)’s functions are not being performed in an effective and efficient manner.

(2) The Minister may, if he or she is of the opinion that the Board (M)’s functions are not being performed in an effective and efficient manner, appoint a person to—

(a) conduct an independent review of any matter giving rise to that opinion, and

(b) submit a report to the Minister on the results of the review.

(3) The Board (M) shall co-operate with a review under subsection (2) and give the person conducting it all reasonable assistance, including access to such premises, equipment and books, records and other documents as the person may require for the purposes of the review.

(4) The removal of the members of the Board (M) from office does not revoke or otherwise affect any delegation of the Board (M)’s functions to the chief executive officer under section 47(4).

Section 52
52

Meetings of Board (M)

52. (1) The Board (M) shall hold as many meetings as are necessary for the performance of its functions, but in each year shall hold at least four meetings.

(2) The chairperson may at any reasonable time call a meeting of the Board (M).

(3) Any number of members of the Board (M) that is not fewer than the quorum for a meeting of the Board (M) may call a meeting of the Board (M) if the chairperson—

(a) refuses to call a meeting after being presented with a requisition for that purpose signed by not fewer than that number of members, or

(b) without refusing to call a meeting, does not call one within seven days of being presented with such a requisition.

(4) Subject to section 45(10), at a meeting called under subsection (3), or where the chairperson has called a meeting or cannot attend, or where the office of the chairperson is vacant, the members present shall choose one of those present to chair the meeting.

(5) The quorum for a meeting of the Board (M) shall be not less than the lowest integer that exceeds half of the total number of members for the time being.

(6) A meeting held while there is a vacancy on the Board (M) will be valid irrespective of the vacancy, as long as there is a quorum.

(7) With the exception of a meeting called in accordance with subsection (3), the chairperson shall, if present, preside at all meetings of the Board (M).

(8) Any question at a meeting shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting on the question.

(9) Where there is an equal division of votes, the chairperson has a second and casting vote at all meetings at which he or she is present except where a meeting has been called in accordance with subsection (3), in which case the chairperson or, subject to section 45(10), the person chosen in accordance with subsection (4), as appropriate, has a second or casting vote.

Section 53
53

Committees of Board (M)

53. (1) The Board (M) may establish committees to assist and advise it on matters relating to its functions, or the functions of the MARA, and may determine the membership and terms of reference of each committee.

(2) The Board (M) may appoint to a committee of the Board (M) persons who are not members of the Board (M) but have special knowledge and experience related to the purposes of the committee.

(3) The appointment of a person to a committee of the Board (M) is subject to such terms and conditions as may be determined—

(a) under section 55(1) to the extent that they relate to remuneration and allowances for expenses, and

(b) by the Board (M), in any other case.

(4) The Board (M) shall specify in writing the purposes and terms of reference of each committee of the Board (M).

(5) The acts of a committee of the Board (M) are subject to confirmation by the Board (M) unless the Board (M) dispenses with the necessity for confirmation.

(6) The Board (M) may regulate the procedure of a committee of the Board (M) but, subject to any such regulation, a committee may regulate its own procedure.

(7) The Board (M) may at any time dissolve a committee of the Board (M) established under this section.

Section 54
54

Ineligibility of holders, etc., for appointment as member

54. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person shall not be eligible for appointment as a member of the Board (M) if the person is—

(a) the holder of a MAC,

(b) the holder of a licence,

(c) the holder of a foreshore authorisation, or

(d) the chief executive officer.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a person proposed to be appointed as a member of the Board (M) in his or her capacity as a representative of the County and City Management Association.

(3) A person shall not be eligible for appointment as a member of the Board (M) if the person is a member of staff of the MARA.

Section 55
55

Remuneration and expenses of members of Board (M) and committees

55. (1) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, determine the remuneration and allowances for expenses payable under this section.

(2) The remuneration and allowances for expenses (if any) determined in accordance with subsection (1) are payable by the MARA out of funds at its disposal to—

(a) the members of the Board (M), and

(b) the members of a committee of the Board (M).

(3) The remuneration and allowances for expenses (if any) determined in accordance with subsection (1) are payable by the Minister out of money provided by the Oireachtas to a person appointed under section 51(2) to conduct an independent review.

Chapter 4

Chief executive officer of MARA

Section 56
56

Appointment of chief executive officer

56. (1) F16[Subject to subsection (9), the Board (M)] shall, as soon as is practicable after the establishment day and thereafter as required, appoint a person, being a person who has been recommended by the Public Appointments Service, to be the chief executive officer of the MARA (in this Act referred to as the “chief executive officer”).

(2) Subject to subsection (4), the Public Appointments Service shall recommend a person for appointment as the chief executive officer following an open selection competition held by the Service for that purpose.

(3) The Public Appointments Service shall appoint a selection panel to assist it in holding an open selection competition.

(4) The Public Appointments Service shall ensure that a person is recommended under subsection (2) for appointment only if it is satisfied that the person has the qualifications, experience and skills to effectively perform the functions of the chief executive officer.

(5) The chief executive officer shall hold office upon and subject to such terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to remuneration, allowances for expenses and superannuation) as may be determined by the Board (M) with the prior approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

(6) The remuneration and allowances for expenses determined under subsection (5) shall be paid out of funds at the disposal of the MARA.

(7) The chief executive officer shall not hold any other office or employment or carry on any business.

(8) The chief executive officer, although not eligible, by virtue of section 54(1), to be a member of the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M), may, in accordance with procedures established by the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M), as the case may be, attend meetings of the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M) and shall be entitled to speak at and advise such meetings.

F17[(9) (a) A selection competition to appoint a chief executive officer may be held before the establishment day and the successful candidate may be appointed by the Minister as the chief executive designate of the MARA.

(b) The chief executive designate shall be appointed chief executive officer on the establishment of the MARA.

(c) The date of the person’s appointment under paragraph (a) shall be deemed to be the date of his or her appointment as chief executive officer.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F16

Substituted (1.12.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 46(a), S.I. No. 600 of 2022).

F17

Inserted (1.12.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 46(b), S.I. No. 600 of 2022).

Section 57
57

Resignation, removal or disqualification of chief executive officer

57. (1) The chief executive officer may resign from office by giving notice in writing to the Board (M) of his or her resignation.

(2) The Board (M) may, at any time and with the prior approval of the Minister, remove the chief executive officer from office if, in the opinion of the Board (M) —

(a) the chief executive officer has become incapable through ill-health of performing his or her functions,

(b) the chief executive officer has committed stated misbehaviour, or

(c) the removal of the chief executive officer is necessary for the effective and efficient performance by the MARA of its functions.

(3) If the chief executive officer is removed from office in accordance with subsection (2), the Board (M) shall provide the chief executive officer with a statement in writing of the reasons for the removal.

(4) The chief executive officer shall cease to be qualified for office and shall cease to hold office if he or she—

(a) is sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction to a term of imprisonment,

(b) is convicted of any indictable offence,

(c) is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, whether in connection with a company or not, or

(d) is, or is deemed to be, the subject of an order under section 160 of the Act of 1990 or a disqualification order within the meaning of Chapter 4 of Part 14 of the Act of 2014.

Section 58
58

Functions of chief executive officer

58. The chief executive officer shall—

(a) carry on and manage, and control generally, the administration and business of the MARA in accordance with the objectives referred to in section 47(2)(b),

(b) perform such other functions as may be assigned to him or her under this Act or any other enactment or as may be delegated to him or her by the Board (M), and

(c) provide the Board (M) with such information (including financial information) relating to the performance of his or her functions and the implementation of the objectives referred to in section 47(2)(b) as the Board (M) may require.

Section 59
59

Delegation of functions

59. (1) (a) Subject to paragraph (c), the chief executive officer may delegate any of his or her functions under section 58 in writing to a member of staff of the MARA, which member shall be specified by name, grade, position or otherwise.

(b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), the chief executive officer may exercise his or her power under that paragraph by delegating all of his or her functions under section 58 to a single member of staff of the MARA to be performed by that member of staff during any period or periods when the chief executive officer is absent from duty or from the State or is, for any other reason, unable to perform such functions.

(c) The Board (M) may issue directions in writing to the chief executive officer in respect of the exercise of his or her power under paragraph (a) and the chief executive officer shall comply with such directions.

(2) Any function delegated under this section to a member of staff of the MARA shall be performed by the member under the general direction and control of the chief executive officer and in compliance with such directions, limitations and guidelines as may be specified by the chief executive officer.

(3) The delegation of a function does not preclude the chief executive officer from performing the function.

(4) The chief executive officer may—

(a) vary the delegation of a function under this section, or

(b) revoke the delegation.

(5) On varying or revoking the delegation of a function, the chief executive officer shall, as soon as is practicable, inform each member of staff of the MARA to whom the function was delegated of its variation or revocation.

Section 60
60

Accountability of chief executive officer to committees of Houses of Oireachtas

60. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the chief executive officer shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to give account of the general administration of the MARA.

(2) The chief executive officer shall not be required to give account before a Committee for any matter which is or has been, or may be at a future date, the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(3) Where the chief executive officer is of the opinion that a matter in respect of which he or she is requested to give an account before a Committee is a matter to which subsection (2) applies, he or she shall inform the Committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, unless the information is conveyed to the Committee at a time when the chief executive officer is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(4) Where the chief executive officer has informed a Committee of this opinion in accordance with subsection (3) and the Committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (1) in so far as it relates to the subject matter of the opinion—

(a) the chief executive officer may, not later than 42 days after being informed by the Committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in a summary manner for determination of the question whether the matter is one to which subsection (2) applies, or

(b) the Chairperson of the Committee may, on behalf of the Committee, make such an application,

and the High Court shall determine the matter.

(5) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (4), the chief executive officer shall not attend before the Committee to give account for the matter that is the subject of the application.

(6) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (2) applies, the Committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (1), but if the High Court determines that subsection (2) does not apply, the chief executive officer shall attend before the Committee to give account for the matter.

(7) In the performance of his or her duties under this section, the chief executive officer shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of any policy of the Government or a Minister of the Government or on the merits of the objectives of such a policy.

(8) With the permission of the Chairperson of a Committee making the request under subsection (1), either—

(a) the chairperson of the Board (M), or

(b) an employee of the MARA nominated by the chief executive officer,

may attend before the Committee in place of the chief executive officer to give an account of the general administration of the MARA, and in that case a reference in subsections (2) to (7) to the chief executive officer shall be read as including a reference to the person attending in his or her place.

(9) In this section, “Committee” means a committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas, other than—

(a) the Committee of Public Accounts, the Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann or the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Éireann, or

(b) a subcommittee of a committee referred to in paragraph (a).

Section 61
61

Appearance of chief executive officer before Committee of Public Accounts

61. (1) The chief executive officer shall, whenever required in writing to do so by the Committee of Dáil Éireann established under the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann to examine and report to Dáil Éireann on the appropriation accounts and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (in this section referred to as the “Committee”), give evidence to that Committee in relation to—

(a) the regularity and propriety of the transactions recorded or required to be recorded in any book or other record of account subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General that the MARA is required by or under this Act or another enactment to prepare,

(b) the economy and efficiency of the MARA in the use of its resources,

(c) the systems, procedures and practices employed by the MARA for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of its operations, and

(d) any matter affecting the MARA referred to in a special report of the Comptroller and Auditor General under section 11(2) of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993, or in any other report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (in so far as it relates to a matter specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c)) that is laid before Dáil Éireann.

(2) In the performance of his or her duties under this section, the chief executive officer shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of—

(a) any policy of the Government or of a Minister of the Government, or

(b) the objectives of such a policy.

Section 62
62

Membership of either House of Oireachtas or European Parliament

62. (1) A person is not eligible for appointment as the chief executive officer if the person is—

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann,

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to be a member of the European Parliament,

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament, or

(d) elected or co-opted as a member of a local authority.

(2) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament or of a local authority shall, while he or she is so entitled or is such a member, be disqualified for being the chief executive officer.

Section 63
63

Acting chief executive officer

63. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may appoint such other member of staff of the MARA to perform the functions of the chief executive officer during—

(a) any suspension from office of the chief executive officer, or

(b) any vacancy in the office of chief executive officer (including any such vacancy occurring before the appointment of the first chief executive officer).

(2) The Minister may at any time terminate an appointment under this section.

Chapter 5

Staff of MARA and other resources available to MARA

Section 64
64

Staff of MARA, etc.

64. (1) The MARA may, with the consent of the Minister given with the approval of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, appoint such and so many persons to be members of the staff of the MARA as it may determine.

(2) (a) The terms and conditions of service of a member of the staff of the MARA and the grade at which he or she serves shall be such as may be determined by the MARA with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

(b) The remuneration and allowances for expenses of the members of staff of the MARA are payable by the MARA out of funds at its disposal.

(3) A member of staff of the MARA appointed under subsection (1) shall be a civil servant (within the meaning of the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 2005) in the Civil Service of the State.

(4) The MARA shall be the appropriate authority (within the meaning of the Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956 and the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 2005) in relation to its officers.

(5) The MARA may make arrangements with—

(a) a public body, or

(b) any other person, organisation, group or body (including a company),

for the engagement with the MARA on a temporary basis of a person in the service of, or employed by, as the case may be, that public body, or person, organisation, group or body referred to in paragraph (b).

(6) A person who is engaged on a temporary basis with the MARA pursuant to subsection (5) shall be under the direction and control of the MARA during the period of temporary engagement.

(7) The MARA may engage such consultants or advisers as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions.

(8) Fees due to a consultant or adviser engaged under this section are payable by the MARA out of funds at its disposal.

(9) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (5), the Minister may make available to the MARA, premises, equipment, services and other resources for the performance by the MARA of its functions.

(10) The Minister may, subject to agreement with the relevant chief executive (by whatever name called) of any public body, under the Minister’s aegis, including any local authority, provide for the provision of services under subsection (9).

Chapter 6

Co-operation

Section 65
65

Provision for co-operation between MARA and public bodies

65. (1) The MARA may enter into an arrangement with a public body for the purposes of—

(a) any of the following:

(i) facilitating co-operation between the MARA and the body in the performance of their respective functions in so far as they relate to the maritime area;

(ii) the body rendering assistance to the MARA in the MARA’s performance of its functions where such assistance is not inconsistent with the body’s functions;

(iii) the MARA rendering assistance to the body in the body’s performance of its functions where such assistance is not inconsistent with the MARA’s functions,

(b) avoiding duplication of activities by the MARA and the body in so far as those activities relate to the maritime area,

(c) ensuring, as far as is practicable, consistency between decisions made or other steps taken by the MARA and the body in so far as any part of those decisions or steps consists of or relates to the maritime area,

(d) enabling the MARA to be consulted in relation to any decisions by the body which affect users or proposed users of the maritime area, or

(e) where appropriate, conducting joint studies or analyses of matters relating to the maritime area,

and each such arrangement that is entered into is referred to in this section as a “co-operation agreement”.

(2) A co-operation agreement may include any or all of the following provisions:

(a) enabling each party to furnish to another party information in its possession if the information is required by that other party for the purpose of the performance by it of any of its functions;

(b) enabling each party to forbear to perform any of its functions in relation to a matter in circumstances where it is satisfied that another party is performing functions in relation to that matter;

(c) requiring each party to consult with any other party before performing any functions in circumstances where the respective exercise by each party of the functions concerned involves the determination of issues concerning the maritime area or users or proposed users of the maritime area that are identical to one another or are within the same category of such an issue, being a category specified in the co-operation agreement.

(3) A co-operation agreement may be varied by the parties concerned.

(4) The MARA shall give the Minister and any other appropriate Minister a copy of every co-operation agreement (including any variation of the agreement) that has been made within one month after the agreement (or the variation of it) has been made.

(5) A co-operation agreement, or any variation made to it, shall be in writing and, as soon as is practicable after the agreement or variation has been made and given to the Minister and any other appropriate Minister, each of the parties shall arrange for it to be published on its own website.

(6) If information is furnished by one party to another party pursuant to a provision of a co-operation agreement of the kind referred to in subsection (2)(a), the provisions of any enactment concerning the disclosure of that information by the first-mentioned party shall apply to the second-mentioned party with respect to that information.

(7) A failure by the MARA or a public body to comply with a provision of a co-operation agreement shall not invalidate the exercise by it of any power.

(8) In this section—

“appropriate Minister” means the Minister of the Government on whom functions stand conferred in relation to the public body concerned;

“party” means a party to a co-operation agreement and a reference to another party (whether that expression or the expression “the other party” is used) shall, where there are two or more other parties to the agreement, be construed as a reference to one or more of those other parties or each of them, as appropriate.

Chapter 7

Corporate strategy, accounts and annual reports of MARA

Section 66
66

Corporate strategy of MARA

66. (1) The MARA shall prepare a statement of strategy within 12 months of the establishment day and thereafter not earlier than six months before and not later than the expiration of each subsequent period of three years following that day.

(2) The statement of strategy shall be prepared on the basis of an organisational wide strategic approach encompassing the functions and principal activities of the MARA and shall include:

(a) a statement setting out the approach taken in respect of each of the MARA’s functions referred to in section 43(1);

(b) a statement of the principal activities of the MARA;

(c) the objectives and priorities for each of the principal activities and strategies for achieving those objectives;

(d) the manner in which the MARA proposes to assess its performance in respect of each such activity, taking account of indicators which shall be identified by the MARA and of the need to work towards best practice in service delivery and in the general operation of the MARA;

(e) human resources activities (including training and development) to be undertaken for the staff of the MARA;

(f) the organisational structure of the MARA, including corporate support and information technology and the improvements proposed to promote efficiency of operation and customer service and in general to support the statement of strategy;

(g) such other matters as the MARA considers necessary.

(3) Within three months of the preparation of the statement of strategy for the purposes of subsection (1), the MARA shall submit copies of the statement to the Minister and the Minister shall, as soon as is practicable after those copies are submitted to him or her, cause copies of the statement to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Section 67
67

Accounts of MARA

67. (1) The MARA shall keep in such form as may be approved by the Minister all proper and usual accounts of money received or expended by it and of all financial transactions undertaken in the performance of its functions.

(2) The Board (M) shall, in respect of each financial year, cause to be prepared proper accounts of all income and expenditure and property, credits and liabilities of the MARA.

(3) The financial year of the MARA shall be the period of 12 months ending on the 31st day of December in any year, commencing on the establishment day except that, if the establishment day is a day other than 1 January, the first financial year of the MARA shall be the period commencing on the establishment day and ending on and including the next 31st day of December.

(4) The statement of accounts of the MARA for each financial year shall, as soon as may be after the end of the financial year, be prepared and the accounts of the MARA shall be submitted to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit, as soon as is practicable, and not later than three months after the end of the financial year to which the accounts relate.

(5) Within one month of the Comptroller and Auditor General issuing an audit certificate for the accounts of the MARA, a copy of—

(a) the accounts, and

(b) the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the accounts,

shall be presented to the Minister who, within two months after their receipt, shall cause copies thereof to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Section 68
68

Annual report of MARA

68. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (4), the MARA shall, not later than 30 June in each year, prepare and adopt, and submit to the Minister, a report in writing (in this section referred to as the “annual report”) on its activities during the immediately preceding calendar year.

(2) The first annual report shall be prepared in respect of the period beginning on and including the establishment day and ending on and including 31 December of the immediately succeeding calendar year.

(3) The Minister shall, within 21 days of receiving the annual report, cause copies of it to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(4) The MARA shall include in the annual report the statement that, but for section 1E of the Act of 1933, the relevant Minister, within the meaning of that section, would have been required by section 20 of that Act to lay before each House of the Oireachtas and, for that purpose, the references in such section 20 to the appropriate Minister shall be construed as references to the MARA to the extent that such references are references to such relevant Minister.

Chapter 8

Miscellaneous

Section 69
69

Duty of MARA to give information

69. (1) The MARA shall—

(a) monitor and keep under review occurrences and developments concerning matters relating to its functions, and

(b) without delay, give the Minister information regarding—

(i) any occurrence or development that, in the opinion of the MARA, the Minister is likely to consider significant for the performance of his or her functions (whether under this Act or otherwise), or

(ii) any other occurrence or development that falls within a class of occurrences or developments of public interest or concern that has been specified in writing by the Minister.

(2) The Minister may issue guidelines in relation to the giving of information under subsection (1) and, if he or she does so, the MARA shall comply with those guidelines.

(3) The MARA shall submit, when required by the Minister to do so, a report on any matters connected with the functions of the MARA and specified in writing by the Minister.

(4) A report under subsection (3) shall—

(a) address matters of general or specific concern, and

(b) be made in such form and within such period,

as specified in the requirement.

Section 70
70

Disclosure of confidential information

70. (1) Except in the circumstances specified in subsection (2), a person shall not disclose confidential information obtained while performing functions as—

(a) a member of the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M),

(b) a person appointed under section 51(2),

(c) the chief executive officer or any other member of staff of the MARA (including a person who is such a member by virtue of section 64(5)),

(d) a person engaged under section 64(7) by the MARA as an advisor or consultant,

(e) an employee of a person referred to in paragraph (b) or (d), or

(f) an authorised officer.

(2) A person does not contravene subsection (1) by disclosing confidential information if the disclosure—

(a) is made to or authorised by the MARA,

(b) is made to the Minister by or on behalf of the MARA or in compliance with this Act, or

(c) is required by law.

Section 71
71

Processing of personal data

71. (1) The MARA may process personal data for the purposes of the functions assigned to it by or under this Act or any other enactment.

(2) Such processing shall go no further than is necessary for the carrying out of those functions.

Section 72
72

Powers to specify form of document

72. (1) The MARA may specify the form of documents required for the purposes of this Act as it thinks appropriate.

