Kells man who featured on Primetime had objection against Tara Mines.

A setback hit a project at Tara Mines, causing a significant delay of over a year after a planning appeal was submitted to An Bord Pleanála. Unfortunately, the closure of Tara Mines earlier this year resulted in the loss of over 650 jobs.

John Callaghan, previously a public relations officer, reportedly received payments of up to €50,000 in exchange for withdrawing strategically lodged planning objections, according to details revealed in an RTÉ Investigates program. Callaghan, who has ties to a local branch, was disavowed by junior minister Josepha Madigan on RTÉ’s Upfront.

The planning dispute revolves around Boliden Tara Mines DAC, which, in March 2022, sought permission from Meath County Council for a project at their zinc extraction operation in Navan. In April 2022, John Callaghan submitted an objection through his organization Sustainability 2050, claiming insufficiency of information in Tara Mines’ planning application. Notably, RTÉ did not mention Callaghan’s connections during its Investigates broadcast.

Despite no other objections to the development, Meath County Council granted permission for the project in October 2022. Callaghan, however, appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála in the same month, introducing more detailed environmental concerns in his submission. This appeal has now delayed the project by over a year, and the timeline for An Bord Pleanála’s determination remains uncertain.

The closure of Tara Mines in July of this year, with the accompanying job losses, was attributed to factors such as low zinc prices and energy costs. Reports indicate that the company is aiming to reopen by next year. Boliden Tara Mines has been approached for comment on the matter.