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Burren Action Group

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The Burren Action Group was a group of people from County Clare in Ireland who opposed plans during the 1990s by the Office of Public Works to develop a large scale interpretative centre at Mullaghmore in the local Burren area.[1]


The Group was a collective of concerned locals who saw themselves as fighting to maintain the natural integrity of the landscape and to protect the environment from elements of the Government of Ireland which did not understand what was at stake. They also felt that the Burren and the area of Mullaghmore formed a "sacred site"[1] and holy ground that needed to be defended in a country whose sites of profound historical importance were rapidly disappearing.[citation needed]


In 1992/1993 seven members of the group lodged a complaint against the project with the Irish High Court, which resulted in work being stopped.[2] These seven included local farmers like James Howard and Patrick McCormack, priest Fr John O’Donohue, and academic Emer Colleran, as well as media figures like the producer P.J. Curtis and Lelia Doolan.[3] The Burren Action Group was also supported by leftist politicians like Brigid Makowski.[citation needed]

Following about ten years of opposition, the group was finally successful in March 2000. An Bord Pleanála confirmed the ruling by the Clare County Council to refuse planning permission for a scaled-down version of the original plans.[4]

In 2012, James Howard and Patrick McCormack, the latter owner of the house that featured as the parochial house in the Father Ted TV show, once again opposed a new application to construct a car park at the site of the planned visitors' centre.[5]


The Burren Action Group compiled a music album in the early 1990s, entitled Music in the Stone to raise money to save Mullaghmore because "...the wheels of greed are rolling towards it"; contributing artists included Luka Bloom, Sharon Shannon and Loreena McKennitt.[6]


  1. ^ a b Leonard, Liam (2007). The Environmental Movement in Ireland (Google Books), p. 154. Springer. ISBN 9781402068126. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  2. ^ "European Court of Justice case". European Commission. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  3. ^ Leonard, Liam (2007). The Environmental Movement in Ireland (Google Books), p. 150. Springer. ISBN 9781402068126. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Planning permission refused for Burren centre". RTÉ. 6 March 2000. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  5. ^ Deegan, Gordon (14 January 2013). "Owner of 'Father Ted' house battles Burren carpark plan". Irish Independent. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Sound of Stone". Burren Action Group. 1 April 1993. Archived from the original on 9 January 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2023.

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