(2) The MARA’s power under subsection (1) may be exercised in such a way as to specify two or more forms of any document (whether in paper or electronic form or both) referred to in that subsection, whether as alternatives, or to provide for particular circumstances or particular cases, as the MARA thinks appropriate.

(3) The form of a document specified under this section shall be—

(a) completed in accordance with such directions and instruction as are specified in the document,

(b) accompanied by such other documents (including a statutory declaration) as are specified in the document, and

(c) if the completed document is required to be provided to—

(i) the MARA,

(ii) another person on behalf of the MARA, or

(iii) any other person,

so provided in the manner (if any) specified in the document.

Section 73
73

Immunity from suit

73. (1) Civil or criminal proceedings shall not lie in any court against the MARA or a relevant person in respect of any thing said or done in good faith by the MARA or relevant person, as the case may be, in the course of the performance or purported performance of their respective functions under this Act.

(2) In this section, “relevant person” means—

(a) a member of the Board (M) or a committee of the Board (M),

(b) a person engaged under section 51(2),

(c) the chief executive officer or any other member of staff of the MARA (including a person who is such a member by virtue of section 64(5)),

(d) an authorised officer, or

(e) an employee of a person referred to in paragraph (b).

PART 4

Maritime Area Consent

Chapter 1

Interpretation

Section 74
74

Interpretation - Part 4

74. (1) In this Part, “fit and proper person” shall be construed in accordance with Schedule 2.

(2) In sections 85, 88 and 89, “MAC” includes part of a MAC.

Chapter 2

When MAC is required, etc.

Section 75
75

When MAC is required prior to seeking development permission, etc.

75. (1) Subject to subsection (4) F18[and sections 75A and 76A], where development permission is required for a proposed maritime usage in a part of the maritime area, a person shall not seek, or otherwise have (by whatever means), such permission unless he or she is, in respect of that part, the holder of a MAC for the occupation of that part for the purposes of such usage.

(2) (a) Subject to subsection (3), the Minister may by regulations specify, for the purposes of paragraph 8 of Schedule 3, a class of maritime usage where he or she is of the opinion that—

(i) by reason of the size, nature or limited impact on the maritime area, of maritime usage which falls within that class, the undertaking of such usage would not offend against the principles of proper management of the maritime area and sustainable usage of the maritime area, or

(ii) the maritime usage is authorised, or is required to be authorised, by or under any enactment (whether the authorisation takes the form of the grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation).

(b) Regulations made under paragraph (a) may be subject to conditions and be of general application or apply to such part of the maritime area as may be specified in the regulations.

(3) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (2) except after consultation with the MARA.

F19[(4) (a) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any proposed maritime usage specified in Schedule 3.

(b) Subject to paragraph (c), subsection (1) shall not apply where—

(i) a prospective applicant for the development permission referred to in that subsection has, on or before 1 October 2022, entered into consultations with the Board (P) under section 37B of the Act of 2000, and

(ii) an application for such permission is made, on or before 1 October 2024, pursuant to Part III of the Act of 2000.

(c) Where a person is for the time being not required to be the holder of a MAC by virtue of the operation of paragraph (b), the person shall make the MAC application concerned before the 2nd anniversary of the date of the grant of the permission concerned pursuant to Part III of the Act of 2000.]

F20[(5) Where subsection (1) applies, the application for the development permission referred to in that subsection shall have attached to it the rehabilitation schedule (within the meaning of section 95) that would otherwise have been required to be attached to the MAC referred to in that subsection but for the operation of section 96(5).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F18

Inserted (31.12.2023) by Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (26/2022), s. 277(a), S.I. No. 653 of 2023.

F19

Substituted by (31.12.2023) by Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (26/2022), s. 277(b), S.I. No. 653 of 2023.

F20

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 47, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 75A
75A

F21[When MAC is required after grant of certain development permission

75A. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), where development permission has been granted, on or before 17 July 2023, for a proposed maritime usage in a part of the maritime area, a person shall not undertake such usage unless he or she is, in respect of that part, the holder of a MAC for the occupation of that part for the purposes of such usage.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a proposed maritime usage referred to in that subsection that is the subject of—

(a) a lease made under section 2 of the Act of 1933 that authorises the lessee to do, for the purposes of such usage, one or more than one of the acts referred to in that section, or

(b) a licence granted under section 3 of the Act that authorises the licensee to do, for the purposes of such usage, one or more than one of the acts referred to in that section.

(3) An application under section 79(1) for the grant of a MAC for the purposes of the undertaking of the proposed maritime usage referred to in subsection (1) shall be made before 17 July 2024.

Annotations

Amendments:

F21

Inserted (31.12.2023) by Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (26/2022), s. 278, S.I. No. 653 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E10

The section heading is taken from the amending section in the absence of one included in the amendment. ]

Section 76
76

When MAC is required but not development permission, etc.

76. (1) Subject to subsection (4) F22[and section 76A], where development permission is not required for a proposed maritime usage in a part of the maritime area, a person shall not undertake such usage unless he or she is, in respect of that part, the holder of a MAC for the occupation of that part for the purposes of such usage.

(2) (a) Subject to subsection (3), the Minister may by regulations specify, for the purposes of paragraph 9 of Schedule 4, a class of maritime usage where he or she is of the opinion that—

(i) by reason of the size, nature or limited impact on the maritime area, of maritime usage which falls within that class, the undertaking of such usage would not offend against the principles of proper management of the maritime area and sustainable usage of the maritime area, or

(ii) the maritime usage is authorised, or is required to be authorised, by or under any enactment (whether the authorisation takes the form of the grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation).

(b) Regulations made under paragraph (a) may be subject to conditions and be of general application or apply to such part of the maritime area as may be specified in the regulations.

(3) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (2) except after consultation with the MARA.

(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any proposed maritime usage specified in Schedule 4.

Annotations

Amendments:

F22

Inserted (31.12.2023) by Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (26/2022), s. 279, S.I. No. 653 of 2023.

Section 76A
76A

F23[When MAC is not required

76A. Neither section 75 nor section 76 shall apply for a maritime usage in a part of the maritime area consisting of development (including the laying of cables or pipelines or both) authorised by—

(a) a lease made under section 2 of the Act of 1933 pursuant to an application for such lease made under that Act before the establishment day, or

(b) a licence granted under section 3 of the Act of 1933 pursuant to an application for such licence made under that Act before the establishment day.

Annotations

Amendments:

F23

Inserted (31.12.2023) by Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (26/2022), s. 280, S.I. No. 653 of 2023.]

Section 77
77

Application for declaration as to whether or not MAC is required, etc.

77. (1) A person may make an application in the specified form, accompanied by the specified fee, to the MARA for a declaration in writing by the MARA as to whether or not the occupation of the part of the maritime area the subject of the application for the purposes of the undertaking of the proposed maritime usage the subject of the application requires a MAC and, if so, whether section 75 or 76 applies.

(2) Where an application under subsection (1) is made to the MARA, it may, by notice in writing given to the applicant, require the applicant to provide, whether in the specified form, by affidavit or otherwise, such additional information in relation to any matter to which the application relates as the MARA reasonably considers necessary to make the declaration sought by the application.

(3) The MARA shall, to the extent that it is practicable to do so, make the declaration sought by an application under subsection (1), and give a copy of the declaration to the applicant, not later than 30 days after the day on which the MARA is satisfied that the applicant has complied with all the requirements of or under this section.

Section 78
78

Fees for certain applications

78. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the Minister may by regulations specify the fees to be paid to the MARA for relevant applications and, for that purpose—

(a) different amounts may be specified for such applications which fall within different classes of such applications specified in the regulations, and

(b) the regulations may specify the circumstances in which—

(i) an exemption from the payment of such a fee applies, or

(ii) a waiver, remission or refund (whether in whole or in part) of such fee applies.

(2) The Minister shall, when specifying, in regulations made under subsection (1), the fees to be paid to the MARA for relevant applications have regard to the administrative costs associated with processing applications, including the costs of determining whether the requirements for making the relevant applications have been met.

(3) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (1) except after consultation with the MARA.

(4) In this section, “relevant applications”, means—

(a) applications under section 77,

(b) MAC applications,

(c) applications under section 86(5), or

(d) applications under section 88.

Annotations

Editorial Notes:

E11

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (24.10.2023) by Maritime Area Consent (Certain Application Fees) (No. 2) Regulations 2023 (S.I. No. 508 of 2023).

E12

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (14.08.2023) by Maritime Area Consent (Certain Application Fees) Regulations 2023 (S.I. No. 403 of 2023); revoked (24.10.2023) by Maritime Area Consent (Certain Application Fees) (No. 2) Regulations 2023 (S.I. No. 508 of 2023), reg. 8.

E13

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (31.07.2022) by Maritime Area Consent (Application Fee) Regulations 2022 (S.I. No. 395 of 2022), in effect as per reg. 2(1); revoked (14.08.2023) by Maritime Area Consent (Certain Application Fees) Regulations 2023 (S.I. No. 403 of 2023), reg. 8.

Chapter 3

Grant or refusal of MAC and related matters

Section 79
79

Application for grant of MAC

79. (1) Subject to subsection (4), a person may make an application in the specified form, accompanied by the specified fee, to the MARA for the grant of a MAC for the occupation of the part of the maritime area the subject of the application for the purposes of the undertaking of the proposed maritime usage the subject of the application.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of section 72 or subsection (3), a MAC application may require any information to be provided in relation to any of the matters to which the MARA shall have regard to by virtue of section 80(1).

(3) Where a MAC application is made to the MARA, it may, by notice in writing given to the applicant, require the applicant to provide in the specified form, by affidavit or otherwise, such additional information in relation to any matter to which the application relates as the MARA reasonably considers necessary to assist it to determine the application.

(4) A person who is a body corporate may not make a MAC application unless it is—

(a) a company,

(b) an EEA company within the meaning of Part 21 of the Act of 2014,

(c) a public body, or

(d) engaged principally in non-commercial activities or works.

(5) For the avoidance of doubt and notwithstanding any other enactment, the MARA is not required to carry out, for the purposes of determining a MAC application under section 81

(a) a screening for appropriate assessment or appropriate assessment, or

(b) a screening for environmental impact assessment (within the meaning of section 176A of the Act of 2000) or environmental impact assessment.

Section 80
80

Criteria to which MARA shall have regard in determining MAC application

80. (1) Without prejudice to the generality of section 81(1)(b) and subject to section 103, the MARA shall, in determining a MAC application under section 81, have regard to the criteria specified in Schedule 5 in so far as such criteria are relevant to the occupation of the part of the maritime area the subject of the application for the purposes of the undertaking of the proposed maritime usage the subject of the application.

(2) (a) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the Minister may by regulations specify, for the purposes of paragraph 11 of Schedule 5, additional criteria that the MARA shall have regard to in determining a MAC application under section 81.

(b) Regulations made under paragraph (a) may be subject to conditions and be of general application or apply to such part of the maritime area or such maritime usages as may be specified in the regulations.

(3) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (2), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies in relation to the proposed additional criteria:

(a) whether, in the opinion of the Minister, the criteria assist in the furtherance of the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework;

(b) whether, in the opinion of the Minister, the criteria assist in ensuring that the holder of a MAC and the State comply with their respective relevant obligations under the Convention and the Act of 2021;

(c) whether, in the opinion of the Minister, the criteria assist in promoting co-operation between users of the same part of the maritime area or adjoining parts of the maritime area, or both.

(4) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (2) except after consultation with the MARA.

Section 81
81

Grant or refusal of MAC

81. (1) Subject to subsection (7) and sections 80 and 96, the MARA shall determine a MAC application by—

(a) granting consent to the applicant for the occupation of a specific part of the maritime area for the purposes of the proposed maritime usage the subject of the application and subject to such conditions (if any) attached to the consent by virtue of section 82(1), as the MARA thinks fit, or

(b) giving a notice in writing to the applicant refusing to grant a MAC.

(2) The MARA shall, to the extent that is practicable to do so, determine a MAC application not later than 90 days after the day on which the MARA is satisfied that the applicant has complied with all the requirements of or under this Part in so far as they relate to the application.

(3) Where the MARA—

(a) grants a MAC for part only of the MAC sought by the applicant (including any case where the part of the maritime area concerned is reduced in size),

(b) grants a MAC to which conditions are attached by virtue of section 82(1), or

(c) refuses to grant a MAC,

the MARA shall, at the same time, give the applicant notice in writing of the reasons for the partial grant, conditions or refusal, as the case may be.

(4) A MAC shall include the following at a minimum:

(a) particulars of the name and address of the holder of the MAC;

(b) particulars of the maritime usage the subject of the MAC and the part of the maritime area where the usage will be undertaken;

(c) particulars of the period (if any) to which the MAC relates (including any time limits or other restrictions to apply during that period);

(d) the conditions (if any) attached to the MAC by virtue of section 82(1).

F24[(5) Where section 75(1) applies, the grant of a MAC does not confer on the holder of the MAC any right in or over the part of the maritime area the subject of the MAC—

(a) unless and until the holder obtains development permission for the maritime usage the subject of the MAC (being development permission that is consistent with the MAC as in force from time to time) and section 87 has been complied with as regards such permission, and

(b) unless and until the holder obtains all other authorisations (whether the authorisation takes the form of the grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation) required under any other enactment in order to enable the holder to undertake such usage.]

(6) Where section 76(1) applies, the grant of a MAC does not confer on the holder of the MAC any F24[right] in or over the part of the maritime area the subject of the MAC unless and until the holder obtains all other authorisations (whether the authorisation takes the form of the grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation) required under any other enactment in order to enable the holder to undertake the maritime usage the subject of the MAC.

(7)(a) Paragraph (b) applies where the MARA is minded to determine a MAC application by—

(i) granting a MAC to the applicant but—

(I) for part only of the MAC sought by the applicant (including any case where the part of the maritime area concerned is reduced in size), or

(II) with conditions attached to the consent by virtue of section 82(1),

or

(ii) refusing to grant a MAC.

(b) The MARA shall, in the interests of procedural fairness, give a notice in writing to the applicant stating—

(i) how the MARA is minded to determine the application as specified in paragraph (a) and setting out the MARA’s reasons why it is so minded, and

(ii) that the applicant may, if the applicant wishes to do so, within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), provide, in view of those reasons only, supplementary material in the specified form to the MARA for the MARA’s further consideration before making a determination under subsection (1) following the expiration of that period.

(8) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that subsection (7) only applies once to the same MAC application.

Annotations

Amendments:

F24

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 48(a), (b), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 82
82

Conditions attached to MAC

82. (1) The MARA may attach to a MAC one or more than one condition which falls within one or more than one of the types of conditions specified in Part 1 of Schedule 6.

(2) Subject to subsection (5), the conditions specified in Part 2 of Schedule 6 shall be deemed to be attached to each MAC.

(3) Subject to subsections (4) to (6), the Minister may by regulations specify, for the purposes of paragraph 23 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 or paragraph 25 of Part 2 of that Schedule, additional types of conditions which may be attached, or be deemed to be attached, as the case may be, to a MAC.

(4) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (3), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies in relation to the additional types of conditions:

(a) whether the condition assists in the furtherance of the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework;

(b) whether the condition assists in ensuring that the holder of a MAC and the State comply with their respective relevant obligations under the Convention and the Act of 2021;

(c) whether the condition assists in promoting co-operation between users of the same part of the maritime area or adjoining parts of the maritime area, or both;

(d) whether the condition assists in ensuring that the holder of a MAC fulfils his or her obligations under this Act in relation to the MAC.

(5) A condition specified for the purposes of paragraph 25 of Part 2 of Schedule 6 by virtue of regulations made under subsection (3) shall not be deemed to be attached to a MAC granted before the condition was so specified.

(6) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (3) except after consultation with the MARA.

Section 83
83

Provisions supplementary to grant of MAC

83. (1) The MARA shall, in granting a MAC, specify, in the grant, whether the specific part of the maritime area the subject of that MAC, as the MARA thinks appropriate—

(a) is for the exclusive use of the maritime usage the subject of the MAC,

(b) is not for the exclusive use of such usage, or

(c) may or may not be for the exclusive use of such usage contingent on circumstances that may arise after the granting of the MAC.

(2) A provision of the grant of a MAC that purports to provide for the renewal of the MAC shall be void.

(3) Section 82 shall not be construed to prejudice the generality of any power under the Act of 2000 to attach conditions to a development permission.

Section 84
84

Notification of grant or refusal of MAC, etc.

84. (1) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it grants a MAC, publish a notice on its website stating, at a minimum—

(a) the name of the holder of the MAC,

(b) the address (which may be an electronic address) of the holder,

(c) if applicable, the period for which the MAC will continue before it expires,

(d) if applicable, the occurrence of the event upon which the MAC will expire,

(e) the purposes for which the MAC has been granted,

(f) a spatial representation of the specified part of the maritime area the subject of the MAC,

(g) the date that the MARA granted the MAC,

(h) the conditions (if any) attached to the MAC by virtue of section 82(1), and

(i) the levy or levies that the holder of the MAC is required to pay to the MARA in relation to the MAC.

(2) Where section 81(3) applies, the MARA shall, at the same time as it gives the notice referred to in that section to the applicant concerned or as soon as is practicable thereafter, publish the notice on its website.

(3) The MARA shall, at the same time as it publishes a notice on its website under this section, also publish a notice on its website stating—

(a) that a person may question the validity of a decision of the MARA to which the first-mentioned notice relates by way of an application for judicial review in accordance with Chapter 13, and

(b) where practical information on the review mechanism can be found.

(4) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it refuses to grant a MAC, publish on its website a copy of the notice concerned referred to in section 81(3).

Chapter 4

Assignment or amendment of MAC

Section 85
85

Assignment of MAC

85. (1) This section applies where the holder of a MAC (in this section referred to as the “proposed assignor”) wishes to assign the MAC to another person (in this section referred to as the “proposed assignee”).

(2) F25[Subject to subsection (2A), the proposed assignor] and the proposed assignee shall make a joint MAC application to the MARA for the MARA’s consent in writing to the assignment and, in the case of such application, section 79 and the other provisions of this Part (including section 84) applicable to a MAC application and its determination under section 81 shall, with all necessary modifications, apply accordingly.

F26[(2A) Subject to subsections (2B) and (2C), the Minister may by regulations specify—

(a) a class of assignments (including identifying such class by reference to a class of proposed assignees in relation to whom assignments which fall within that class may be made) to which subsection (2) shall not apply, and

(b) the procedures or requirements that will apply to an application by the proposed assignor or the proposed assignee, or both of them, made to the MARA for the MARA’s consent in writing to an assignment which falls within that class (which procedures or requirements may be, or include, modifications of the procedures or requirements which apply to an assignment to which subsection (2) does apply).

(2B) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (2A), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies in relation to the class of assignments concerned and the procedures and requirements that will apply to the applications concerned:

(a) whether the nature of an assignment which falls within that class, or the nature of the proposed assignee to whom the assignment may be made, or both, warrants the disapplication of subsection (2) to that class on the basis that to apply that subsection to that class would be disproportionate;

(b) whether the procedures and requirements applicable to those applications are more proportionate for the purposes of the assignment concerned than the procedures and requirements that would otherwise apply to the assignment by virtue of subsection (2) if that subsection were to apply to the assignment.

(2C) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (2A) except after consultation with the MARA.]

F27[(3) The assignment of a MAC purporting to be effected, as appropriate—

(a) without the consent referred to in subsection (2), or

(b) otherwise than in compliance with regulations made under subsection (2A),

shall be void.]

(4) References in this Act to the grant of a MAC shall include references to the assignment of a MAC in any case where the MAC has been assigned or reassigned in accordance with this section.

Annotations

Amendments:

F25

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 49(a), S.I. 447 of 2022.

F26

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 49(b), S.I. 447 of 2022.

F27

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 49(c), S.I. 447 of 2022.

Section 86
86

Material amendment to MAC

86. (1) Subject to sections 96 and 97, the holder of a MAC who wishes to amend the MAC in any material way (including, if applicable, in order to obtain, or assist in the obtainment of, development permission for the maritime usage the subject of the MAC) shall make a MAC application for such amendment and, in the case of such application, section 79 and the other provisions of this Part (including section 84) applicable to a MAC application and its determination under section 81 shall, with all necessary modifications, apply accordingly.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) and (4), the Minister may by regulations specify classes of amendments to a MAC that are, for the purposes of this section, non-material amendments.

(3) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (2), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies in relation to the proposed classes of amendments referred to in that subsection:

(a) that the amendments which fall within the class should be trivial, insignificant, minor or inconsequential;

(b) that the amendments which fall within the class should not cause any significant erosion of the provisions of the MAC relating to any avoidance or abatement measures.

(4) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (2) except after consultation with the MARA.

(5) (a) The holder of a MAC who wishes to make an amendment to the MAC which it considers to be a non-material amendment may make an application in the specified form, accompanied by the specified fee, to the MARA for the MARA to make such amendment to the MAC.

(b) Where the MARA is satisfied that the amendment sought is a non-material amendment (including in any case where it is so satisfied by virtue of submissions referred to in paragraph (c) made to it), it shall make the amendment to the MAC and issue the MAC as so amended to the holder and the MAC as so amended shall, on and after the date of such issue and for all purposes, replace the MAC as in force immediately before it was so amended.

(c) Where the MARA is not satisfied that the amendment sought is a non-material amendment, it shall, in the interests of procedural fairness, give a notice in writing to the holder stating—

(i) the MARA’s reasons why it is not so satisfied, and

(ii) that the holder may, if the holder wishes to do so, within the period specified in the notice (being a period of not less than four weeks from the date that the holder receives the notice), make, in view of those reasons only, submissions in writing on those reasons for the MARA’s further consideration before the MARA decides whether or not it is satisfied that the amendment is a non-material amendment.

