Under AIE Regulations, (European Communities Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007 to 2018), you have the right to obtain certain environmental information from a public authority. You can also gain access to environmental information under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation.
The AIE Regulations also oblige public authorities to be proactive in disseminating environmental information to the public and to make reasonable efforts to maintain environmental information and have it in a form that is accessible and can be reproduced.
What information can I access?
The AIE Regulations allow you to access environmental information produced by a public authority, received by a public authority and held elsewhere on behalf of the authority.
Environmental information includes information on:
Applications for information should be addressed to:
Horse Racing Ireland,
Tel: (0)45 455 455
Fax: (0)45 455 456
Email: [email protected]
How will my request be handled?
Horse Racing Ireland will respond to your request as soon as possible, at latest within 1 month of having received it.
If the request is complex or a large volume of information is required, HRI will write to you within a month and inform you of its difficulties processing your request. HRI will give you a date by which it will respond, which must be not more than 2 months after it got your original request.
Can I be refused access to environmental information?
You may be refused access to some types of information. For example, you may be refused information about the location of an endangered species if disclosure of this information could put the species at risk. You may also be refused access to draft or incomplete documents, internal communication (such as internal emails) or material that is commercially sensitive.
A request for information using the AIE Regulations will be refused if the information is required to be made available under any other statutory provision - for example, where a planning authority is required to publish the information or make a planning file available.
What can I do if I am refused access to information?
HRI will notify you of the outcome of your request within 1 month. If you do not get a response within this time you can assume that your request has been refused.
There are reasons when you can be legally refused access to environmental information. However, if HRI refuses your request for information or has not dealt with your request appropriately, you can seek an internal review of the decision made by the public authority.
If you require an internal review, you must request it within 1 month of getting the decision.
Appeals to the Commissioner for Environmental Information (CEI)
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review you can appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information (CEI). You must appeal within 1 month of getting the reviewed decision from the public authority. The CEI may extend the time limit if he/she believes it is reasonable to do so.
Public authorities must comply with the CEI's decisions and if necessary the CEI can apply to the High Court to have a decision upheld. The CEI's decisions are published on ocei.gov.ie.
You (or any other person affected by the CEI’s decision) can appeal to the High Court on a point of law arising from that decision.
Appeals can be made online or sent to:
Commissioner for Environmental Information
18 Lower Leeson Street
Tel: (01) 639 5689
Local: 1890 253 238
Fax: (01) 639 5674
Email: [email protected]
There is no charge for applying for environmental information under the AIE Regulations. You may get the information without charge, but there may be a fee to take account of the costs of compiling and copying information.
The rates of these fees are as follows:
€20.95 per hour of search and retrieval
€0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
€0.51 for a three and a half inch computer diskette containing copy documents
€10.16 for a CD-ROM containing copy documents
€6.35 for a radiograph (X-ray) containing copy documents
There is no charge for an internal review of a decision by a public authority. However, if the review decides that you should get the information you requested, you may be charged for photocopying etc.
It costs €50 to take an appeal to the CEI, or €15 if you have a medical card. If you were not a party to the original request and are appealing a decision to release information that you feel will incriminate you, the fee is €15.
The Dept of Communications Climate Action and the Environment has overarching policy responsibility for AIE in Ireland. See dccae.gov.ie for further information.