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Transfer of Certain Foreshore Functions
Existing Applications for a Foreshore Consent
What is the Foreshore
Leases / Licences
Defamation Notice

Transfer of Certain Foreshore Functions


Following on from the enactment of the Foreshore and Dumping at Sea (Amendment) Act 2009 responsibility for certain foreshore functions has transferred to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government with effect from 15 January 2010.  This includes:

  • All foreshore energy-related developments (including oil, gas, wind, wave and tidal energy)
  • Aggregate and mineral extraction developments on the foreshore
  • Foreshore projects in respect of port companies and harbour authorities governed by the Harbours Acts, 1946, 1996, and 2000, and foreshore projects in respect of any other harbour and harbour-related developments intended for commercial trade. All other foreshore projects, other than those relating to aquaculture and sea fisheries.

More detail on what type of activities and developments are included

Dumping at Sea functions are to transfer to the Environmental Protection Agency on the 15th February 2010. 

Existing Applications for a Foreshore Consent

Any existing applications for foreshore consents, as defined above, will transfer automatically for consideration to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.  It will not be necessary to resubmit applications already made.

Applications for foreshore permissions relating to aquaculture and sea fisheries activities will continue to be decided by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and responsibility for the issue of Dumping at Sea permits will transfer to the Environmental Protection Agency on the 15th of February 2010.

Enquiries in relation to foreshore consents can be addressed to:-

Foreshore Unit
Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
Newtown Rd

Robert Hickey +353 (0)53 911 7365,
Danny O’Brien +353 (0)53 911 7366,
Bernard Nolan +353 (0)53 911 7367
Fax: +353 (0)53 911 7603


What is the Foreshore

The foreshore is the seabed and shore below the line of high water of ordinary or medium tides and extends outwards to the limit of twelve nautical miles (approximately 22.24 kilometres).

The Foreshore Acts require that a lease or licence must be obtained from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government for the carrying out of works or placing structures or material on, or for the occupation of or removal of material from, State-owned foreshore which represents the greater part of the foreshore.Developments on privately owned foreshore also requires the prior permission of the Minister under the Foreshore Acts. (All the foreshore of Ireland is presumed state-owned unless valid alternative title is provided.)

Leases / Licences


  • Leases are granted under the Acts for the erection of long-term structures (e.g. piers, marinas, bridges, roads, carparks)
  • Licences are granted for other works (e.g. laying of submarine pipelines and cables) and purposes (e.g. aquaculture).

Leases and licences are granted subject to the payment of fees. Applicants for a lease or licence are advised to consult the Department well in advance of finalising their proposals. 



The Foreshore Acts 1933-2011 entitle the Minister to grant leases / licences and permissions to individuals or bodies to occupy or use the foreshore. The Minister has absolute discretion to accept or reject a proposal to use state-owned foreshore.

The Foreshore Acts can be cited collectively as the Foreshore Acts 1933 to 2011 and comprise of the following:

  • Foreshore Act 1933
  • Foreshore (Amendment) Act, 1992
  • Section 5 of the Fisheries and Foreshore (Amendment) Act 1998
  • Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 2003 (Part 5)
  • Maritime Safety Act 2005 No. 11 (Part 6)
  • Foreshore and Dumping at Sea (Amendment) Act 2009
  • Foreshore (Amendment) Act 2011

 An administrative consolidation is available on the website of the Law Reform Commission (external link)

The drafting of a Maritime Area and Foreshore (Amendment) Bill was approved by the Government in July 2013.  It is expected that the Bill will be published in 2014.


Defamation Notice


Participants making submissions to the Department on foreshore applications should be aware that comments involving allegations of any kind against a named or otherwise identifiable person or organisation may be viewed as defamatory by the subject of the comments. Participants may be sued directly for any defamatory allegations in a submission and should avoid making such allegations. Submissions made to the Department may be made available for public inspection and may be published on the Department's website. Please note that, in the event of any potentially defamatory allegation giving rise to legal action against it, the Department may seek indemnity from the person making the allegation. It should be understood that the Department is only concerned with issues relevant to the foreshore application and that personalised comments are generally not relevant to its deliberations.

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