(d) Where submissions referred to in paragraph (c) made before the expiration of the period concerned referred to in that paragraph do not satisfy the MARA that the amendment sought is a non-material amendment, or no such submissions are made before the expiration of that period, the MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after that expiration, give the holder notice in writing that the MARA is not satisfied that the amendment sought is a non-material amendment and setting out the reasons why the MARA is not so satisfied.

(e) Where paragraph (b) applies, the MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after issuing the MAC, as amended as referred to in that paragraph, to the holder, publish on its website, at a minimum, sufficient particulars of the amendment made to the MAC to enable members of the public to understand the nature of the amendment and sufficient particulars of the MAC to readily identify it.

(f) Where paragraph (d) applies, the MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it gives the notice referred to in that paragraph to the holder, publish on its website, at a minimum, a copy of the notice.

(6) (a) This subsection applies where a maritime usage the subject of a MAC has development permission.

(b) Subject to paragraph (c), the MARA shall specify in the amendment concerned made pursuant to subsection (1) that it has no effect unless and until the applicant has given the amendment to the Board (P) or CPA, as appropriate, and—

(i) the Board (P) or CPA has stated in writing that a new or amended development permission is not required to take account of such amendment, or

(ii) in any other case, the new or amended development permission is granted to take account of such amendment.

(c) Paragraph (b) shall not be construed to prevent the Board (P) or CPA, as the case may be, that is determining the application for the new or amended development permission from taking the amendment into account for the purposes of such determination.

(7) (a) This subsection applies where a maritime usage the subject of a MAC does not require development permission.

(b) Subject to paragraph (c), the MARA shall specify in the amendment concerned made pursuant to subsection (1) that it has no effect unless and until the applicant has given the amendment to the Board (P) or CPA, as appropriate, and—

(i) the Board (P) or CPA has stated in writing that a development permission is not required to take account of such amendment, or

(ii) in any other case, a development permission is granted to take account of such amendment.

(c) Paragraph (b)(ii) shall not be construed to prevent the Board (P) or CPA, as the case may be, that is determining the application for development permission from taking the amendment into account for the purposes of such determination.

(8) In this section—

“material amendment”, in relation to a MAC, means any amendment to the MAC other than a non-material amendment;

“non-material amendment”, in relation to a MAC, means an amendment which falls within a class of amendments specified in regulations made under subsection (2).

Annotations

Editorial Notes:

E14

Power pursuant to subs. (2) exercised (16.04.2024) by Maritime Area Consent (Non-Material Amendment) Regulations 2024 (S.I. No. 155 of 2024).

Section 87
87

F28[Resolution of irreconciliation (if any) between MAC and planning permission

87. (1) This section applies where the maritime usage the subject of a MAC has development permission (including any case where such usage has any further development permission subsequent to the initial development permission).

(2) Where, but for this subsection, there is an irreconciliation between a provision of a MAC and a provision of a development permission for the maritime usage the subject of the MAC, that first-mentioned provision shall, by virtue of this section, be deemed to be amended to the extent necessary to remove that irreconciliation in favour of the second-mentioned provision, and the other provisions of this Act shall, with all necessary modifications, be construed accordingly.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F28

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 50, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Chapter 5

Surrender of MAC

Section 88
88

Surrender of MAC

88. (1) The holder of a MAC may make an application in the specified form, accompanied by the specified fee, to the MARA for the surrender of the MAC.

(2) Where an application under subsection (1) is made to the MARA, it may, by notice in writing given to the applicant, require the applicant to provide, in the specified form, by affidavit or otherwise, such additional information in relation to any matter to which the application relates as the MARA reasonably considers necessary to assist it to determine the application under section 89.

Section 89
89

Determination of application under section 88

89. (1) The MARA shall determine an application under section 88(1) by—

(a) subject to subsection (7), if the applicant has satisfied the MARA that all the obligations of the applicant arising from being the holder of the MAC concerned have been discharged, consenting to the surrender of the MAC by notice in writing given to the applicant specifying the date on which the surrender shall take effect,

(b) in any other case, giving a notice in writing to the applicant (subsequent to the applicant’s response (if any) to a notice under paragraph (c) given to the applicant) refusing the application and specifying the MARA’s reasons for the refusal, or

(c) in the interests of procedural fairness, giving a notice in writing to the applicant stating that—

(i) the MARA is minded to refuse to grant the application for the reasons specified in the notice, and

(ii) if the applicant wishes to do so, he or she may, within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case) provide, in view of those reasons only, supplementary material in the specified form to the MARA for the MARA’s further consideration before making a decision under paragraph (a) or (b) in respect of the application.

(2) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it consents to the surrender of a MAC, publish a notice on its website stating, at a minimum:

(a) the name of the holder or former holder of the MAC;

(b) the date on which the surrender was, or will be, effected;

(c) sufficient particulars of the MAC to readily identify it.

(3) Where subsection (1)(b) applies, the MARA shall, at the same time as it gives the notice referred to in that subsection to the applicant concerned or as soon as is practicable thereafter, publish the notice on its website.

(4) The MARA shall, at the same time as it publishes a notice on its website under this section, also publish a notice on its website stating—

(a) that a person may question the validity of a decision of the MARA to which the first-mentioned notice relates by way of an application for judicial review in accordance with Chapter 13, and

(b) where practical information on the review mechanism can be found.

(5) The surrender of a MAC purporting to be effected without the consent referred to in subsection (1)(a) shall be void.

(6) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it refuses to consent to the surrender of a MAC, publish on its website a copy of the notice concerned referred to in subsection (1)(b).

(7) The reference to obligations in subsection (1)(a) includes obligations not only under this Act but also obligations that arise under another enactment, including those arising under the development permission (if any) concerned.

(8) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that paragraph (c) of subsection (1) only applies once to the same application under section 88(1).

Chapter 6

Certain persons who are not individuals may be declared fit and proper

Section 90
90

MARA may declare person, etc., who is not individual to be fit and proper person

90. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the MARA may, after consultation with the Minister, by order declare that—

(a) a person (not being an individual) specified in the order is a fit and proper person to be granted and to hold—

(i) any MAC, or

(ii) a MAC which falls within a class of MAC specified in the order,

or

(b) a person who falls within a class of persons (not being individuals) specified in the order is a fit and proper person to be granted and to hold—

(i) any MAC, or

(ii) a MAC which falls within a class of MACs specified in the order.

(2) The MARA shall, in exercising its power under subsection (1)(a) in relation to a person, have regard to the following:

(a) the legal nature of the person;

(b) the statutory functions (if any) of the person;

(c) the purposes for which the person has made or may make a MAC application.

(3) The MARA shall, in exercising its power under subsection (1)(b) in relation to a class of persons, have regard to the following:

(a) the legal nature of the persons who fall within the class;

(b) the statutory functions (if any) of the persons who fall within the class;

(c) the purposes for which the persons who fall within the class have made or may make a MAC application.

Chapter 7

Levies

Section 91
91

Definition

91. In this Chapter, “levy framework” shall be construed in accordance with section 92(1).

Section 92
92

Levy framework

92. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after the establishment day and with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, establish a framework (in this Chapter referred to as the “levy framework”) in accordance with which a levy shall be paid to the MARA by the holder of a MAC for the occupation of the part of the maritime area the subject of the MAC for the purposes of the undertaking of the maritime usage the subject of the MAC (including any potential such usage where, for whatever reason, the usage is yet to be undertaken).

(2) The levy framework may provide for any of the following:

(a) different levies for different classes of MACs, different classes of maritime usages the subject of MACs, different parts of the maritime area the subject of MACs or any combination thereof;

(b) levies calculated by reference to—

(i) specified amounts,

(ii) a range of amounts within which the levies concerned must fall, or

(iii) formulae;

(c) levies that are required to be paid upon the occurrence of a specified event;

(d) the circumstances in which levies may be specified at a nil or token amount;

(e) in the case of MACs to which section 75 applies—

(i) levies that apply between the grant of the MACs and before the development permission concerned is granted (including different levies that apply by reference to different parts of the length of time effluxing between the grant of the MAC concerned and the grant of the development permission concerned), and

(ii) levies that apply on and after the development permission concerned is granted.

(3) The MARA shall, in establishing the levy framework, have regard to the following:

(a) the nature of a class of maritime usages for which MACs may be granted;

(b) the degree of utilisation of parts of the maritime area that may be required by a class of maritime usages for which MACs may be granted (including the degree to which such utilisation may exclude the use by other persons of such parts);

(c) the likely profit or other benefit that may be gained by the holders of a class of MACs from the maritime usages the subject of those MACs;

(d) the likely public benefit to be gained from a class of maritime usages for which MACs may be granted;

(e) the nature of potential holders, or classes of potential holders, of MACs;

(f) the financial means of potential holders, or classes of potential holders, of MACs;

(g) the marine planning policy statement to the extent (if any) that the statement is relevant to levies;

(h) guidelines issued under section 7 to the extent (if any) that the guidelines are relevant to levies;

(i) policy directives issued under section 8 to the extent (if any) that the directives are relevant to levies;

(j) the outcomes of any processes that the MARA has undertaken for the purposes of establishing the levy framework;

(k) the extent that there needs to be a fair and reasonable return to the State for the use, by the holders of MACs, of the maritime area.

(4) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it establishes the levy framework, publish the framework on its website.

(5)(a) The MARA shall keep the levy framework under review and may amend (including amend by way of replacing) it as it thinks fit.

(b) Subsections (1) to (4) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to an amendment to the levy framework as they apply to the levy framework.

(c) A levy framework amended or replaced under this subsection shall, unless otherwise specified in the framework, apply to the holders of MACs granted before the framework was amended or replaced as it applies to the holders of MACs granted on or after such amendment or replacement.

(6) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (5), the MARA shall not grant a MAC to the applicant for the MAC before the applicant knows the levy or levies that the applicant will be required to pay, under the levy framework as in force on the day that the MARA grants the MAC, to the MARA if the MAC is so granted.

Section 93
93

Competitive process

93. (1) The MARA may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, use a competitive process (whether by auction or otherwise) to determine the levy or levies to be paid by the holder of the MAC concerned to the MARA where—

(a) there are, or are expected to be, two or more MAC applications (whether or not relating to the same part of the maritime area) and the MARA is of the opinion that the grant of one or more than one of those applications would exclude the possibility of granting one or more than one of the other applications,

(b) the part of the maritime area concerned is the subject of—

(i) a MSP which falls within section 16(3)(b), or

(ii) a DMAP,

or

(c) both paragraphs (a) and (b) apply.

(2) The MARA may, under section 92, amend the levy framework to take account of—

(a) competitive processes in general referred to in subsection (1), or

(b) a particular competitive process referred to in subsection (1),

as the MARA thinks fit in all the circumstances of the case.

(3) A competitive process referred to in subsection (1) shall be conducted in a manner which is open, transparent, competitive, non-discriminatory and cost effective.

Section 94
94

When levy framework applies to MAC

94. Subject to section 92(5)(c), the levy framework that applies to a MAC shall be the levy framework as in force on the day on which the MARA grants the MAC.

Chapter 8

Rehabilitation of maritime area and emergency works

Section 95
95

Definitions - Chapter 8

95. In this Chapter and Schedule 6

F1[“planning rehabilitation schedule", in relation to a MAC to which section 75(5) applies where the development permission concerned referred to in that section has been granted, means the equivalent in such planning permission to the rehabilitation schedule that was attached to the application for such development permission (and regardless of whether or not such equivalent is a schedule attached to the development permission);]

“rehabilitate”, in relation to a part of the maritime area, means—

(a) a treatment for the part in such a way as to either—

(i) restore the part to a satisfactory state, with particular regard to the seabed, water quality, wildlife, natural habitats, landscape and seascape, or

(ii) restore the part to a satisfactory state to enable it to be reused for the purpose for which it was previously used (and whether or not pursuant to a MAC) or for another purpose and, consistent with such purpose, with particular regard to the seabed, water quality, wildlife, natural habitats, landscape and seascape,

and

(b) after the restoration referred to in paragraph (a)(i) or (ii) has been completed and, if appropriate, to maintain, for a period specified in the rehabilitation schedule concerned, the part so that it continues to be in the satisfactory state referred to in that paragraph;

“rehabilitation schedule”, in relation to a MAC, means the schedule referred to in section 96(4) F30[attached] to the MAC.

Annotations

Amendments:

F29

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 51(b), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

F30

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 51(a), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 96
96

Obligations on holder of MAC in relation to rehabilitation of maritime area

96. (1) The holder of a MAC shall, before the expiration (if any) of the MAC, rehabilitate that part of the maritime area the subject of the MAC, and any other part of the maritime area, adversely affected by the maritime usage the subject of the MAC.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the obligation under subsection (1) on the holder of a MAC to rehabilitate a part of the maritime area, that obligation may be or include one or more than one of the following:

(a) the decommissioning of infrastructure;

(b) the removal of infrastructure;

(c) the partial removal of infrastructure;

(d) the re-use of infrastructure for the same or another purpose;

(e) the burying or encasing of infrastructure;

(f) the removal of any deposited or waste material.

(3) The obligation under subsection (1) does not relieve the holder of a MAC from applying for and obtaining any other authorisations (whether the authorisation takes the form of the grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other authorisation) required under this Act or any another enactment in order to enable the holder to discharge that obligation.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), the MARA shall not grant a MAC to the applicant for the MAC unless there is a schedule attached to the MAC setting out particulars of how the applicant, if granted the MAC, will discharge the obligation under subsection (1), including particulars of the following:

(a) the proposed programme of rehabilitation;

(b) the proposed date, or the occurrence of the event, on which the programme will start to be implemented and (if no ongoing maintenance is required by the programme) the proposed date on which the programme will have been fully implemented;

(c) the estimated costs of the programme;

(d) the expected timelines for applying for and obtaining the other authorisations referred to in subsection (3) required in order to enable the applicant to discharge that obligation.

(5) Subsection (4) shall not apply to a MAC to which section 75(1) applies.

(6) F31[]

Annotations

Amendments:

F31

Deleted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 52, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 97
97

Power of MARA to require holder of MAC to make application under section 86

97. F32[(1) Subject to subsection (4), this section applies where the MARA is of the opinion, subsequent to the grant of a MAC, or the grant of development permission for the maritime usage the subject of a MAC, as appropriate, but not earlier than the anniversary of that grant specified in the MAC for the purposes of this section, that due to—

(a) technological developments relating to the rehabilitation of marine environments,

(b) changes in what is accepted as best practice relating to the rehabilitation of marine environments,

(c) submissions or recommendations made to the MARA by interested parties, organisations and other bodies concerned with the rehabilitation of marine environments, or

(d) any combination of matters falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (c),

the rehabilitation schedule or planning rehabilitation schedule, as the case may be, is no longer appropriate.]

F32[(2) The MARA may, by notice in writing given to the holder of a MAC to which a rehabilitation schedule is attached, require the holder to make an application under section 86(1), within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), to amend or replace the rehabilitation schedule to take account of the matters, specified in the notice, which have led the MARA to form the opinion referred to in subsection (1) but excluding any case where to take account of those matters requires an environmental impact assessment (in this section referred to as the "exclusion (EIA)").]

(3) The holder of the MAC shall comply with the notice given to the holder under subsection (2).

F33[(3A) Subject to subsection (3E), the MARA may, by notice in writing given to the holder of a MAC to which a rehabilitation schedule is attached but to which subsection (2) does not apply by virtue of the exclusion (EIA), require the holder to make an application for development permission, within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), to amend or replace the rehabilitation schedule to take account of the matters, specified in the notice, which have led the MARA to form the opinion referred to in subsection (1).

(3B) The holder of the MAC shall comply with the notice given to the holder under subsection (3A).

(3C) Subject to subsection (3E), the MARA may, by notice in writing given to the holder of a MAC in respect of which development permission has been granted in respect of the maritime usage the subject of the MAC, require the holder to make an application to amend the planning rehabilitation schedule the subject of such development permission, within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), to take account of the matters, specified in the notice, which have led the MARA to form the opinion referred to in subsection (1).

(3D) The holder of the MAC shall comply with the notice given to the holder under subsection (3C).

(3E) The matters specified in a notice under subsection (3A) or (3C) shall not be construed to constrain the generality of the provisions of the Act of 2000 that apply to the determination of an application referred to in that subsection.]

(4) The references to anniversary in subsection (1) may include a series of anniversaries, whether or not with different periods of time passing between one anniversary and the next anniversary in any part, or parts, of the series.

Annotations

Amendments:

F32

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 53(a), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

F33

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 53(b), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 98
98

Emergency works in maritime area

98. (1) A relevant person shall not be required to be the holder of a MAC in respect of relevant works undertaken, or to be undertaken, in the maritime area for the purposes of protecting life or property in an emergency situation (including such works relating to sea defences).

(2) (a) Paragraph (b) applies where infrastructure in the maritime area—

(i) is or was lawfully in that area entirely or partly pursuant to a MAC, and

(ii) is, for whatever reason, damaged or destroyed.

(b) A person shall not be required to be the holder of a further MAC in order to undertake relevant works in relation to the infrastructure.

(3) Neither subsection (1) nor subsection (2) shall be construed to relieve a relevant person from applying for and obtaining any authorisations (whether the authorisation takes the form of a grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other authorisation) required under this Act or any other enactment in order to enable the person to undertake relevant works.

(4) Subject to subsections (5) to (7), the Minister may by regulations specify, for the purposes of this section, any of the following matters:

(a) the works to which this section applies;

(b) the person who may undertake relevant works or relevant works falling within a class of relevant works specified in the regulations;

(c) the consultation that must be carried out by a relevant person before undertaking the relevant works;

(d) the notifications that a relevant person must give upon his or her completion of the relevant works;

(e) the indemnifications that a relevant person must give the MARA or a CPA before undertaking relevant works;

(f) the procedures for obtaining a MAC in respect of the relevant works after the works have been carried out where, but for this section, those works would have required a MAC before being undertaken.

(5) The Minister shall, in making regulations under subsection (4), have regard to—

(a) the nature or gravity, or both, of emergency situations likely to arise in the maritime area and pose a threat to life or property, or both,

(b) the degree of urgency with which those emergency situations need to be dealt with and, concomitant to that, the need to avoid any unnecessary delay in dealing with those situations, and

(c) the expertise and experience required of persons to undertake works to promptly and effectively deal with those emergency situations.

(6) Regulations made under subsection (4) may be subject to conditions and be of general application or apply to such part of the maritime area as may be specified in the regulations.

(7) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (4) except after consultation with the MARA.

(8) In this section—

“relevant person”, in relation to relevant works, means a person specified in regulations made under subsection (4)(b) who may undertake the works;

“relevant works” means the works specified in regulations made under subsection (4)(a) to which this section applies.

Chapter 9

Privately owned part of maritime area

Section 99
99

Privately owned part of maritime area, etc.

99. (1) In this section, “relevant part” means a part of the maritime area that is treated as privately owned by virtue of subsection (2).

(2) For the purposes of this Act, no part of the maritime area shall be treated at any time as privately owned unless the part is land whose owner is, or is deemed to be, registered under the Registration of Title Act 1964.

(3) (a) This Part shall not apply to a proposed maritime usage to be undertaken entirely on a relevant part.

(b) Where a proposed maritime usage is to be undertaken entirely on a part of the maritime area that comprises—

(i) a relevant part, and

(ii) another part that is State-owned,

this Act shall apply to the usage to the extent that it is proposed to be undertaken on the part referred to in subparagraph (ii).

(4) Where on the fixing of a judicial rent under the Land Law Acts a sum was added to or included in such rent for any foreshore or an account of any right or facility or alleged right or facility to or for taking material from any foreshore, the order of the sub-commission or court fixing such rent shall not be evidence, as against the State, of the ownership of such foreshore or of the existence of a right to take such material.

(5) Neither the taking, during any period however long, from any foreshore of seaweed deposited or washed up thereon by the action of tides, winds and waves or any of them and not rooted or growing thereon, nor the letting or licensing to other persons, during any period however long, of an alleged right to take such seaweed from any foreshore shall, by itself and without more, constitute possession of or be proof of title to such foreshore.

(6) Where any fee or levy has been paid under this Act that relates to a part of the maritime area that is subsequently shown to have been a relevant part at the time of such payment and which would not have been required to be paid by virtue of that fact, the MARA or the CPA concerned, as appropriate, to whom that fee was paid shall refund the fee or levy to the person who paid it but only to the extent that the fee or levy related to that part.

(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prejudice the application of the Act of 2000 to a proposed maritime usage.

(8) In this section, “the Land Law Acts ” means the Land Law Acts as defined by the Land Law (Commission) Act 1923, together with any subsequent Act which provides that it is construed as one with the Land Law Acts.

Chapter 10

Special MAC cases

Section 100
100

Definitions - Chapter 10

100. In this Chapter—

“foreshore authorisation” means a foreshore authorisation which falls within section 105 by virtue of being a lease made under section 2 of the Act of 1933;

“incidental energy” means energy produced as an incidental by-product of—

(a) activities in respect of which—

(i) an aquaculture licence, or

(ii) a trial licence,

granted under Part II of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 relates, or

(b) any other fishing or aquacultural activities duly being carried out;

“offshore renewable energy” means energy (other than incidental energy) produced from a non-fossil renewable resource situated in the maritime area, and includes—

(a) wind or solar energy,

(b) wave or tidal or other hydropower, or

(c) biomass (including seaweed);

“relevant maritime usage” means any proposed maritime usage which is for the purposes of producing, from wind, offshore renewable energy where the usage—

(a) is the subject of an application for a foreshore authorisation made before 31 December 2019 and which has not been finally determined, or abandoned or withdrawn, before the coming into operation of section 101,

(b) is the subject of a foreshore authorisation, or

(c) was, on 31 December 2019, the subject of—

(i) a valid connection agreement from a transmission system operator, or

(ii) a confirmation by a transmission system operator as being eligible to be processed to receive a valid connection offer;

“relevant Minister” means the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications;

“transmission system operator” has the meaning assigned to it by the Electricity Regulation Act 1999.

