|Designation||Ireland has one of the lowest rates of SPA designation in the EU, covering only 5.1% of national terrestrial area. 13% of the national area is designated as Natura 2000 sites compared to an EU average of 17.5%.
Much progress has been made in recent years following from a European Court of Justice judgment against Ireland which addressed designations gaps among other things.
|Conservation||Sites are managed poorly with several unresolved and pending European Court of Justice cases against Ireland relating to nature conservation and Natura 2000. Article 6 assessment procedures are beginning to be incorporated into planning and licensing procedures.
There is no process in place to develop management plans for Natura 2000 sites; however new national enabling legislation requires necessary conservation measures to be developed, which can include management plans. Mechanised peat extraction continues in many Natura 2000 sites.
|Financing||Ireland has by far the highest total direct Natura 2000 payments of any of the Member States, which was entirely dedicated to the Natura 2000 agriculture measure.
However work on the Prioritised Action Framework for Ireland has just begun and as yet lacks a financial component to source the estimated 185.2 mill. EUR annual requirement.