The decision by the High Court to reject An Taisce’s challenge to the planned Glanbia cheese manufacturing facility in Belview, Co. Kilkenny has been welcomed by the chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill said that, now that the decision has been made, there is “no time to waste” on the constriction of the plant.

Cahill had previously spoken publicly about the environmental lobby group’s attempt to stop the construction of the plant, highlighting the impact it would have on the potential diversification of Irish dairy products.

It is anticipated that the Glanbia plant will allow for the processing of 50,000t of Gouda cheese for export to France and the continent.

Cahill said that this would allow the Irish dairy food industry to become “much less reliant on the exclusively-British cheddar cheese market post-Brexit”.

The Fianna Fáil TD called for the industry to “move on from the considerable delays associated with the court challenge”.

“This will be an enormous boost to rural areas and farming families across the region. I have been inundated by calls to my office in recent months from dairy farmers and rural people complaining about the delays the plant has experienced,” he said.

“It is now time for the industry to move on and for construction to commence on the plant immediately. Ireland is one of the most sustainable producers of food on the planet and the world must be fed.”

Cahill added: “This plant will be a major economic boost to the south east; it will increase dairy production capacity in the region; and it will mean that the Irish agri-food industry will be far less dependent on the British markets.

“This judicial review process has delayed the construction of the plant, but today’s finding means that the industry can now move on; accept that the application is well above board, within requirements and justified; and commence construction of the Belview plant as a matter of priority,” the TD concluded.