Section 101
101

Relevant maritime usages and MACs before establishment day

101. (1) The relevant Minister may, at any time during the relevant period, give public notice (in this section referred to as the “relevant notice”) in accordance with this section that he or she intends to invite MAC applications for relevant maritime usages.

(2) (a) The relevant Minister shall publish the relevant notice on a website of the Government.

(b) The relevant notice shall specify the period within which the MAC applications invited by the notice shall be made to the relevant Minister.

(c) The relevant Minister shall disregard a MAC application invited by the relevant notice which is received by the relevant Minister after the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (b).

(3) During the relevant period, all references in section 72 and Parts 4 and 6 to the MARA shall, with all necessary modifications (including the modification that section 92(1) shall be construed as if the words “as soon as is practicable after the establishment day and” were deleted therefrom), be construed as references to the relevant Minister but only in so far as those references relate to MAC applications referred to in this section or MACs granted pursuant to such applications.

(4) In this section, “relevant period” means the period commencing on the coming into operation of Parts 4 and 6 (including any Schedules referred to in those Parts) for the purposes of this section and ending on the establishment day.

Section 102
102

Provisions supplementary to section 101

102. (1) Every MAC granted by the relevant Minister pursuant to section 101 that is in force immediately before the establishment day shall, on and after that day, continue in force as if it had been granted by the MARA and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may continue to be terminated, amended, revoked or suspended in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2) Any legal proceedings, pending immediately before the establishment day, relating to a matter which arises from the performance of the relevant Minister’s functions under section 101 and to which the relevant Minister is a party by virtue of such performance shall be continued, on and after the establishment day, with the substitution in the proceedings, in so far as the relevant Minister is such a party, of the MARA for the relevant Minister in the relevant Minister’s capacity as such a party.

(3) Any thing commenced and not completed before the establishment day by, or under the authority of, the relevant Minister pursuant to the performance of the relevant Minister’s functions under section 101 may be carried on or completed on or after that day by the MARA.

(4) Any reference to the relevant Minister, in his or her capacity as the relevant Minister performing functions under section 101, in any document (howsoever described) created during the relevant period shall, on and after the establishment day, be construed as a reference to the MARA in so far as the reference relates to the relevant Minister in such capacity.

Section 103
103

Certain MSPs and DMAPs and MACs after establishment day

103. (1) The MARA may give notice (in this section referred to as the “relevant notice”) in accordance with this section that it intends to invite MAC applications or has received MAC applications, or both, for the maritime usage specified in the notice to be undertaken (if a MAC is granted) in a manner consistent with the MSP referred to in section 16(3)(b), or the DMAP, specified in the notice.

(2) (a) The MARA shall publish the relevant notice on its website.

(b) The relevant notice shall specify the period within which the MAC applications invited by the notice shall be made to the MARA.

(c) The MARA shall disregard a MAC application invited by the relevant notice which is received by the MARA after the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (b).

(d) The relevant notice may specify the weighting that shall apply in respect of—

(i) the criteria specified in Schedule 5, and

(ii) subject to paragraph (e), the extra criteria (if any) specified in the notice,

against which the MAC applications will be assessed.

(e) The extra criteria specified in a relevant notice pursuant to paragraph (d) shall not be inconsistent with the criteria specified in Schedule 5.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the MARA may use a competitive process (which may be, or include, a competitive process referred to in section 93) to determine which (if any) of the MAC applications invited by the relevant notice shall be granted a MAC.

(4) A competitive process referred to in subsection (3) shall be conducted in a manner which is open, transparent, competitive, non-discriminatory and cost effective.

Chapter 11

Keeping of records, etc.

Section 104
104

Keeping of records and samples, etc., by holder of MAC

104.(1) (a) There may be prescribed a requirement, or the provisions of a MAC may contain a requirement, or both, that the holder of a MAC in respect of the part of the maritime area the subject of the MAC (in this section referred to as the “relevant part”), keep records or samples, or both, relating to the relevant part for any scientific purpose.

(b) For the purpose of prescribing a requirement referred to in paragraph (a), the Minister shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the principle that scientific information concerning the maritime area ought to be preserved not just for the benefit of the undertaking of the particular maritime usage concerned for the purposes of which such information was acquired but also for the benefit of other and future undertakings of maritime usages.

(2) (a) The MARA may, by notice in writing given to the holder of a MAC, direct the holder to provide the MARA with copies of any specified data—

(i) within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), or

(ii) if no such period is specified in the notice, within four weeks from the date on which the holder receives the notice.

(b) The holder of a MAC the subject of a direction under paragraph (a) shall comply with the direction.

(c) The costs entailed in complying with a direction under paragraph (a) shall be borne by the holder of the MAC the subject of the direction.

(3) (a) Where the MARA is given specified data by the holder of a MAC pursuant to the holder’s compliance with a direction under subsection (2)(a), it shall not disclose the data, or cause the data to be disclosed, to a third party except—

(i) pursuant to subsection (4), or

(ii) subject to paragraph (b), with the consent in writing of the holder to do so.

(b) The holder of a MAC shall not unreasonably withhold the giving of the consent referred to in paragraph (a)(ii).

(4) Specified data may be disclosed where the disclosure—

(a) is in compliance with this Part or is otherwise permitted by law or any other enactment,

(b) is to a public body and for a purpose relevant to a function of that body, or

(c) in the opinion of the person making, or seeking to make, the disclosure, may disclose, to a member of the Garda Síochána or an officer of the Revenue Commissioners, the commission of an indictable offence.

(5) (a) A person who is given specified data pursuant to a disclosure under subsection (4) shall not disclose the data, or cause the data to be disclosed, to another person except—

(i) to the person who made the first-mentioned disclosure,

(ii) to the holder of the MAC to whom the data relate,

(iii) pursuant to subsection (4), or

(iv) subject to paragraph (b), with the consent in writing of that holder to do so.

(b) The holder of a MAC shall not unreasonably withhold the giving of a consent referred to in paragraph (a)(iv).

(6) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), the MARA may use specified data for the purpose of preparing and publishing such returns or reports, or both, as may be required of the MARA by law.

(b) The MARA shall ensure that the publication under paragraph (a) of specified data is done in such a manner that commercially sensitive information is not disclosed.

(c) The MARA may, by notice in writing given to the holder of a MAC, direct the holder to publish specified data in such media, and within such period, as are specified in the notice.

(d) The holder of a MAC given a notice under paragraph (c) shall comply with the notice.

(7) Subject to subsection (8), the Minister may, after consultation with the Data Protection Commission, by regulations specify the personal data that are permitted to be included in specified data.

(8) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (7), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the principle that personal data only need to be included in specified data to the extent reasonably necessary to enable the MARA or the Minister, as appropriate, to perform their respective functions under this Act in relation to MACs.

(9) In this section—

“commercially sensitive information” means—

(a) financial, commercial, scientific, technical or other information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to result in a material financial loss or gain to the person to whom it relates, or could prejudice the competitive position of that person in the conduct of his or her business or otherwise in his or her occupation, or

(b) information the disclosure of which could prejudice the conduct or outcome of contractual or other negotiations of the person to whom it relates;

“permitted personal data” means personal data permitted, by virtue of regulations made under subsection (7), to be included in specified data;

“specified data”, in relation to the holder of a MAC, means any books, records or other documents, returns, plans, maps, geological, hydrological and ecological samples, accounts, and information (including any copies thereof or parts thereof) which are required by this Part, regulations made under this Part, or the provisions of the MAC, to be kept but does not include any personal data other than permitted personal data.

Chapter 12

Transitional provisions - foreshore authorisations, unauthorised usages and MACs

Section 105
105

Transitional provisions for certain foreshore authorisations

105. (1) This section applies to a foreshore authorisation where the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation would, if it were not the subject of the authorisation, have to be, inter alia, the subject of a MAC before it could be lawfully undertaken.

(2) (a) Paragraphs (b) and (c) apply where the holder of a foreshore authorisation—

(i) is lawfully occupying a part of the foreshore pursuant to the authorisation, and

(ii) wishes to—

(I) amend the authorisation, or

(II) continue to occupy that part after the expiration of the authorisation without undertaking any further maritime usage in addition to the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation.

(b) The holder may, at any time before the expiration of the foreshore authorisation, make a MAC application to surrender the authorisation to the MARA for a MAC and, in any such case, section 79 and the other provisions of this Part (including section 84) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to the authorisation, the MAC application, and the application’s determination under section 81, accordingly.

(c) The foreshore authorisation shall expire—

(i) upon the holder being granted a MAC pursuant to the MAC application referred to in paragraph (b), or

(ii) in accordance with the provisions of the authorisation and the Act of 1933,

whichever first occurs.

(3) (a) Paragraphs (b) and (c) apply where—

(i) the holder of a foreshore authorisation—

(I) is lawfully occupying a part of the foreshore area pursuant to the authorisation, and

(II) wishes to discontinue to occupy that part in favour of another person occupying that part,

and

(ii) the other person wishes to occupy that part without undertaking any further maritime usage in addition to the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation.

(b) The holder of the foreshore authorisation and the other person may, at any time before the expiration of the authorisation, make a joint MAC application to surrender the authorisation to the MARA for a MAC for the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation and, in any such case, section 79 and the other provisions of this Part (including section 84) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to the authorisation, the joint MAC application, and the application’s determination under section 81, accordingly.

(c) The foreshore authorisation shall expire—

(i) upon the other person being granted a MAC pursuant to the joint MAC application referred to in paragraph (b), or

(ii) in accordance with the provisions of the authorisation and the Act of 1933,

whichever first occurs.

Section 106
106

Transitional provisions for certain unauthorised maritime usages

106. (1) The relevant person may, before the fifth anniversary of the coming into operation of this section (or, where subsection (4) applies, the first anniversary referred to in that subsection), make a MAC application for the unauthorised usage concerned and, in any such case, the provisions of this Act shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to take account of the fact that such usage is an existing maritime usage and not a proposed maritime usage.

(2) Subsection (3) applies to the relevant person (including any predecessors to such person) and the unauthorised usage concerned immediately on and after—

(a) the fifth anniversary of the coming into operation of this section (or, where subsection (4) applies, the first anniversary referred to in that subsection) without a MAC application referred to in subsection (1) having been made for such usage,

(b) the date on which the MARA is satisfied that, although a MAC application referred to in subsection (1) has been made for such usage, the application has been abandoned or withdrawn before its determination under section 81, or

(c) where a MAC application referred to in subsection (1) has been made for such usage, the date on which the applicant is notified of the refusal under section 81, in the determination of the application, to grant a MAC for such usage.

(3) (a) Where this subsection applies, the MARA may use, on behalf of the State, any and all remedies available to the State (whether under this Act or another enactment or under the common law) against or in relation to the relevant person (including any predecessors to such person) and the unauthorised usage concerned including, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, remedies to provide for all or any of the following:

(i) cause the unauthorised usage to cease;

(ii) obtain compensation or damages for the unauthorised usage;

(iii) provide for the rehabilitation of the part of the maritime area the subject of the unauthorised usage.

(b) The MARA may exercise its power under paragraph (a) jointly with one or more than one other public body that has statutory functions in relation to maritime usages of the type that is the unauthorised usage concerned.

(4) The MARA may, where it is of the opinion that a particular unauthorised usage is an impediment to the effective and efficient performance of its functions, by notice in writing given to the relevant person, and for the reasons stated in the notice, specify that, in the case of that usage, the words “the first anniversary of the giving of the notice concerned under subsection (4) ” are substituted for the words “the fifth anniversary of the coming into operation of this subsection” in subsections (1) and (2)(a).

(5) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the State or a public body other than the MARA from making use, independently of the MARA, of a remedy referred to in subsection (3) against or in relation to the relevant person (including any predecessors thereto) and the unauthorised usage concerned.

(6) In this section—

“relevant person”, in relation to an unauthorised usage, means the person undertaking such usage immediately before 12 August 2021, and regardless of whether or not such person is the same person who first undertook such usage;

“unauthorised usage” means a maritime usage—

(a) undertaken by a person before 12 August 2021,

(b) which, in order to be lawfully undertaken before that date, was required to be, but was not, the subject of a foreshore authorisation, and regardless as to whether or not any other authorisations (whether the authorisation takes the form of the grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation) were required, or were in fact granted, under any other enactment in order to enable the person referred to in paragraph (a) to undertake such usage, and

(c) which, if it were undertaken on or after the coming into operation of Chapter 2, would be required by that Chapter to be the subject of a MAC.

Chapter 13

Judicial review and MACs

Section 107
107

Judicial review of matters relating to MAC applications or MACs

107. (1) Where a point of law arises on any matter with which the MARA is concerned under this Part, the MARA may refer the point to the High Court for decision.

(2) A person shall not question the validity of any decision made or other act done by the MARA in the performance or purported performance of a function under this Part in relation to a MAC application, MAC or foreshore authorisation otherwise than by way of an application for judicial review under Order 84.

(3) The MARA may, at any time after the bringing of an application for leave to apply for judicial review of any decision or other act to which subsection (2) applies and which relates to a matter for the time being before the MARA, apply to the High Court to stay the proceedings pending the making of a decision by the MARA in relation to the matter concerned.

(4) On the making of such an application, the High Court may, where it considers that the matter before the MARA is within the jurisdiction of the MARA, make an order staying the proceedings concerned on such terms as it thinks fit.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), an application for leave to apply for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of a decision or other act to which subsection (2) applies shall be made within the period of eight weeks beginning on the date of the publication of the decision under section 84 or 89, as appropriate, or, as the case may be, the date of the doing of the act by the MARA, as appropriate.

(6) The High Court may extend the period provided for in subsection (5) within which an application for leave referred to in that subsection may be made but shall only do so if it is satisfied that—

(a) there is good and sufficient reason for doing so, and

(b) the circumstances that resulted in the failure to make the application for leave within the period so provided were outside the control of the applicant for the extension.

(7) References in this section to Order 84 shall be construed as including references to Order 84 as amended or replaced (with or without modification) by rules of court.

Section 108
108

Provisions supplementary to section 107

108. (1) In this section—

“Court”, where used without qualification, means the High Court (but this definition shall not be construed as meaning that subsections (2) to (6) and (9) do not extend to and govern the exercise by the Court of Appeal of jurisdiction on any appeal that may be made);

section 107 leave” means leave to apply for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of a decision or other act to which section 107(2) applies.

(2) (a) An application for section 107 leave shall be made by motion ex parte and shall be grounded in the manner specified in Order 84 in respect of an ex parte motion for leave.

(b) The Court hearing the ex parte application for leave may decide, having regard to the issues arising, the likely impact of the proceedings on the respondent or another party, or for other good and sufficient reason, that the application for leave should be conducted on an inter partes basis and may adjourn the application on such terms as it may direct in order that a notice may be served on that person.

(c) If the Court directs that the leave hearing is to be conducted on an inter partes basis it shall be by motion on notice (grounded in the manner specified in Order 84 in respect of an ex parte motion for leave)—

(i) to the MARA, and

(ii) to any other person specified for that purpose by order of the High Court.

(d) The Court may—

(i) on the consent of all of the parties, or

(ii) where there is good and sufficient reason for so doing and it is just and equitable in all the circumstances,

treat the application for leave as if it were the hearing of the application for judicial review and may for that purpose adjourn the hearing on such terms as it may direct.

(3) The Court shall not grant section 107 leave unless it is satisfied that—

(a) there are substantial grounds for contending that the decision or act concerned is invalid or ought to be quashed, and

(b) the applicant has a sufficient interest in the matter which is the subject of the application.

(4) A sufficient interest for the purposes of subsection (3)(b) is not limited to an interest in land or other financial interest.

(5) If the Court grants section 107 leave, no grounds shall be relied upon in the application for judicial review under Order 84 other than those determined by the Court to be substantial under subsection (3)(a).

(6) The Court may, as a condition for granting section 107 leave, require the applicant for such leave to give an undertaking as to damages.

(7) The determination of the Court of an application for section 107 leave or of an application for judicial review on foot of such leave shall be final and no appeal shall lie from the decision of the Court to the Court of Appeal in either case save with leave of the Court which leave shall only be granted where the Court certifies that its decision involves a point of law of exceptional public importance and that it is desirable in the public interest that an appeal should be taken to the Court of Appeal.

(8) Subsection (7) shall not apply to a determination of the Court in so far as it involves a question as to the validity of any law having regard to the provisions of the Constitution.

(9) If an application is made for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of part only of a decision or other act to which section 107(2) applies, the Court may, if it thinks fit, declare to be invalid or quash the part concerned or any provision thereof without declaring invalid or quashing the remainder of the decision or other act or part of the decision or other act, and if the Court does so, it may make any consequential amendments to the remainder of the decision or other act or the part thereof that it considers appropriate.

(10) The Court shall, in determining an application for section 107 leave or an application for judicial review on foot of such leave, act as expeditiously as possible consistent with the administration of justice.

(11) On an appeal from a determination of the Court in respect of an application referred to in subsection (10), the Court of Appeal shall—

(a) have jurisdiction to determine only the point of law certified by the Court under subsection (7) (and to make only such order in the proceedings as follows from such determination), and

(b) in determining the appeal, act as expeditiously as possible consistent with the administration of justice.

(12) Rules of court may make provision for the expeditious hearing of applications for section 107 leave and applications for judicial review on foot of such leave.

Section 109
109

Judicial review does not prevent applications for development permission

109. (1) Subsection (2) applies in the case of the holder of a MAC for a proposed maritime usage in a part of the maritime area where such usage requires development permission.

(2) Neither—

(a) an application to the High Court for the grant of leave for judicial review under Order 84 of the decision of the MARA to grant the MAC, nor

(b) an application to the High Court for judicial review of such decision on foot of such leave granted,

shall be construed to prevent an application for such development permission being made or determined, or otherwise being dealt with, under the Act of 2000.

PART 5

Licences authorising certain maritime usages in Maritime Area

Chapter 1

Interpretation, application and competent authority

Section 110
110

Interpretation - Part 5

110. (1) In this Part and Schedules 7 and 8

“exempted usage” shall be construed in accordance with section 114;

Schedule 7 usage” means a maritime usage specified in Schedule 7 .

(2) In sections 124, 126 and 127, “licence” includes part of a licence.

Section 111
111

Application

111. (1) A licence shall not be granted for a Schedule 7 usage that requires an environmental impact statement.

(2) Neither a prohibitory order made under section 6 of the Act of 1933 nor a prohibitory notice made under section 7 of that Act (whether made before or after the coming into operation of this section) shall operate to prevent a licence being granted for a Schedule 7 usage which falls within paragraph 12 of Schedule 7 and is to be undertaken in a part of the maritime area the subject of such order or notice.

Section 112
112

Competent authority

112. The MARA shall, for the purposes of this Part, be the competent authority for the purposes of Part 5 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 477 of 2011) and appropriate assessments to which that Part applies.

Chapter 2

Grant or refusal of licence and related matters

Section 113
113

Prohibition against undertaking certain maritime usages in maritime area without licence

113. (1) A person shall not undertake a Schedule 7 usage (other than an exempted usage) in any part of the maritime area unless he or she is, in respect of that part, the holder of a licence for such usage.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Minister may by regulations specify, for the purposes of paragraph 14 of Schedule 7, a maritime usage (not being a maritime usage which requires development permission) where the Minister is satisfied that such usage—

(a) would, if undertaken, have one or more than one of the following apply:

(i) be for, or occur over, a limited and ascertainable period;

(ii) be a usage that is required to be undertaken for the purposes of a condition attached to a MAC by virtue of section 82;

(iii) be investigative in nature or for the purposes of discovery;

(iv) be limited in scale;

(v) have a limited impact on the maritime area;

(vi) not require authorisation by or under any other enactment (whether the authorisation takes the form of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation),

and

(b) could effectively be regulated by the application of the provisions of this Part to the usage.

(3) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (2) except after consultation with the MARA.

Section 114
114

Exempted usage

114. (1) (a) Subject to subsections (2) and (4), the Minister may by regulations provide for any class of Schedule 7 usage to be exempted usage for the purposes of this Part where he or she is of the opinion that—

(i) by reason of the size, nature or limited effect on the maritime area, of usages belonging to that class, the undertaking of such usages without a licence would not offend against the objectives listed in Article 5 of the MSP Directive, or

(ii) usages belonging to that class are authorised, or are required to be authorised, by or under any other enactment (whether the authorisation takes the form of the grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation).

(b) Regulations made under paragraph (a) may be subject to conditions and be of general application or apply to such part of the maritime area as may be specified in the regulations.

(c) Regulations made under paragraph (a) shall be the subject of screening for the purposes of—

(i) the Habitats Directive, and

(ii) Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 200112 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment.

(2) Notwithstanding any regulations made under subsection (1) but subject to subsection (3), any particular Schedule 7 usage shall not be exempted usage if an appropriate assessment or environmental impact assessment of the usage is required.

(3) Subsection (2) shall not apply to a Schedule 7 usage referred to in subsection (1)(a)(ii) where the enactment concerned referred to in subsection (1)(a)(ii) provides for appropriate assessment or environmental impact assessment, as appropriate, of the usage.

(4) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (1) except after consultation with the MARA.

12 OJ No. L197, 21.7.2001, p. 30

Section 115
115

Application for declaration as to whether or not licence is required, etc.

115. (1) A person may make an application in the specified form, accompanied by the specified fee, to the MARA for a declaration in writing by the MARA as to whether or not the maritime usage the subject of the application is a Schedule 7 usage and, if so, whether or not the undertaking of the Schedule 7 usage requires a licence.

