It will take at least another year for the redevelopment of Dublin’s Hellfire Club to begin due to the potential impact of the work on the Merlin bird of prey.
South Dublin County Council intend to build a visitors centre along with other facilities at the popular tourist destination in the Dublin Mountains.
The initial application from South Dublin County Council to An Bord Pleanála was met with many objections from hillwalkers, conservationists and local farmers who voiced concerns over the impact that the works could have on the birds.
An Bord Pleanála has now written to South Dublin County informing them that their initial bird survey was inadequate in relation to the Merlin bird. This is due to the fact that it was limited to the summer months of last year.
The Irish Raptor Study have not welcomed the decision and have said that they had advised both sides that any development would not impact on Merlins.
Ryan Wilson Parr, spokesman for the group said that the decision was “disappointing” and that they had no problem with the redevelopment works.
He added that birds of prey have been subjected to “unnecessary negative stigma” by this decision.
“Unfortunately and without foundation the Merlin has been used as a focus for objection and it has stuck”.
South Dublin County Council has been given until February 2020 to submit further information that would cover all seasons.