(2) Where an application under subsection (1) is made to the MARA, it may, by notice in writing given to the applicant, require the applicant to provide, whether in the specified form, by affidavit or otherwise, such additional information in relation to any matters to which the application relates as the MARA reasonably considers necessary to make the declaration sought by the application.

(3) The MARA shall, to the extent that it is practicable to do so, make the declaration sought by an application under subsection (1), and give a copy of the declaration to the applicant, not later than 30 days after the day on which the MARA is satisfied that the applicant has complied with all of the requirements of or under this section.

Section 116
116

Fees for licences

116. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (6), the Minister may by regulations specify the fees to be paid to the MARA for relevant applications and, for that purpose—

(a) different amounts may be specified for such applications which fall within different classes of such applications specified in the regulations, and

(b) the regulations may specify the circumstances in which—

(i) an exemption from the payment of such a fee applies, or

(ii) a waiver, remission or refund (whether in whole or in part) of such fee applies.

(2) The Minister shall, when specifying, in regulations made under subsection (1), the fees to be paid to the MARA for relevant applications, have regard to the administrative costs associated with processing applications, including the costs of determining whether the requirements for making the relevant applications have been met.

(3) Subject to subsections (4) to (6), the Minister may by regulations specify the fee or fees to be paid to the MARA by holders of licences and, for that purpose—

(a) different amounts may be prescribed for such holders which fall within different classes of such holders specified in the regulations, and

(b) the regulations may specify the circumstances in which—

(i) an exemption from the payment of such a fee applies, or

(ii) a waiver, remission or refund (whether in whole or in part) of such a fee applies.

(4) The Minister shall, when specifying, in regulations made under subsection (3), the fee or fees to be paid to the MARA by the holders of licences, have regard to the need to defray the costs incurred by the MARA in the performance of its functions in relation to the holder concerned.

(5) A fee specified in regulations made under subsection (3) may be a one-off fee or an annual fee and, if the former, shall be paid to the MARA upon the grant of the licence concerned and, if the latter, shall be paid to the MARA not later than each anniversary of the date specified for the purpose in the licence concerned.

(6) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (1) or (3) except after consultation with the MARA.

(7) In this section, “relevant applications” means—

(a) applications under section 115,

(b) licence applications, or

(c) applications under section 126.

Annotations

Editorial Notes:

E15

Power pursuant to section exercised (14.08.2023) by Maritime Area Usage (Licence Fees) Regulations 2023 (S.I. No. 402 of 2023).

Section 117
117

Application for grant of licence

117. (1) Subject to regulations made under section 118, a person may make an application in the specified form, accompanied by the specified fee, to the MARA for the grant of a licence for the Schedule 7 usage the subject of the application.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of section 72 or subsection (3), a licence application may require any information to be provided in relation to any of the matters to which this Part relates.

(3) Subject to subsection (9), where a licence application is made to the MARA, the MARA may, by notice in writing given to the applicant, require the applicant to provide in the specified form, by affidavit or otherwise, such additional information in relation to any matter to which the application relates as the MARA reasonably considers necessary to assist it to determine the application under section 119.

(4) (a) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it receives a licence application and if it considers it necessary to do so in its capacity as the competent authority referred to in section 112, carry out screening for appropriate assessment in respect of the proposed maritime usage the subject of the application.

(b) Paragraph (a) applies notwithstanding that the applicant may have submitted a Natura impact statement to the MARA, whether with the licence application or subsequently.

(5) (a) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it receives a licence application, carry out screening for environmental impact assessment in respect of the proposed maritime usage the subject of the application if it considers that it is necessary to do so after having regard to Schedules 5 and 7 to the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 600 of 2001).

(b) Where the decision on the screening referred to in paragraph (a) is that an environmental impact assessment is required, the MARA shall, as soon as is practicable—

(i) return the licence application concerned to the applicant together with a copy of section 111, and

(ii) publish its decision on its website together with its reasons for such decision and a notice stating—

(I) that a person may question the validity of the decision by way of an application for judicial review under Order 84 in accordance with Chapter 8, and

(II) where practical information on the review mechanism can be obtained.

(6) Where the decision referred to in subsection (4)(a) is that an appropriate assessment is required, the MARA shall—

(a) subject to paragraph (b) and subsection (8), by notice in writing given to the applicant, require the applicant to prepare, within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), a Natura impact statement and submit it to the MARA,

(b) subject to subsection (9), as soon as is practicable after the MARA has the Natura impact statement prepared by the applicant pursuant to paragraph (a) or, as the case may be, the MARA is satisfied with the adequacy of a Natura impact statement submitted by the applicant together with the licence application concerned, by notice in writing given to the applicant, require the applicant to give notice (in this section referred to as the “relevant notice”) in the specified form to the public stating that—

(i) the licence application concerned has been made to the MARA, a related Natura impact statement has been submitted to the MARA and that the application and statement are available for inspection during the period concerned referred to in subparagraph (ii)

(I) on the website of the MARA, and

(II) at the offices of the MARA specified in the relevant notice,

and

(ii) members of the public may make submissions in writing on the licence application and the Natura impact statement to the MARA for a period of not less than 30 days from the date of publication of the relevant notice at a location (which may be an electronic address) specified in, or in a form set out in and sent to an address specified in, the relevant notice.

(7) (a) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after the expiration of the 30 days referred to in subsection (6)(b)(ii), carry out the appropriate assessment concerned and have regard to the submissions (if any) referred to in that subsection.

(b) The MARA shall comply with the determination of the appropriate assessment when determining the licence application concerned under section 120.

(8) Where the applicant fails to comply with subsection (6)(a) within the period specified in that subsection (or any extension to that period permitted by the MARA for good and sufficient reason), the licence application concerned shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

(9) Where subsection (6) applies to the applicant, the MARA shall not—

(a) give the notice first-mentioned in subsection (6)(b) to the applicant until the applicant has complied with each notice (if any) given to the applicant under subsection (3), and

(b) exercise its power under subsection (3) in respect of the applicant at any time after the commencement of the period concerned referred to in subsection (6)(b)(ii).

(10) In this section, “Natura impact statement” has the same meaning as it has in Regulation 2 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 477 of 2011).

Section 118
118

Provisions supplementary to section 117

118. (1) Without prejudice to the generality of sections 72 and 117(2), (3) and (6) and subject to subsections (2) and (3), the Minister may by regulations specify the nature and extent of the consultation that the applicants which fall within different classes of licence applications specified in the regulations need to carry out before making such applications.

(2) In making regulations under subsection (1), the Minister shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the principle that the nature and extent of the consultation referred to in subsection (1) needs to be proportionate to the nature and extent of the Schedule 7 usage the subject of the licence application concerned.

(3) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (1) except after consultation with the MARA.

Section 119
119

Grant or refusal of licence

119. (1) Subject to section 117(2), (3) and (7) and subsections (2) and (4) to (7), the MARA shall determine a licence application by—

(a) granting a licence to the applicant for the occupation of a specific part of the maritime area for the purposes of the proposed Schedule 7 usage the subject of the application and subject to such conditions (if any) attached to the licence by virtue of section 120(1) as the MARA thinks fit, or

(b) giving notice in writing to the applicant refusing to grant a licence.

(2) The MARA shall, to the extent that is practicable to do so, determine a licence application not later than 30 days after the day on which the MARA is satisfied that the applicant has complied with all the requirements of or under this Part in so far as they relate to the application.

(3) Where the MARA—

(a) grants a licence for part only of the Schedule 7 usage sought by the applicant (including any case where the part of the maritime area concerned is reduced in size),

(b) grants a licence to which conditions are attached by virtue of section 120(1), or

(c) refuses to grant a licence,

the MARA shall, at the same time, give the applicant notice in writing of the reasons for the partial grant, conditions or refusal, as the case may be.

(4) A licence shall include the following at a minimum:

(a) particulars of the name and address of the holder of the licence;

(b) particulars of the Schedule 7 usage the subject of the licence and the part of the maritime area where the usage will be undertaken;

(c) particulars of the period (if any) to which the licence relates (including any time limits or other restrictions to apply during that period);

(d) the conditions (if any) attached to the licence by virtue of section 120(1).

(5) The MARA shall, in determining a licence application, take into account any submissions referred to in section 117(6)(b)(ii).

(6) (a) Paragraph (b) applies where the MARA is minded to determine a licence application by—

(i) granting a licence to the applicant but—

(I) for part only of the licence sought by the applicant (including any case where the part of the maritime area concerned is reduced in size), or

(II) with conditions attached to the licence by virtue of section 120(1),

or

(ii) refusing to grant a licence.

(b) The MARA shall, in the interests of procedural fairness, give a notice in writing to the applicant stating that—

(i) the MARA is minded to determine the application as specified in paragraph (a) and setting out the MARA’s reasons why it is so minded, and

(ii) the applicant may, if the applicant wishes to do so, within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), provide, in view of those reasons only, supplementary material in the specified form to the MARA for the MARA’s further consideration before making a determination under subsection (1) following the expiration of that period.

(7) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that subsection (6) only applies once to the same licence application.

Section 120
120

Conditions attached to licence

120. (1) The MARA may attach to a licence one or more than one condition which falls within one or more than one of the types of conditions specified in Schedule 8.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (8), the Minister may by regulations specify, for the purposes of paragraph 18 of Schedule 8, additional types of conditions which may be attached to a licence.

(3) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (2), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, have regard to the following principles and policies in relation to the additional types of conditions:

(a) whether the condition assists in the furtherance of the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework;

(b) whether the condition assists in promoting co-operation between users of the same part of the maritime area or adjoining parts of the maritime area, or both;

(c) whether the condition assists in ensuring that the holder of a licence—

(i) fulfils his or her obligations under this Act in relation to the licence, or

(ii) manages the undertaking of the maritime usage the subject of the licence in an effective and efficient manner.

(4) (a) Subject to subsection (5), it shall be deemed to be a condition of each licence that the MARA may, where it is of the opinion that the revocation, suspension or amendment of the licence is required in order to enable a MAC granted after the grant of the licence to have full force and effect, provide for such revocation, suspension or amendment, as the case may be, in the MAC and subject to such conditions (if any) as are specified in the MAC.

(b) The MARA shall, at the same time as it grants a MAC to which paragraph (a) applies, give the holder of the licence concerned a copy of the MAC together with a statement in writing specifying the MARA’s reasons for the potential revocation, suspension or amendment, as the case may be, of the licence.

(5) (a) Paragraph (b) applies where the MARA is minded to exercise its discretion referred to in subsection (4)(a) to revoke, suspend or amend a licence.

(b) The MARA shall, in the interests of procedural fairness, give a notice in writing to the holder of the licence concerned stating—

(i) how the MARA is minded to exercise its discretion referred to in subsection (4)(a) and setting out the MARA’s reasons why it is so minded, and

(ii) that the holder may, if the holder wishes to do so, within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), provide, in view of those reasons only, supplementary material in the specified form to the MARA for the MARA’s further consideration before the MARA, following the expiration of that period, makes a decision whether or not to exercise the discretion referred to in subsection (4)(a) and, if so, how to exercise such discretion.

(6) Where the MARA decides to exercise its discretion referred to in subsection (4)(a) to revoke, suspend or amend a licence, the MARA shall give notice in writing of the decision to the holder of the licence and such decision shall not take effect until at least 30 days after the holder receives that notice.

(7) It shall be deemed to be a condition of each licence that the part of the maritime area the subject of the licence is not for the exclusive use of the Schedule 7 usage the subject of the licence except where the licence expressly states that such part is for the exclusive use of such usage.

(8) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (2) except after consultation with the MARA.

Annotations

Editorial Notes:

E16

Power pursuant to subs. (2) exercised (2.11.2023) by Maritime Area Usage (Licence Conditions) Regulations 2023 (S.I. No. 530 of 2023).

Section 121
121

Provisions supplementary to grant of licence

121. (1) Unless otherwise specified in regulations made under this section, nothing in this Part shall of itself be construed as preventing the MARA from granting a licence to an applicant—

(a) who is the holder of a licence for the same Schedule 7 usage provided that the first-mentioned licence is for a period which will not overlap with the period of the second-mentioned licence, or

(b) who was the holder of a licence for the same Schedule 7 usage where the licence has expired or is no longer in force.

(2) The MARA shall, before granting a licence, have regard to—

(a) the National Marine Planning Framework,

(b) the State’s obligations under the following Directives in so far as those obligations are relevant to the undertaking of the Schedule 7 usage concerned:

(i) Habitats Directive;

(ii) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 200013 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (Water Framework Directive);

(iii) Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 200814 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) as amended by Commission Directive (EU) 2017/845 of 17 May 2017;

(iv) Birds Directive;

(v) Environmental Impact Assessment Directive,

(c) the provisions of any enactment giving effect to a Directive referred to in paragraph (b) in so far as those provisions give effect to the obligations referred to in that paragraph that are relevant to the Schedule 7 usage concerned, and

(d) any other maritime usage lawfully undertaken pursuant to this Act or another enactment in the same part of the maritime area to which the first-mentioned licence relates.

13 OJ No. L327, 22.12.2000, p.1

14 OJ No. L164, 25.6.2008, p. 19

Section 122
122

Notification of grant or refusal of licence, etc.

122. (1) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it grants a licence, publish a notice on its website stating, at a minimum—

(a) the name of the holder of the licence,

(b) the address (which may be an electronic address) of the holder,

(c) if applicable, the period for which the licence will continue before it expires,

(d) if applicable, the occurrence of the event upon which the licence will expire,

(e) the nature of the maritime usage the subject of the licence,

(f) a spatial representation of the specified part of the maritime area the subject of the licence,

(g) the date that the MARA granted the licence, and

(h) the conditions (if any) attached to the licence by virtue of section 120(1).

(2) Where section 119(3) applies, the MARA shall, at the same time as it gives the notice referred to in that section to the applicant concerned or as soon as is practicable thereafter, publish the notice on its website.

(3) Where—

(a) the MARA’s decision referred to in section 117(4)(a) was that an appropriate assessment was, or was not, required, or

(b) the MARA’s decision referred to in section 117(5)(a) was that an environmental impact assessment was not required,

the MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after the determination of the licence application concerned under section 119, publish that decision on its website together with its reasons for such decision.

(4) Where the MARA has, pursuant to section 117(7)(a), carried out an appropriate assessment, it shall, as soon as is practicable after the determination of the licence application concerned under section 119, publish a notice of the carrying out of the assessment, together with the appropriate assessment determination, on its website.

(5) The MARA shall, whenever it publishes a notice on its website under this section, also publish a notice on its website stating—

(a) that a person may question the validity of a decision of the MARA to which the first-mentioned notice relates by way of an application for judicial review under Order 84 in accordance with Chapter 8, and

(b) where practical information on the review mechanism can be found.

(6) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it refuses to grant a licence, publish on its website a copy of the notice concerned referred to in section 119(3).

Chapter 3

Compensation for exercise of relevant power

Section 123
123

Compensation for exercise of relevant power

123. (1) The holder of the relevant MAC shall (and, if a scheme or schemes of compensation have been made for the purposes of this section, in accordance with the scheme or schemes concerned)—

(a) either—

(i) make good any loss or damage caused to the holder of the relevant licence as a consequence of the exercise by the MARA of the relevant power, or

(ii) reimburse the holder the reasonable costs and expenses of such making good,

and

(b) as appropriate, pay to the holder of the relevant licence reasonable compensation for any loss, damage, disturbance or injury, caused to the holder as a consequence of the exercise by the MARA of the relevant power, together with interest payable on the amount of such compensation at such rate as the MARA, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, may determine from time to time for the purposes of this section, from the date on which the claim is made to the date of payment thereof.

(2) The MARA may make a scheme or schemes of compensation providing for the payment of compensation referred to in subsection (1) including but not limited to provision for the following:

(a) the matters or classes of matters in respect of which the scheme shall apply;

(b) the form and manner in which a claim for compensation may be made;

(c) the provision by the holder of the relevant licence of evidence and other information in support of the holder’s claim and the verification of such evidence and information.

(3) The MARA may amend or revoke and replace by a subsequent scheme or schemes a scheme or schemes of compensation made under subsection (2).

(4) The MARA shall—

(a) publish on its website and in such other manner as the MARA considers appropriate, and

(b) make available on request copies of,

the scheme or schemes of compensation made under subsection (2) or any amendment to such a scheme or schemes of compensation made under subsection (3).

(5) (a) Any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with a claim for compensation under this section shall be referred, by notice in writing from either party, to the decision of a single arbitrator as may be nominated by agreement between the parties to the arbitration, or failing such agreement, not later than 21 days after a notice in writing given by one of the parties to the arbitration, by the President for the time being of the Law Society of Ireland.

(b) Every reference to arbitration made pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be deemed to be a submission to arbitration within the meaning of the Arbitration Act 2010.

(6) The provisions of the Arbitration Act 2010 applicable to arbitrations referred to in section 29 of that Act shall apply to an arbitration referred to in subsection (5).

(7) In this section—

“relevant licence” means a licence which has been, or will be, revoked, suspended or amended as a consequence of the exercise by the MARA of the relevant power;

“relevant MAC”, in relation to the relevant licence, means the MAC in favour of which the MARA has exercised the relevant power in respect of that licence;

“relevant power” means the MARA’s power, by virtue of the condition deemed to be attached to a licence by virtue of section 120(4)(a), to revoke, suspend or amend the licence.

Chapter 4

Assignment or amendment of licence

Section 124
124

Assignment of licence

124. (1) This section applies where the holder of a licence (in this section referred to as the “proposed assignor”) wishes to assign the licence to another person (in this section referred to as the “proposed assignee”).

(2) The proposed assignor and the proposed assignee shall make a joint licence application to the MARA for the MARA’s consent in writing to the assignment and, in the case of such application, section 117 and the other provisions of this Part (including section 122) applicable to a licence application and its determination under section 119 shall, with all necessary modifications, apply accordingly.

(3) The assignment of a licence purporting to be effected without the consent referred to in subsection (2) shall be void.

(4) References in this Act to the grant of a licence shall include references to the assignment of a licence in any case where the licence has been assigned or reassigned in accordance with this section.

Section 125
125

Material amendment to licence

125. (1) The holder of a licence who wishes to amend the licence in any material way shall make a licence application for such amendment and, in the case of such application, section 117 and the other provisions of this Part (including section 122) applicable to a licence application and its determination under section 119 shall, with all necessary modifications, apply accordingly.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the Minister may by regulations specify classes of amendments to a licence that are, for the purposes of this section, non-material.

(3) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (2), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the following principles and policies in relation to the proposed classes of amendments referred to in that subsection:

(a) that the amendments which fall within the class should be trivial, insignificant, minor or inconsequential;

(b) that the amendments which fall within the class should not cause any significant erosion of the provisions of the licence relating to any avoidance or mitigation measures.

(4) On and after the establishment day, the Minister shall not make regulations under subsection (2) except after consultation with the MARA.

(5) (a) The holder of a licence who wishes to make a non-material amendment to the licence shall give notice in the specified form to the MARA of the amendment not less than 10 days before making the amendment.

(b) Nothing in paragraph (a) shall be construed to prejudice the generality of the MARA’s powers under Part 6.

(6) In this section—

“material amendment”, in relation to a licence, means any amendment to the licence other than a non-material amendment;

“non-material amendment”, in relation to a licence, means an amendment which falls within a class of amendments specified in regulations made under subsection (2).

Chapter 5

Surrender of licence

Section 126
126

Surrender of licence

126. (1) The holder of a licence may make an application in the specified form, accompanied by the specified fee, to the MARA for the surrender of the licence.

(2) Where an application under subsection (1) is made to the MARA, the MARA may, by notice in writing given to the applicant, require the applicant to provide, in the specified form, by affidavit or otherwise, such additional information in relation to any matter to which the application relates as the MARA reasonably considers necessary to assist it to determine the application under section 127.

Section 127
127

Determination of application under section 126

127. (1) The MARA shall determine an application under section 126(1) by—

(a) if the applicant has satisfied the MARA that all the obligations of the applicant arising from being the holder of the licence concerned (and whether or not such obligations arise under this Act or another enactment) have been discharged, consenting to the surrender of the licence by notice in writing given to the applicant specifying the date on which the surrender shall take effect,

(b) in any other case giving notice in writing to the applicant (subsequent to the applicant’s response (if any) to a notice under paragraph (c) given to the applicant) refusing that application and specifying the MARA’s reasons for the refusal, or

(c) in the interests of procedural fairness, giving a notice in writing to the applicant stating that the MARA is minded to refuse to grant the application for the reasons specified in the notice but that, if the applicant wishes to do so, he or she may, within the period specified in the notice for the purpose (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case) provide, in view of those reasons only, supplementary material in the specified form to the MARA for the MARA’s further consideration before making a decision under paragraph (a) or (b) in respect of the application.

(2) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it consents to the surrender of a licence, publish a notice on its website stating, at a minimum—

(a) the name of the holder or former holder of the licence,

(b) the date on which the surrender was, or will be, effected, and

(c) sufficient particulars of the licence to readily identify it.

(3) Where subsection (1)(b) applies, the MARA shall, at the same time as it gives the notice referred to in that subsection to the applicant concerned or as soon as is practicable thereafter, publish the notice on its website.

(4) The MARA shall, at the same time as it publishes a notice on its website under this section, also publish a notice on its website stating—

(a) that a person may question the validity of a decision of the MARA to which the first-mentioned notice relates by way of an application for judicial review under Order 84 in accordance with Chapter 8, and

(b) where practical information on the review mechanism can be found.

(5) The surrender of a licence purporting to be effected without the consent referred to in subsection (1)(a) shall be void.

(6) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that paragraph (c) of subsection (1) only applies once to the same application under section 126(1).

Chapter 6

Keeping of records, etc.

Section 128
128

Keeping of records and samples, etc., by holder of licence

128.(1) (a) There may be prescribed a requirement, or the provisions of a licence may contain a requirement, or both, that the holder of a licence, in respect of the part of the maritime area the subject of the licence (in this section referred to as the “relevant part”), keep records or samples, or both, relating to the relevant part for any scientific purpose.

(b) For the purposes of prescribing a requirement referred to in paragraph (a), the Minister shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the principle that scientific information concerning the maritime area ought to be preserved not just for the benefit of the undertaking of the particular Schedule 7 usage concerned for the purposes of which such information was acquired but also for the benefit of other and future undertakings of maritime usages.

(2) (a) The MARA may, by notice in writing given to the holder of a licence, direct the holder to provide the MARA with copies of any specified data—

(i) within the period specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), or

(ii) if no such period is specified in the notice, within four weeks from the date on which the holder receives the notice.

(b) The holder of a licence the subject of a direction under paragraph (a) shall comply with the direction.

(c) The costs entailed in complying with a direction under paragraph (a) shall be borne by the holder of the licence the subject of the direction.

(3) (a) Where the MARA is given specified data by the holder of a licence pursuant to the holder’s compliance with a direction under subsection (2)(a), it shall not disclose the data, or cause the data to be disclosed, to a third party except—

(i) pursuant to subsection (4), or

(ii) subject to paragraph (b), with the consent in writing of the holder to do so.

(b) The holder of a licence shall not unreasonably withhold the giving of the consent referred to in paragraph (a)(ii).

(4) Specified data may be disclosed where the disclosure—

(a) is in compliance with this Part or is otherwise permitted by law or any other enactment,

(b) is to a public body and for a purpose relevant to a function of that body, or

(c) in the opinion of the person making, or seeking to make, the disclosure, may disclose, to a member of the Garda Síochána or an officer of the Revenue Commissioners, the commission of an indictable offence.

(5) (a) A person who is given specified data pursuant to a disclosure under subsection (4) shall not disclose the data, or cause the data to be disclosed, to another person except—

(i) to the person who made the first-mentioned disclosure,

(ii) to the holder of the licence to whom the data relate,

(iii) pursuant to subsection (4), or

(iv) subject to paragraph (b), with the consent in writing of that holder to do so.

(b) The holder of a licence shall not unreasonably withhold the giving of a consent referred to in paragraph (a)(iv).

(6) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), the MARA may use specified data for the purpose of preparing and publishing such returns or reports, or both, as may be required of the MARA by law.

(b) The MARA shall ensure that the publication under paragraph (a) of specified data is done in such a manner that commercially sensitive information is not disclosed.

(c) The MARA may, by notice in writing given to the holder of a licence, direct the holder to publish specified data in such media, and within such period, as are specified in the notice.

(d) The holder of a licence given a notice under paragraph (c) shall comply with the notice.

(7) Subject to subsection (8), the Minister may, after consultation with the Data Protection Commission, by regulations specify the personal data that are permitted to be included in specified data.

(8) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (7), he or she shall, in addition to having regard to the other provisions of this Act, also have regard to the principle that personal data only need to be included in specified data to the extent reasonably necessary to enable the MARA or the Minister, as appropriate, to perform their respective functions under this Act in relation to licences.

(9) In this section—

“commercially sensitive information” means—

(a) financial, commercial, scientific, technical or other information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to result in a material financial loss or gain to the person to whom it relates, or could prejudice the competitive position of that person in the conduct of his or her business or otherwise in his or her occupation, or

(b) information the disclosure of which could prejudice the conduct or outcome of contractual or other negotiations of the person to whom it relates;

“permitted personal data” means personal data permitted, by virtue of regulations made under subsection (7), to be included in specified data;

“specified data”, in relation to the holder of a licence, means any books, records or other documents, returns, plans, maps, geological, hydrological and ecological samples, accounts, and information (including any copies thereof or parts thereof) which are required by this Part, regulations made under this Part, or the provisions of the licence, to be kept but does not include any personal data other than permitted personal data.

Chapter 7

Transitional provisions - foreshore authorisations, unauthorised usages and licences

Section 129
129

Transitional provisions for certain foreshore authorisations

129. (1) This section applies to a foreshore authorisation where the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation would, if it were not the subject of the authorisation, have to be, inter alia, the subject of a licence before it could be lawfully undertaken.

(2) (a) Paragraphs (b) and (c) apply where the holder of a foreshore authorisation—

(i) is lawfully occupying a part of the foreshore pursuant to the authorisation, and

(ii) wishes to—

(I) amend the authorisation, or

(II) continue to occupy that part after the expiration of the authorisation without undertaking any further maritime usage in addition to the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation.

(b) The holder may, at any time before the expiration of the foreshore authorisation, make a licence application to surrender the authorisation to the MARA for a licence and, in any such case, section 117 and the other provisions of this Part (including section 122) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to the authorisation, the licence application, and the application’s determination under section 119, accordingly.

(c) The foreshore authorisation shall expire—

(i) upon the holder being granted a licence pursuant to the licence application referred to in paragraph (b), or

(ii) in accordance with the provisions of the authorisation and the Act of 1933,

whichever first occurs.

(3) (a) Paragraphs (b) and (c) apply where—

(i) the holder of a foreshore authorisation—

(I) is lawfully occupying a part of the foreshore pursuant to the authorisation, and

(II) wishes to discontinue to occupy that part in favour of another person occupying that part,

and

(ii) the other person wishes to occupy that part without undertaking any further maritime usage in addition to the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation.

(b) The holder of the foreshore authorisation and the other person may, at any time before the expiration of the authorisation, make a joint licence application to surrender the authorisation for a licence for the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation and, in any such case, section 117 and the other provisions of this Part (including section 122) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to the authorisation, the joint licence application, and the application’s determination under section 119, accordingly.

(c) The foreshore authorisation shall expire—

(i) upon the other person being granted a licence pursuant to the joint licence application referred to in paragraph (b), or

(ii) in accordance with the provisions of the authorisation and the Act of 1933,

whichever first occurs.

Section 130
130

Transitional provisions for certain unauthorised maritime usages

130. (1) The relevant person may, before the fifth anniversary of the coming into operation of this section (or, where subsection (4) applies, the first anniversary referred to in that subsection), make a licence application for the unauthorised usage concerned and, in any such case, the provisions of this Act shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to take account of the fact that such usage is an existing maritime usage and not a proposed maritime usage.

(2) Subsection (3) applies to the relevant person (including any predecessors to such person) and the unauthorised usage concerned immediately on and after—

(a) the fifth anniversary of the coming into operation of this section (or, where subsection (4) applies, the first anniversary referred to in that subsection) without a licence application referred to in subsection (1) having been made in respect of such usage,

(b) the date on which the MARA is satisfied that, although a licence application referred to in subsection (1) has been made for such usage, the application has been abandoned or withdrawn before its determination under section 119, or

(c) where a licence application referred to in subsection (1) has been made for such usage, the date on which the applicant is notified of the refusal under section 119, in the determination of the application, to grant a licence for such usage.

(3) (a) Where this subsection applies, the MARA may use, on behalf of the State, any and all remedies available to the State (whether under this Act or another enactment or under the common law) against or in relation to the relevant person (including any predecessors to such person) and the unauthorised usage concerned including, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, remedies to provide for all or any of the following:

(i) cause the unauthorised usage to cease;

(ii) obtain compensation or damages for the unauthorised usage;

(iii) provide for the rehabilitation of the part of the maritime area the subject of the unauthorised usage.

(b) The MARA may exercise its power under paragraph (a) jointly with one or more than one other public body that has statutory functions in relation to maritime usages of the type that is the unauthorised usage concerned.

(4) The MARA may, where it is of the opinion that a particular unauthorised usage is an impediment to the effective and efficient performance of its functions, by notice in writing given to the relevant person and for the reasons stated in the notice, specify that, in the case of that usage, the words “the first anniversary of the giving of the notice concerned under subsection (4) ” are substituted for the words “the fifth anniversary of the coming into operation of this subsection” in subsections (1) and (2)(a).

(5) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the State or a public body other than the MARA from making use, independently of the MARA, of a remedy referred to in subsection (3) against or in relation to the relevant person (including any predecessors thereto) and the unauthorised usage concerned.

(6) In this section—

“relevant person”, in relation to an unauthorised usage, means the person undertaking such usage immediately before 12 August 2021, and regardless of whether or not such person is the same person who first undertook such usage;

“unauthorised usage” means a maritime usage—

(a) undertaken by a person before 12 August 2021,

(b) which, in order to be lawfully undertaken before that date, was required to be, but was not, the subject of a foreshore authorisation, and regardless as to whether or not any other authorisations (whether the authorisation takes the form of the grant of a licence, consent, approval or any other type of authorisation) were required, or were in fact granted, under any other enactment in order to enable the person referred to in paragraph (a) to undertake such usage, and

(c) which, if it were undertaken on or after the coming into operation of Chapter 2, would be required by that Chapter to be the subject of a licence.

Chapter 8

Judicial review and licences

Section 131
131

Judicial review of matters relating to licence applications or licences

131. (1) Where a point of law arises on any matter with which the MARA is concerned under this Part, the MARA may refer the F34[point] to the High Court for decision.

(2) A person shall not question the validity of any decision made or other act done by the MARA in the performance or purported performance of a function under this Part in relation to a licence application, licence or foreshore authorisation otherwise than by way of an application for judicial review under Order 84.

(3) The MARA may, at any time after the bringing of an application for leave to apply for judicial review of any decision or other act to which subsection (2) applies and which relates to a matter for the time being before the MARA, apply to the High Court to stay the proceedings pending the making of a decision by the MARA in relation to the matter concerned.

(4) On the making of such an application, the High Court may, where it considers that the matter before the MARA is within the jurisdiction of the MARA, make an order staying the proceedings concerned on such terms as it thinks fit.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), an application for leave to apply for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of a decision or other act to which subsection (2) applies shall be made within the period of eight weeks beginning on the date of the publication of the decision under section 122 or 127, as appropriate, or, as the case may be, the date of the doing of the act by the MARA, as appropriate.

(6) The High Court may extend the period provided for in subsection (5) within which an application for leave referred to in that subsection may be made but shall only do so if it is satisfied that—

(a) there is good and sufficient reason for doing so, and

(b) the circumstances that resulted in the failure to make the application for leave within the period so provided were outside the control of the applicant for the extension.

(7) References in this section to Order 84 shall be construed as including references to the Order as amended or replaced (with or without modification) by rules of court.

Annotations

Amendments:

F34

Substituted (17.07.2023) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 54, S.I. No. 370 of 2023.

Section 132
132

Provisions supplementary to section 131

132. (1) In this section—

“Court”, where used without qualification, means the High Court (but this definition shall not be construed as meaning that subsections (2) to (6) and (9) do not extend to and govern the exercise by the Court of Appeal of jurisdiction on any appeal that may be made);

section 131 leave” means leave to apply for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of a decision or other act to which section 131(2) applies.

(2) (a) An application for section 131 leave shall be made by motion ex parte and shall be grounded in the manner specified in Order 84 in respect of an ex parte motion for leave.

(b) The Court hearing the ex parte application for leave may decide, having regard to the issues arising, the likely impact of the proceedings on the respondent or another party, or for other good and sufficient reason, that the application for leave should be conducted on an inter partes basis and may adjourn the application on such terms as it may direct in order that a notice may be served on that person.

(c) If the Court directs that the leave hearing is to be conducted on an inter partes basis it shall be by motion on notice (grounded in the manner specified in Order 84 in respect of an ex parte motion for leave)—

(i) to the MARA, and

(ii) to any other person specified for that purpose by order of the High Court.

(d) The Court may—

(i) on the consent of all of the parties, or

(ii) where there is good and sufficient reason for so doing and it is just and equitable in all the circumstances,

treat the application for leave as if it were the hearing of the application for judicial review and may for that purpose adjourn the hearing on such terms as it may direct.

(3) The Court shall not grant section 131 leave unless it is satisfied that—

(a) there are substantial grounds for contending that the decision or act concerned is invalid or ought to be quashed, and

(b) (i) the applicant has a sufficient interest in the matter which is the subject of the application, or

(ii) where the decision or act concerned relates to a development identified in or under regulations made under section 176 of the Act of 2000, for the time being in force, as being a development which may have significant effects on the environment, the applicant—

(I) is a body or organisation (other than a State authority, a public authority or governmental body or agency) the aims or objectives of which relate to the promotion of environmental protection, and

(II) has, during the period of 12 months preceding the date of the application, pursued those aims or objectives.

(4) A sufficient interest for the purposes of subsection (3)(b)(i) is not limited to an interest in land or other financial interest.

(5) If the Court grants section 131 leave, no grounds shall be relied upon in the application for judicial review under Order 84 other than those determined by the Court to be substantial under subsection (3)(a).

(6) The Court may, as a condition for granting section 131 leave, require the applicant for such leave to give an undertaking as to damages.

(7) The determination of the Court of an application for section 131 leave or of an application for judicial review on foot of such leave shall be final and no appeal shall lie from the decision of the Court to the Court of Appeal in either case save with leave of the Court which leave shall only be granted where the Court certifies that its decision involves a point of law of exceptional public importance and that it is desirable in the public interest that an appeal should be taken to the Court of Appeal.

(8) Subsection (7) shall not apply to a determination of the Court in so far as it involves a question as to the validity of any law having regard to the provisions of the Constitution.

(9) If an application is made for judicial review under Order 84 in respect of part only of a decision or other act to which section 131(2) applies, the Court may, if it thinks fit, declare to be invalid or quash the part concerned or any provision thereof without declaring invalid or quashing the remainder of the decision or other act or part of the decision or other act, and if the Court does so, it may make any consequential amendments to the remainder of the decision or other act or the part thereof that it considers appropriate.

(10) The Court shall, in determining an application for section 131 leave or an application for judicial review on foot of such leave, act as expeditiously as possible consistent with the administration of justice.

(11) On an appeal from a determination of the Court in respect of an application referred to in subsection (10), the Court of Appeal shall—

(a) have jurisdiction to determine only the point of law certified by the Court under subsection (7) (and to make only such order in the proceedings as follows from such determination), and

(b) in determining the appeal, act as expeditiously as possible consistent with the administration of justice.

(12) Rules of court may make provision for the expeditious hearing of applications for section 131 leave and applications for judicial review on foot of such leave.

Section 133
133

Costs in environmental matters

133. (1) This section applies to proceedings of the following kinds:

(a) proceedings in the High Court by way of judicial review, or of seeking leave to apply for judicial review, of—

(i) any decision or purported decision made or purportedly made,

(ii) any action taken or purportedly taken, or

(iii) any failure to take any action,

pursuant to a provision of an enactment that gives effect to a relevant provision;

(b) an appeal (including an appeal by way of case stated) to the Supreme Court from a decision of the High Court in a proceeding referred to in paragraph (a);

(c) proceedings in the High Court or the Supreme Court for interim or interlocutory relief in relation to a proceeding referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Order 99 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No. 15 of 1986) and subject to subsections (3) to (5), in proceedings to which this section applies, each party to the proceedings (including any notice party) shall bear its own costs.

(3) The costs of proceedings, or a portion of such costs, as are appropriate, may be awarded to the applicant to the extent that the applicant succeeds in obtaining relief and any of those costs shall be borne by the respondent or notice party, or both of them, to the extent that the actions or omissions of the respondent or notice party, or both of them, contributed to the applicant obtaining relief.

(4) The Court may award costs against a party in proceedings to which this section applies if the Court considers it appropriate to do so—

(a) because the Court considers that a claim or counterclaim by the party is frivolous or vexatious,

(b) because of the manner in which the party has conducted the proceedings, or

(c) where the party is in contempt of the Court.

(5) Subsection (2) does not affect the Court’s entitlement to award costs in favour of a party in a matter of exceptional public importance and where in the special circumstances of the case it is in the interests of justice to do so.

(6) In this section a reference to “the Court” shall be construed as, in relation to particular proceedings to which this section applies, a reference to the High Court or the Supreme Court, as may be appropriate.

(7) In this section, “relevant provision” means a provision of—

(a) Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 198515 to which Article 10a (inserted by Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 200316 providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directive 85/337/EEC and Council Directive 96/61/EC17) of that Council Directive applies,

(b) Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 200118 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, or

(c) paragraph 3 or 4 of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive.

15 OJ No. L 175, 05.07.1985, p. 40

16 OJ No. L 156, 25.6.2003, p. 17

17 OJ No. L 257, 10.10.1996, p. 26

18 OJ No. L 197, 21.7.2001, p. 30

PART 6

Enforcement

Chapter 1

Interpretation, application and material change of circumstances

Section 134
134

Interpretation

134. (1) In this Part—

“act” includes an omission;

“enforcement notice” means a notice under section 141(2);

“holder” means the holder or former holder, as appropriate, of a relevant authorisation;

“investigation” means an investigation under section 146;

“investigation report”, in relation to an investigation, means a report in writing prepared, following the completion of an investigation, by the authorised officer appointed under section 146(1)(b) to carry out the investigation—

(a) stating that the authorised officer—

(i) is satisfied that a relevant ground applies to the holder the subject of the investigation, or

(ii) is not so satisfied,

as appropriate,

(b) if paragraph (a)(i) is applicable, stating the grounds on which the authorised officer is so satisfied, and

(c) if paragraph (a)(ii) is applicable, stating—

(i) the basis on which the authorised officer is not so satisfied, and

(ii) the authorised officer’s opinion, in view of such basis, on whether or not a further investigation of the holder the subject of the investigation is warranted and, if warranted, the authorised officer’s opinion on the principal matters to which the further investigation should relate;

“MAC” includes a MAC which has been F35[revoked under Chapter 3A,] terminated under Chapter 4 or revoked under Chapter 5;

“licence” includes a licence which has been F35[revoked under Chapter 3A,] terminated under Chapter 4 or revoked under Chapter 5;

“major sanction”, in relation to a holder, means—

(a) the revocation of the relevant authorisation concerned and a prohibition (which may be a permanent prohibition, a prohibition for a specified period or a prohibition subject to specified conditions) against the holder making a relevant application for a new relevant authorisation or a particular class of relevant authorisation,

(b) the suspension for a specified period of the relevant authorisation concerned and a prohibition for a specified period against the holder making a relevant application for a new relevant authorisation or a particular class of relevant authorisation,

(c) a direction to the holder that the holder pay a sum, as specified in the direction but not exceeding the prescribed amount (or, if no amount is prescribed, not exceeding €50,000), to the MARA, being the whole or part of the cost to the MARA of an investigation of the holder,

(d) a direction to the holder that the holder pay a sum, as specified in the direction but not exceeding the prescribed amount (or, if no amount is prescribed, not exceeding €5,000,000), to the MARA by way of a financial penalty for an act of the holder specified in the direction, or

(e) any combination of any of the sanctions specified in paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) or paragraphs (b), (c) and (d);

“minor sanction”, in relation to a holder, means—

(a) the issue, to the holder, of—

(i) advice,

(ii) a caution,

(iii) a warning, or

(iv) a reprimand,

or

(b) any combination of any of the sanctions specified in paragraph (a);

“premises” includes place and any fixed or moveable structure;

“relevant application” means, as appropriate—

(a) a MAC application,

(b) a licence application,

(c) both a MAC application and a licence application, or

(d) an application under section 88 or 126;

“relevant authorisation” means a MAC or licence;

“relevant ground”, in relation to a holder, means that—

(a) the holder has contravened a relevant provision,

(b) the holder is contravening a relevant provision,

(c) the holder has contravened a relevant provision in circumstances that make it likely that the contravention will continue or be repeated,

(d) there has been a material change of circumstances F36[],

(e) the holder (including in the holder’s former capacity as an applicant for the relevant authorisation concerned) has given information to the MARA under this Act that was false or misleading in a material particular, or

(f) the holder has failed to comply with an enforcement notice;

F37[relevant provision means a provision of

(a) a relevant authorisation,

(b) a development permission granted in respect of the maritime usage the subject of a relevant authorisation, or

(c) this Act.]

(2) Where a provision of this Part confers a discretion on the MARA or a court to revoke or suspend a relevant authorisation which is a MAC and the holder of the relevant authorisation holds two or more relevant authorisations which are MACs, that discretion may be exercised so as to revoke or suspend, as the case may be, some or all of those relevant authorisations as the MARA or the court, as the case may be, thinks fit in all the circumstances of the case, and the other provisions of this Part shall, with all necessary modifications, be construed accordingly.

Annotations

Amendments:

F35

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 55(a), (b), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

F36

Deleted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 55(c), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

F37

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 55(d), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 135
135

Application

135. (1) The MARA may, as it thinks fit in all the circumstances of the case—

(a) initiate proceedings under Chapter 3 in respect of a matter without initiating proceeding under Chapter 5 in respect of that same matter,

(b) initiate proceedings under Chapter 5 in respect of a matter without initiating proceedings under Chapter 3 in respect of that same matter,

(c) initiate proceedings under both Chapters 3 and 5 in respect of the same matter, whether at the same or different times,

(d) abandon proceedings initiated under Chapter 3 in respect of a matter in favour of initiating, or continuing, proceedings under Chapter 5 in respect of that same matter, or

(e) abandon proceedings initiated under Chapter 5 in respect of a matter in favour of initiating, or continuing, proceedings under Chapter 3 in respect of that same matter.

(2) No proceedings shall be initiated under Chapter 3 in respect of a relevant ground which falls within paragraph (e) or (f) of the definition of “relevant ground”.

F38[(2A) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the MARA may, as it thinks fit in all the circumstances of the case—

(a) abandon proceedings initiated under Chapter 3 or 5 in respect of a matter in favour of initiating proceedings under Chapter 3A in respect of the same matter, or

(b) abandon proceedings initiated under Chapter 3A in respect of a matter in favour of initiating proceedings under Chapter 3 or 5 in respect of the same matter.]

F39[(3) A revocation under Chapter 3A, a suspension under Chapter 4A, or a revocation or suspension under Chapter 5, of a relevant authorisation may relate to a part only of the maritime usage the subject of the relevant authorisation and, in any such case, the other provisions of this Part shall, with all necessary modifications, be construed accordingly.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F38

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 56(a), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

F39

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 56(b), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 136
136

Material change of circumstances

136. For the purposes of this Act, a material change of circumstances F40[] is where the MARA or a court, as appropriate, is satisfied that—

(a) there has been a change of circumstances of the holder F41[concerned], or of the part of the maritime area the subject of the relevant authorisation, that will or may adversely affect, in a material way, the undertaking of the maritime usage or proposed maritime usage the subject of the relevant authorisation (including adversely affecting any period within which, or the occurrence of any event on which, the undertaking of the usage is to commence or be completed), or

(b) there has been a change of circumstances of the holder F41[concerned], or of the part of the maritime area the subject of the relevant authorisation, such that, if the holder did not hold that relevant authorisation and were to make a relevant application for a relevant authorisation in the like terms, the provisions of Part 4 or 5, as appropriate, as in force at the time that the relevant authorisation was granted, would prevent the MARA from granting a relevant authorisation in such terms to the holder.

Annotations

Amendments:

F40

Deleted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 57(a), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

F41

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 57(b), (c), S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Chapter 2

Appointment and powers of authorised officers

Section 137
137

Authorised officers of MARA

137. (1) The MARA may appoint in writing such and so many persons (including a person referred to in section 64(5)), including but not limited to members of staff of the MARA, to be authorised officers for the purposes of all or any of the provisions of this Act as it thinks appropriate and such appointment may be specified to be for a fixed period.

(2) Every authorised officer appointed under this section shall be given a warrant of appointment and shall, when exercising any power conferred on him or her by or under this Act, if requested by a person affected, produce the warrant of appointment or a copy of it to that person.

(3) An appointment under this section as an authorised officer shall cease—

(a) if the MARA revokes the appointment, or

(b) if the appointment is for a fixed period, on the expiry of that period.

(4) (a) Paragraph (b) applies to an authorised officer appointed under subsection (1) who is not a member of staff of the MARA.

(b) The authorised officer shall be so appointed as such on such terms and conditions as the MARA thinks fit with the approval of the Minister and the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Section 138
138

Powers of authorised officers

138. (1) Regardless of whether or not an investigation is being carried out, the powers conferred on an authorised officer by this section may be exercised for the purposes of—

(a) ascertaining whether or not a relevant ground applies to a holder,

(b) ascertaining whether or not an offence under this Act or Part VIII of the Act of 2000 has been committed or is being committed, or

(c) otherwise securing the enforcement of this Act or the Act of 2000.

(2) An authorised officer may do all or any of the following:

(a) subject to subsection (3), at all reasonable times enter (or, as appropriate, board) any premises, at which there are reasonable grounds for believing that any books, records or other documents in relation to any relevant authorisation are kept, and search and inspect the premises and such books, records or other documents on the premises (including taking photographs or video or other recordings of the premises or such books, records or other documents on the premises);

(b) secure for later inspection any premises or any part of a premises in which such books, records or other documents are kept or there are reasonable grounds for believing that such books, records or other documents are kept;

(c) require any holder or any person employed by the holder to produce to the authorised officer such books, records or other documents and in the case of information in a non-legible form to reproduce it in a legible form or to give to the officer such information or explanation as the officer may reasonably require in relation to any entries in such books, records or other documents;

(d) inspect and take copies of or extracts from, or remove for a reasonable period for further examination, any books, records or other documents in whatever form kept (including, in the case of information in a non-legible form, a copy of or extract from such information in a permanent legible form) which the officer finds or which is produced to the officer in the course of inspection;

(e) require any holder or any person employed by the holder to give to the authorised officer such information as the officer may reasonably require in relation to any entries in such books, records or other documents;

(f) require any holder to give to the authorised officer any information which the authorised officer may require in regard to the maritime usage concerned or in regard to the persons carrying on such usage or employed in connection therewith;

(g) require any person by whom or on whose behalf data equipment is or has been used or any person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with the operation of, the data equipment or any associated apparatus or material, to afford the authorised officer reasonable assistance in relation thereto;

(h) summon, at any reasonable time, any other person employed in connection with the maritime usage concerned to give to the authorised officer any information which the officer may reasonably require in regard to such usage and to produce to the authorised officer any books, records or other documents which are in that person’s power or control;

(i) require any person employed in the premises concerned by any holder to prepare a report on aspects of the maritime usage concerned specified by the authorised officer or to explain entries in any books, records, documents or other materials referred to in this section.

(3) An authorised officer shall not, other than with the consent of the occupier, enter a private dwelling unless he or she has obtained a warrant issued by a judge of the District Court under subsection (8) authorising such entry.

(4) A person who has in his or her power, possession or procurement any books, records or other documents referred to in subsection (2) shall—

(a) produce them at the request of an authorised officer and permit the authorised officer to inspect and take copies of, or extracts from, them,

(b) at the request of an authorised officer, give any information which may be reasonably required with regard to them, and

(c) give such other assistance and information to an authorised officer as is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.

(5) Where any person from whom production of a book, record or other document is required claims a lien thereon, the production of it shall be without prejudice to the lien.

(6) The duty to produce or provide any information, document, material or explanation extends to an examiner, liquidator, receiver, official assignee or any person who is or has been an officer or employee or agent of a holder, or who appears to the MARA or the authorised officer to have the information, document, material or explanation in his or her possession or under his or her control.

(7) An authorised officer, where he or she considers it necessary, may be accompanied by a member of the Garda Síochána when performing any powers conferred on an authorised officer by this Act.

(8) If a judge of the District Court is satisfied on the sworn information of an authorised officer that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there is information required by an authorised officer under this section held on any premises or any part of any premises, the judge may issue a warrant authorising an authorised officer, accompanied by other authorised officers or by a member of the Garda Síochána, at any time or times within one month from the date of issue of the warrant, on production of the warrant if so requested, to enter (or, as appropriate, board) the premises, if need be by reasonable force, and exercise all or any of the powers conferred on an authorised officer under this section.

(9) (a) If any officer, employee, shareholder or agent of a holder refuses to produce to an authorised officer when requested to do so any book, record or document which it is his or her duty under this section to produce, or refuses to co-operate with an authorised officer when required to do so, or refuses to answer any question put to him or her by an authorised officer with respect to the affairs of the holder, the authorised officer may certify the refusal under his or her hand to the High Court.

(b) Where a refusal is certified to the High Court, the High Court may enquire into the case and, after hearing any witnesses who may be produced against or on behalf of the officer, employee, shareholder or agent of the holder and any statement which may be offered in defence, make any order or direction as it thinks fit.

(c) An order or direction made under paragraph (b) may include a direction to the person concerned to attend or reattend before the authorised officer or produce particular books, records or other documents or answer a particular question put to him or her by the authorised officer, or a direction that the person concerned need not produce a particular book, record or other document or answer a particular question put to him or her by the authorised officer.

(10) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), the District Court for the purposes of subsection (8) shall be the District Court for the District Court district where the premises concerned referred to in that subsection are situated.

(b) Where the premises concerned referred to in subsection (8) are situated within the maritime area, the District Court for the purposes of that subsection shall be the District Court assigned to the Dublin Metropolitan District.

(11) In this section—

“agent”, in relation to a holder, includes past as well as present agents, and includes the holder’s bankers, accountants, solicitors, auditors and the holder’s financial and other advisers;

“premises” includes (and without prejudice to the generality of the definition of “premises” in section 134)—

(a) any vessel, aircraft, vehicle and any other means of transport, and

(b) any part of the maritime area the subject of a relevant authorisation and any infrastructure situated in that part pursuant to the relevant authorisation.

Section 139
139

Privileged legal material

139. (1) Subject to subsection (2), nothing in this Chapter shall compel the disclosure by any person of privileged legal material or authorise the taking of privileged legal material.

(2) The disclosure of information may be compelled, or possession of it taken, pursuant to the powers of this Chapter, notwithstanding that it is apprehended that the information is privileged legal material provided the compelling of its disclosure or the taking of its possession is done by means whereby the confidentiality of the information can be maintained (as against the person compelling such disclosure or taking such possession) pending the determination by the court of the issue as to whether the information is privileged legal material.

(3) Without prejudice to subsection (4), where, in the circumstances referred to in subsection (2), information has been disclosed or taken possession of pursuant to the powers in this Chapter, the person—

(a) to whom such information has been so disclosed, and

(b) who has taken possession of it,

shall (unless the person has, within the period subsequently mentioned in this subsection, been served with notice of an application under subsection (4) in relation to the matter concerned) apply to the court for a determination as to whether the information is privileged legal material and an application under this subsection shall be made within seven days after the disclosure or the taking of possession.

(4) A person who, in the circumstances referred to in subsection (2), is compelled to disclose information, or from whose possession information is taken, pursuant to the powers in this Chapter, may apply to the court for a determination as to whether the information is privileged legal material.

(5) Pending the making of a final determination of an application under subsection (3) or (4), the court may give such interim or interlocutory directions as the court considers appropriate including, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, directions as to—

(a) the preservation of the information, in whole or in part, in a safe and secure place in any manner specified by the court,

(b) the appointment of a person with suitable legal qualifications possessing the level of experience, and the independence from any interest falling to be determined between the parties concerned, that the court considers to be appropriate for the purpose of—

(i) examining the information, and

(ii) preparing a report for the court with a view to assisting or facilitating the court in the making by the court of its determination as to whether the information is privileged legal material.

(6) An application under subsection (3), (4) or (5) shall be by motion and may, if the court directs, be heard otherwise than in public.

(7) In this section—

“court” means the High Court;

“information” means information contained in a document, a computer (including a personal organiser or any other electronic means of information storage or retrieval) or otherwise;

“privileged legal material” means information which, in the opinion of the court, a person is entitled to refuse to produce on the grounds of legal professional privilege.

Chapter 3

Enforcement notices

Section 140
140

Circuit Court’s jurisdiction under this Chapter

140. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Circuit Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine proceedings under this Chapter in relation to an enforcement notice given to a holder.

(2) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), the Circuit Court for the purposes of subsection (1) shall be the Circuit Court for that circuit in which the holder the subject of the enforcement notice concerned resides or ordinarily carries on any profession, business or occupation.

(b) Where the holder the subject of the enforcement notice concerned—

(i) does not reside or ordinarily carry on any profession, business or occupation in the State, or

(ii) resides or ordinarily carries on any profession, business or occupation in the maritime area,

the Circuit Court for the purposes of subsection (1) shall be the Circuit Court for the Dublin Circuit.

Section 141
141

Issue of enforcement notices

141. (1) Subsection (2) applies where the MARA is of the opinion (in this section referred to as the “relevant opinion”) that a relevant ground applies to a holder.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the other provisions of this Part and subject to subsection (3), the MARA may give the holder a notice in writing, accompanied by a copy of this Chapter—

(a) stating the relevant opinion,

(b) specifying the relevant ground as to why it is of that opinion and the reasons why it is of that opinion,

(c) directing the holder to take such steps as are specified in the notice to remedy the relevant ground or, as the case may be, the matters occasioning it, and

(d) specifying a period (ending not earlier than the period specified in section 142(1) within which an application under that section to cancel a direction specified in the notice may be made) within which those steps must be taken.

(3) The MARA shall not give the holder an enforcement notice unless, in the interests of procedural fairness, the MARA has first—

(a) given the holder a notice in writing stating the nature of the enforcement notice that the MARA is minded to give to the holder and the reasons why the MARA is so minded,

(b) given the holder a reasonable opportunity, in the circumstances concerned, to make representations in writing to the MARA on what is stated in the notice referred to in paragraph (a), and

(c) had regard to the representations (if any) referred to in paragraph (b) made to the MARA.

(4) The steps specified in an enforcement notice to remedy any relevant ground to which the notice relates may be framed so as to afford the holder a choice between different ways of remedying the relevant ground.

(5) Where the holder to whom an enforcement notice has been given makes an application under section 142(1) to cancel a direction specified in the notice, the steps specified in the notice, in so far as they relate to that direction, need not be taken by the holder pending the determination, withdrawal or abandonment of the application.

(6) The MARA may cancel an enforcement notice by notice in writing given to the holder.

(7) Where the holder fails to take the steps specified in an enforcement notice given to him or her, the MARA may, on notice to the holder, apply in a summary manner to the Circuit Court for an order requiring the holder to take those steps (or to take such varied or other steps for the like purpose as may be specified in the order), and the Circuit Court—

(a) may—

(i) make the order sought,

(ii) make the order sought subject to such variations to those steps as may be specified in the order, or

(iii) make the order sought subject to such other steps for the like purpose as may be specified in the order,

or

(b) may dismiss the application,

and, whether paragraph (a) or (b) is applicable, may make such order as to costs as it thinks fit in respect of the application.

(8) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the giving of an enforcement notice to the holder does not relieve the holder of—

(a) any duty, obligation or responsibility under another provision of this Act or another enactment that relates to, or

(b) any liability arising from,

the relevant ground to which the notice relates.

Section 142
142

Application for cancellation of direction specified in enforcement notice, etc.

142. (1) The holder to whom an enforcement notice has been given may, on notice to the MARA, not later than 30 days after being given the notice, apply to the Circuit Court for the cancellation of any direction specified in the notice and, on such an application, the Circuit Court may—

(a) cancel the direction,

(b) confirm the direction, or

(c) vary the direction,

and, whether paragraph (a), (b) or (c) is applicable, make such order as to costs as it thinks fit in respect of the application.

(2) The decision of the Circuit Court on a direction specified in an enforcement notice shall be final save that, by leave of the High Court, an appeal by the holder, or the MARA, as the case may be, from the decision shall lie to the High Court on a point of law.

Section 143
143

Rules of court

143. Rules of court may make provision for the expedition of the hearing of proceedings under this Chapter.

F42[Chapter 3A

Special enforcement notices]

Annotations

Amendments:

F42

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 58, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section

F43[Definitions

143A. In this Chapter, "special enforcement notice" means a notice under section 143B(2).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F43

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 58, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 143B

F44[Issue of special enforcement notices

143B

143B. (1) Subsection (2) applies where the MARA is of the opinion (in this section referred to as the "relevant opinion") that a relevant ground applies to a holder and the gravity or potential gravity of such ground is so great that the provisions of this Chapter should apply to that ground rather than the provisions of Chapter 3.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the other provisions of this Part and subject to subsection (3), the MARA may give the holder a notice in writing, accompanied by a copy of this Chapter—

(a) stating the relevant opinion,

(b) specifying the relevant ground as to why it is of that opinion and the reasons why it is of that opinion,

(c) directing the holder to take such steps as are specified in the notice to remedy the relevant ground or, as the case may be, the matters occasioning it, and

(d) specifying a period (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case) within which those steps must be taken.

(3) The period specified by the MARA pursuant to subsection (2)(d) may, at the request of the holder, be extended at the discretion of the MARA.

(4) The MARA shall not give the holder a special enforcement notice unless, in the interests of procedural fairness, the MARA has first—

(a) given the holder a notice in writing stating the nature of the special enforcement notice that the MARA is minded to give to the holder and the reasons why the MARA is so minded,

(b) given the holder a reasonable opportunity, in the circumstances concerned, to make representations in writing to the MARA on what is stated in the notice referred to in paragraph (a), and

(c) had regard to the representations (if any) referred to in paragraph (b) made to the MARA.

(5) The steps specified in a special enforcement notice to remedy any relevant ground to which the notice relates may be framed so as to afford the holder a choice between different ways of remedying the relevant ground.

(6) The MARA may cancel a special enforcement notice by notice in writing given to the holder.

(7) Subject to subsection (8), where the holder fails to take the steps specified in a special enforcement notice, the MARA may, by notice in writing given to the holder, revoke the holder’s relevant authorisation.

(8) The revocation of a relevant authorisation under subsection (7) shall not take effect until—

(a) the date (if any) on which the MARA receives a notice in writing from the holder, not later than 30 days after the holder is given the notice concerned under subsection (6), stating that the holder accepts the revocation, or

(b) the date (if any) that the High Court specifies that the revocation shall take effect in an order under section 143C confirming the termination,

whichever first occurs.

(9) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the giving of a special enforcement notice to the holder does not relieve the holder of—

(a) any duty, obligation or responsibility under another provision of this Act or another enactment that relates to, or

(b) any liability arising from,

the relevant ground to which the notice relates.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F44

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 58, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 143C

F45[Application to High Court to confirm revocation of relevant authorisation under section 143B(6)

143C

143C. (1) Where the MARA does not receive a notice referred to in section 143B(7)(a) within the period specified in that section, it may, as soon as is practicable after the expiration of that period and on notice to the holder, make an application in a summary manner to the High Court for an order confirming the revocation of the holder’s relevant authorisation under section 143B(6).

(2) The High Court may determine an application under subsection (1) by—

(a) making any order that it considers appropriate, including an order revoking the relevant authorisation the subject of the application from the date specified for the purpose by the High Court in the order, and

(b) giving to the MARA any other direction that it considers appropriate.

(3) The MARA shall, on complying with a direction of the High Court under subsection (2)(b), give notice in writing to the holder concerned of the MARA’s compliance with such direction.

(4) The decision of the High Court on an application under subsection (1) is final except that the MARA or the holder the subject of the decision may, by leave of that Court or the Court of Appeal, appeal against the decision to the Court of Appeal on a point of law.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F45

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 58, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 143D

F46[Rules of court

143D

143D. Rules of court may make provision for the expedition of the hearing of proceedings under this Chapter.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F46

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 58, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Chapter 4

F47[Termination] of relevant authorisation

Annotations

Amendments:

F47

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 59, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 144
144

Automatic termination of relevant authorisation

144. (1) Subject to F48[section 144A and] Chapter 6, a relevant authorisation terminates immediately upon the occurrence of any of the following events:

(a) where the holder is an individual, the holder—

(i) dies,

(ii) is adjudicated bankrupt (whether in the State or elsewhere), or

(iii) becomes an arranging debtor (whether in the State or elsewhere);

(b) where the holder is a body corporate—

(i) the holder commences a voluntary winding-up or becomes subject to a winding-up order,

(ii) a receiver or examiner is appointed to the holder,

(iii) the holder proposes a compromise or arrangement that is sanctioned under section 453(2) of the Act of 2014 or section 201(3) of the Act of 1963, or

(iv) where the body is incorporated under the laws of another state, on the commencement of any event which corresponds to an event referred to in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii);

(c) development permission is required for the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation and the application for such permission—

(i) has not been made within the period specified in a condition, referred to in paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 6, attached to the authorisation, or

(ii) has been refused in circumstances where no further step can be taken by the holder, or a court, in respect of that application.

(2) (a) Where subsection (1)(a)(i) applies to the holder, the personal representative of the holder’s estate shall, as soon as is practicable after the death of the holder, give notice in the specified form to the MARA informing the MARA of such death.

(b) Where subsection (1)(a)(ii) or (iii) applies to the holder, the holder shall, as soon as is practicable after that subsection so applies, give notice in the specified form to the MARA informing the MARA of such application.

(3) (a) Where subsection (1)(b)(i), (iii) or (iv) applies to the holder, the holder shall, as soon as is practicable after that subsection so applies, give notice in the specified form to the MARA informing the MARA of such application.

(b) Where subsection (1)(b)(ii) applies to the holder, the receiver or examiner concerned shall, as soon as is practicable after that subsection so applies, give notice in the specified form to the MARA informing the MARA of such application.

(4) Where subsection (1)(c)(ii) applies to a relevant authorisation, the holder concerned shall, as soon as is practicable after that subsection so applies, give notice in the specified form to the MARA informing the MARA of such application.

(5) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after it becomes aware of the termination under this section of a relevant authorisation, publish a notice on its website—

(a) stating the name of the holder,

(b) giving particulars of the authorisation sufficient to identify the authorisation,

(c) stating the ground under subsection (1) on which the authorisation was terminated, and

(d) the date on which the termination occurred.

Annotations

Amendments:

F48

Inserted (31.12.2023) by Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (26/2022), s. 281, S.I. No. 653 of 2023.

Section 144A

F49[Termination of relevant authorisation for breach

144A

144A. (1) The following breaches shall constitute grounds for termination of a relevant authorisation—

(a) where the holder of a relevant authorisation fails to comply with a development permission granted in respect of the maritime usage the subject of that relevant authorisation and such failure is not remedied in accordance with, and within such reasonable period as is specified in, a notice from the MARA to the holder requiring such failure to be remedied,

(b) where the holder of a relevant authorisation fails to pay relevant moneys, as defined in section 167, due and owing to the MARA,

(c) where the holder of a relevant authorisation is in material breach of any provision of the relevant authorisation, the Act or the law, which breach is not remedied in accordance with, and within such reasonable period as is specified in, a notice from the MARA to the holder requiring such breach to be remedied, or which breach is not capable of being remedied, or

(d) where the holder of a relevant authorisation is in repeated or cumulative breach of any one or more provisions of the relevant authorisation, the Act or the law, which collectively are reasonably determined by the MARA to constitute a material breach and which are not remedied in accordance with, and within such reasonable period as is specified in, a notice from the MARA to the holder requiring such failure to be remedied.

(2) Where the MARA is satisfied that there is a ground for termination of the relevant authorisation under subsection (1), it shall serve a notice in writing on the holder of the relevant authorisation—

(a) specifying the particular breach complained of;

(b) if the breach is capable of remedy, requiring the holder of the relevant authorisation to remedy the breach;

(c) specifying a reasonable period, of at least 30 days, within which the breach must be remedied.

(3) If the breach is not remedied within the period specified in the notice served under subsection (2), then the MARA shall serve notice of termination on the holder of the relevant authorisation.

(4) The holder of the relevant authorisation shall accept that the relevant authorisation has terminated or object to the notice of termination within a period of 30 days.

(5) Where the holder of the relevant authorisation does not accept that the relevant authorisation has terminated or objects to the termination of the relevant authorisation, then the MARA shall make as soon as practicable and on notice to the holder of the relevant authorisation, make an application to the High Court to confirm that the relevant authorisation has terminated.

(6) The Court may either confirm that the relevant authorisation has terminated or refuse to confirm that the relevant authorisation has terminated, as the Court sees fit, having regard to the conduct of the parties under the foregoing provisions of this section and all other circumstances and where the Court refuses to confirm that the relevant authorisation has terminated, the Court may make such order subject to such terms and conditions as the Court sees fit.

(7) The entitlement of the MARA to terminate a relevant authorisation for a failure to comply with a development permission is independent of and without prejudice to the entitlement of the MARA to take enforcement action under Part VIII of the Act of 2000 and shall not be construed to prejudice the application of the Act of 2000 in the event of a failure by the holder of a relevant authorisation to comply with a development permission granted in respect of the maritime usage the subject of the relevant authorisation.

(8) The entitlement of the MARA to terminate a relevant authorisation for a failure to pay relevant moneys due and owing by the holder of the relevant authorisation to the MARA is independent of and without prejudice to the entitlement of the MARA to recover, as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction, from a person by whom relevant moneys is payable, any amount due and owing to the MARA in respect of such moneys in accordance with section 169 of the Act.

(9) The entitlement of the MARA to terminate a relevant authorisation in accordance with this section is without prejudice to the entitlement of the MARA to exercise any of the other enforcement powers conferred on it under Part 6 of the Act.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F49

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 60, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 144AA
144AA

F50[Disapplication of section 144(1)(a) or (b) of Act of 2021 in specified circumstances

144A. (1) Subject to subsections (4), (6), (8) and (9), the relevant event shall not terminate the relevant authorisation until the expiration of the relevant period.

(2) The MARA may, at any time during the relevant period, by notice in writing given to the relevant person, require the person to submit a return, in the specified form and within such period as is specified in the notice (being a period reasonable in all the circumstances of the case), to the MARA on the person’s prospects of finding a proposed assignee within the relevant period.

(3) The relevant person who is given a notice under subsection (2) shall comply with the notice.

(4) Where—

(a) the relevant person who was given a notice under subsection (2) fails to comply with the notice, or

(b) the MARA, having considered a return submitted to it by the relevant person pursuant to a notice under subsection (2), is satisfied that there is no reasonable prospect of the person finding a proposed assignee within the relevant period,

the MARA shall, by notice published on its website, disapply subsection (1) to the relevant authorisation (and subsection (5) of section 144 applies accordingly in respect of the termination of the authorisation).

(5) The relevant person may, by notice in the specified form, request the MARA to extend or further extend the relevant period on the grounds specified in the notice.

(6) The MARA, after having considered a notice given to it by the relevant person pursuant to subsection (5), shall—

(a) if it is satisfied that there is a reasonable prospect of the person finding a proposed assignee within the relevant period as extended or further extended for such period as the MARA thinks reasonable in all the circumstances of the case, by notice in writing given to the person, extend or further extend the relevant period for such period as is specified in the notice, or

(b) if not so satisfied, by notice in writing given to the person refuse to extend or further extend the relevant period.

(7) For the purposes of this section, the references to ‘holder’ and ‘proposed assigner’ in section 85 may be construed as references to the relevant person.

(8) Where, before the expiration of the relevant period, an application is made under section 85 for the assignment of the relevant authorisation, the relevant period shall not expire until the determination of the application.

(9) Where the relevant authorisation is assigned to the proposed assignee pursuant to the determination of an application under section 85, the relevant event shall not apply to the authorisation but without prejudice to any future application of section 144 to the authorisation.

(10) In this section—

"proposed assignee" shall be construed in accordance with section 85;

"relevant authorisation" means a relevant authorisation which is a MAC in respect of which an event which falls within section 144(1)(a) or (b) has occurred in respect of the holder of the authorisation;

"relevant event", in relation to the relevant authorisation, means the event referred to in the definition of "relevant authorisation";

"relevant person", in relation to the relevant authorisation, means—

(a) the holder of the authorisation,

(b) a secured party, or

(c) both the holder and such party;

"relevant period", in relation to the relevant authorisation, means the following:

(a) subject to paragraph (b), the period of 90 days commencing on the day immediately following the day on which the relevant event occurs;

(b) that 90 days as extended or by virtue of subsection (6)(a) or (8);

"security interest" means any mortgage, charge, pledge, lien or other security interest securing any obligation of any person or any agreement or other arrangement having a similar effect;

"secured party", in relation to a relevant authorisation, means a person—

(a) in whose favour a security interest has been created over—

(i) the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation, or

(ii) the shares (if any) of the holder of the authorisation,

or

(b) who has, pursuant to an agreement in writing, been afforded rights to step in to the interest that the holder of the authorisation has in the maritime usage the subject of the authorisation,

and whether or not the person is acting for the person’s own benefit or as agent, security agent, security trustee or otherwise for the first-mentioned person or another person, and includes any transferee of, or purchaser from, the first-mentioned person or nominee or novatee of the holder of the authorisation or of the first-mentioned person.

Annotations

Amendments:

F50

Inserted (31.12.2023) by Historic and Archaeological Heritage and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (26/2022), s. 282, S.I. No. 653 of 2023.

Editorial Notes:

E17

The section heading is taken from the amending section in the absence of one included in the amendment. ]

F51[Chapter 4A

Immediate suspension of relevant authorisation]

Annotations

Amendments:

F51

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 61, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 145
145

Circumstances in which application may be made to High Court for immediate suspension of relevant authorisation, etc.

145. (1) (a) Paragraph (b) applies where the MARA is of the opinion that a relevant ground may apply to a holder and the potential gravity of such ground (whether for safety or environmental reasons or otherwise), if it were found that it does so apply, is so great that the immediate suspension of the relevant authorisation concerned is warranted until steps or further steps are taken under Chapter 3 F52[, 3A or 5].

(b) The MARA may, on notice to the holder, make an application in a summary manner to the High Court for an order to suspend the relevant authorisation.

(2) The High Court may determine an application under subsection (1) by—

(a) making any order that it considers appropriate, including an order suspending the relevant authorisation the subject of the application for such period, or until the occurrence of such event, as is specified in the order, and

(b) giving to the MARA any other direction that the High Court considers appropriate.

(3) The MARA shall, on complying with a direction of the High Court under subsection (2)(b), give notice in writing to the holder concerned of the MARA’s compliance with the direction.

(4) Sections 151(3) and (4) and 158(6) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to a relevant authorisation suspended under subsection (2) as they apply to a relevant authorisation suspended pursuant to a decision confirmed or given under section 149(3) or 150(2).

Annotations

Amendments:

F52

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 62, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

F53[Chapter 5

Investigations and sanctions]

Annotations

Amendments:

F53

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 63, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 146
146

Investigations

146. (1) (a) The MARA may, where it is of the opinion that a relevant ground may apply to a holder, cause such investigation as it thinks fit to be carried out to identify any relevant ground.

(b) The MARA shall, for the purposes of the investigation, appoint an authorised officer, subject to such terms and conditions as it thinks fit—

(i) to carry out the investigation, and

(ii) to submit to it an investigation report following the completion of the investigation.

(2) The MARA may appoint more than one authorised officer to carry out an investigation but, in any such case, the investigation report concerned shall be prepared jointly by the authorised officers so appointed and the other provisions of this Act (including the definition of “investigation report” in section 134) shall, with all necessary modifications, be construed accordingly.

(3) The terms and conditions of appointment of an authorised officer may define the scope of the investigation to be carried out by the authorised officer, whether as respects the matters or the period to which it is to extend or otherwise, and in particular may limit the investigation to matters connected with particular circumstances.

(4) Where the MARA has appointed an authorised officer to carry out an investigation, the authorised officer shall, as soon as is practicable after being so appointed—

(a) give notice in writing to the holder concerned of the matter to which the investigation relates, and

(b) give the holder—

(i) copies of any documents relevant to the investigation, and

(ii) a copy of this Part, and

(iii) without prejudice to the generality of section 138, afford the holder an opportunity to respond within 30 days from the date on which the holder received the notice referred to in paragraph (a), or such further period not exceeding 30 days as the authorised officer allows, to the matter to which the investigation relates.

Section 147
147

Actions to be taken by authorised officer and MARA upon completion of investigation

147. (1) Subject to subsection (3), where an authorised officer has completed an investigation, the authorised officer shall, as soon as is practicable after having considered, in so far as they are relevant to the investigation, any information or books, records or other documents (whether kept in manual form or otherwise) provided to the authorised officer pursuant to any requirement under section 138, any statement or admission made by any person pursuant to any requirement under that section, any submissions made and any evidence presented—

(a) prepare a draft of the investigation report, and

(b) give to the holder the subject of the investigation—

(i) a copy of the draft of the investigation report,

(ii) a copy of this section, and

(iii) a notice in writing stating that the holder may, not later than 30 days from the date on which the notice was received by the holder, or such further period not exceeding 30 days as the authorised officer allows, make submissions in writing to the authorised officer on the draft of the investigation report.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), an authorised officer who has complied with subsection (1) following the completion of an investigation shall, as soon as is practicable after—

(a) the expiration of the period referred to in subsection (1)(b)(iii), and

(b) having—

(i) considered the submissions (if any) referred to in subsection (1)(b)(iii) made before the expiration of that period on the draft of the investigation report concerned, and

(ii) made any revisions to the draft of the investigation report which, in the opinion of the authorised officer, are warranted following such consideration,

prepare the final form of the investigation report and submit it to the MARA with any such submissions annexed to the report.

(3) Where an authorised officer states, whether in a draft of the investigation report or in the final form of the investigation report, that he or she is satisfied that a relevant ground applies to the holder the subject of the investigation, the authorised officer shall not make any recommendation, or express any opinion, in the report as to the minor sanction or major sanction that he or she thinks ought to be imposed on the holder in respect of such ground in the event that the MARA is also satisfied that such ground applies to the holder.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), where the MARA has considered an investigation report (and any submissions annexed thereto) submitted to it pursuant to subsection (2), the MARA—

(a) if it is satisfied that a relevant ground applies to the holder the subject of the investigation, shall, subject to subsection (6) and section 148

(i) impose a minor sanction on the holder, or

(ii) impose a major sanction on the holder,

as it thinks fit in all the circumstances of the case, or

(b) if it is not satisfied that a relevant ground applies to the holder the subject of the investigation but is of the opinion that a further investigation of the holder is warranted, shall cause the further investigation to be carried out pursuant to its powers under section 146(1).

(5) The MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after making a decision under subsection (4), give notice in writing of the decision and the reasons for the decision to the holder the subject of the investigation concerned and, if subsection (4)(a) applies in the case of that holder, set out in that notice—

(a) the minor sanction or major sanction imposed on the holder for the relevant ground specified in the notice in respect of which the MARA is satisfied as referred to in that subsection, and

(b) the reasons for the imposition of such minor sanction or major sanction, as the case may be.

(6) Where subsection (4)(a) applies in the case of a holder, the MARA shall, in deciding the minor sanction or major sanction to be imposed on the holder, take into consideration the matters referred to in section 152.

Section 148
148

Confirmation of High Court required before decision under section 147(4)(a) to impose major sanction takes effect

148. Subject to section 145, a decision under section 147(4)(a) to impose a major sanction on a holder shall not take effect unless the decision is confirmed by the High Court under section 149(3) or 150(2).

Section 149
149

Appeal to High Court against decision to impose major sanction

149. (1) A holder the subject of a decision under section 147(4)(a) by the MARA to impose a major sanction on the holder may, not later than 30 days from the date the holder received the notice under section 147(5) of the decision and on notice to the MARA, appeal to the High Court against the decision.

(2) The High Court may, on the hearing of an appeal under subsection (1) by a holder, consider any evidence adduced or argument made, whether or not adduced or made to an authorised officer or the MARA.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the High Court may, on the hearing of an appeal under subsection (1) by a holder—

(a) either—

(i) confirm the decision the subject of the appeal, or

(ii) cancel that decision and replace it with such other decision as the Court considers appropriate, which may be a decision—

(I) to do either or both of the following:

(A) impose a different major sanction on the holder;

(B) impose a minor sanction on the holder,

or

(II) to impose neither a major sanction nor a minor sanction on the holder,

and

(b) whether paragraph (a)(i) or (ii) is applicable, make such order as to costs as it thinks fit in respect of the appeal.

(4) The High Court shall, for the purposes of subsection (3)(a)(i) or (ii)(I), take into consideration the matters referred to in section 152.

Section 150
150

Application to High Court to confirm decision to impose major sanction

150. (1) Where a holder does not, within the period allowed under section 149(1), appeal to the High Court against a decision under section 147(4)(a) by the MARA to impose a major sanction on the holder, the MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after the expiration of that period and on notice to the holder, make an application in a summary manner to the High Court for confirmation of the decision.

(2) The High Court shall, on the hearing of an application under subsection (1), confirm the decision under section 147(4)(a) the subject of the application unless the Court considers that there is good reason not to do so.

Section 151
151

Provisions supplementary to sections 149 and 150

151. (1) The decision of the High Court on an appeal under section 149(1) or an application under section 150(1) is final except that the MARA or the holder the subject of the decision may, by leave of that Court or the Court of Appeal, appeal against the decision to the Court of Appeal on a point of law.

(2) Where the High Court confirms or gives a decision under section 149(3) or 150(2), the MARA shall, as soon as is practicable after the decision is confirmed or given, as the case may be, give notice in writing of the decision to the holder the subject of the decision and, if the decision provides for the imposition of a major sanction on the holder which falls within paragraph (b) of the definition of “major sanction”, the notice shall specify the day on which the specified period referred to in that paragraph is to commence, being a day not earlier than seven days from the date on which the decision is confirmed or given, as the case may be.

(3) Subject to Chapter 6, a MAC which is suspended pursuant to a decision confirmed or given under section 149(3) or 150(2) by the High Court shall not be in force during the period of its suspension.

(4) The holder whose relevant authorisation has been revoked or suspended pursuant to a decision confirmed or given under section 149(3) or 150(2) by the High Court shall comply with any directions of the MARA given to the person in respect of the surrender or temporary surrender of the relevant authorisation and any copies thereof.

Section 152
152

Matters to be considered in determining sanctions to be imposed

152. (1) The MARA or the High Court, as appropriate, in considering—

(a) the minor sanction or major sanction to be imposed on a holder pursuant to section 147(4)(a), or

(b) the minor sanction (if any) or major sanction (if any) to be imposed on a holder pursuant to a decision confirmed or given under section 149(3) or 150(2),

shall take into account the circumstances of the relevant ground concerned (including the factors occasioning it).

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the MARA or the High Court, as appropriate, may, in relation to the holder concerned, have regard to—

(a) the need to ensure that any sanction imposed—

(i) is appropriate and proportionate to the relevant ground, and

(ii) if applicable, will act as a sufficient incentive to ensure that any like relevant ground will not apply to the holder in the future,

(b) the seriousness of the relevant ground,

(c) the income of the holder in the financial year ending in the year previous to the year in which the relevant ground last applied to the holder and the ability of the holder to pay an amount which falls within paragraph (c), (d) or (e) of the definition of “major sanction”,

(d) the extent of any failure by the holder to co-operate with the investigation concerned of the holder,

(e) any excuse or explanation by the holder for the relevant ground or failure to co-operate with the investigation concerned,

(f) any gain (financial or otherwise) made by the holder or by any other person in which the holder has a financial interest as a consequence of the relevant ground,

(g) the amount of any loss suffered, or costs incurred, by the State as a result of the relevant ground,

(h) the duration of the relevant ground,

(i) the repeated application of the relevant ground to the holder,

(j) if applicable, the continuation of the relevant ground after the holder was notified of the investigation concerned,

(k) if applicable, the absence, ineffectiveness or repeated failure of internal mechanisms or procedures of the holder intended to prevent relevant grounds,

(l) if applicable, the extent and timeliness of any steps taken to end the relevant ground and any steps taken for remedying the consequences of the relevant ground,

(m) whether a sanction in respect of the relevant ground has already been imposed on the holder by a court, the MARA or another person, and

(n) any precedents set by a court, the MARA or another person in respect of previous relevant grounds.

Section 153
153

Protection for persons reporting alleged relevant ground, etc.

153. (1) Subject to subsection (3), a person who, apart from this section, would be so liable shall not be liable in damages in respect of the communication to the MARA, whether in writing or otherwise, of his or her opinion that a relevant ground may apply to a holder, or that a contravention of a provision of this Act by a person other than a holder may have been or may be being committed, unless—

(a) in communicating his or her opinion to the MARA did so—

(i) knowing it to be false, misleading, frivolous or vexatious, or

(ii) reckless as to whether it was false, misleading, frivolous or vexatious,

or

(b) in connection with the communication of his or her opinion to the MARA, gave information that he or she knew to be false or misleading.

(2) The reference in subsection (1) to liability in damages shall be construed as including a reference to liability to any other form of relief.

(3) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a communication, or giving of information, that is a protected disclosure within the meaning of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.

(4) Subsection (1) is in addition to, and not in substitution for, any privilege or defence available in legal proceedings, by virtue of any statutory provision or rule of law in force immediately before the coming into operation of this section, in respect of the communication by a person to another (whether that other person is the MARA or not) of an opinion of the kind referred to in subsection (1).

(5) Subject to subsection (6), an employer shall not penalise or threaten penalisation against an employee, or cause or permit any other person to penalise or threaten penalisation against an employee, for—

(a) having formed an opinion of the kind referred to in subsection (1) and communicated it, whether in writing or otherwise, to the MARA unless the employee—

(i) in communicating his or her opinion to the MARA did so—

(I) knowing it to be false, misleading, frivolous or vexatious, or

(II) reckless as to whether it was false, misleading, frivolous or vexatious,

or

(ii) in connection with the communication of his or her opinion to the MARA, gave information that he or she knew to be false or misleading in a material particular,

or

(b) giving notice of his or her intention to do the thing referred to in paragraph (a).

(6) Subsection (5) shall not apply to a communication, or giving of information, that is a protected disclosure within the meaning of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.

(7) Schedule 9 shall have effect for the purposes of subsection (5).

(8) For the purposes of this section, a reference to “dismissal” includes—

(a) a dismissal within the meaning of the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015, and

(b) a dismissal wholly or partly for or connected with the purpose of the avoidance of a fixed-term contract being deemed to be a contract of indefinite duration under section 9(3) of the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003.

(9) Paragraphs (a), (c), (d), (e) and (f) of the definition of “penalisation” in subsection (10) shall not be construed in a manner which prevents an employer from—

(a) ensuring that the business concerned is carried on in an efficient manner, or

(b) taking any action required for economic, technical or organisational reasons.

(10) In this section and Schedule 9

“contract of employment” means a contract of employment or of service or of apprenticeship, whether the contract is express or implied and, if express, whether it is oral or in writing;

“employee” means a person who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, entered into or worked under) a contract of employment and references, in relation to an employer, to an employee shall be construed as references to an employee employed by that employer;

“employer”, in relation to an employee, means the person with whom the employee has entered into or for whom the employee works under (or, where the employment has ceased, entered into or worked under) a contract of employment, and includes—

(a) a person (other than an employee of that person) under whose control and direction an employee works, and

(b) where appropriate, the successor of the employer or an associated employer of the employer;

“penalisation” means any act or omission by an employer, or by a person acting on behalf of an employer, that affects an employee to his or her detriment with respect to any term or condition of his or her employment, and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, includes—

(a) suspension, lay-off or dismissal,

(b) the threat of suspension, lay-off or dismissal,

(c) demotion or loss of opportunity for promotion,

(d) transfer of duties, change of location of place of work, reduction in wages or change in working hours,

(e) the imposition or the administering of any discipline, reprimand or other penalty (including a financial penalty),

(f) unfair treatment, including selection for redundancy,

(g) coercion, intimidation or harassment,

(h) discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment,

(i) injury, damage or loss, and

(j) threats of reprisal.

Chapter 6

Provisions supplementary to Chapters F54[3A,] 4 and 5

Annotations

Amendments:

F54

Inserted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 64, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 154
154

Effect of termination or revocation of relevant authorisation

154. (1) On and after the date, or the occurrence of the event, as the case may be, on which the F55[revocation under Chapter 3A, termination under Chapter 4, or revocation under Chapter 5], as the case may be, takes effect, the holder of the relevant authorisation shall cease to be able to exercise any powers under the relevant authorisation.

(2) All the holder’s obligations under the relevant authorisation or this Act shall continue to apply to the holder and the holder shall continue to discharge the obligations unless—

(a) the effect of subsection (1) prevents the holder from doing so, or

(b) in the case of the revocation of a relevant authorisation under Chapter 5, the notice concerned under section 151(2) specifies that the holder is not required to discharge the obligation concerned.

Annotations

Amendments:

F55

Substituted (9.09.2022) by Planning and Development, Maritime and Valuation (Amendment) Act 2022 (29/2022), s. 65, S.I. No. 447 of 2022.

Section 155
155

Effect of suspension of relevant authorisation

155. Where a relevant authorisation is for the time being suspended under Chapter