Danielle Conaghan


Danielle is a partner in the Environment and Planning Group, and is a founder member of the firm’s Food and Agribusiness Group.

Danielle has specialist expertise and uses her project management skills in advising on:

  • Decision-making processes from pre-consultation and application stages through to oral hearing, construction and operational stages.
  • SEA EIA and AA; zoning; material contraventions of development plans; recovery of development contributions; compulsory acquisition and on FOI and AIE requests.
  • Development in Strategic Development Zones: the ‘special’ planning process; development both inside and outside of an SDZ; Planning Schemes for SDZs.
  • Pragmatic ways to avoid and mitigate risks that arise in the life cycle of projects, particularly at the pre-planning stage to reduce the risk of successful judicial review proceedings.
  • Complex judicial review, injunction, statutory appeal, regulatory enforcement and criminal proceedings from the District Court to the Supreme Court.
  • Potential liability for environmental contamination; negotiating and assisting clients in making claims in respect of environmental indemnities and warranties.
  • Securing and assessing the risk of providing project-financing.
  • Issues and regulatory requirements around wastes, wastewaters, sludge, animal by-products, asbestos, pesticides, biocides, and chemicals.
  • Food and feed safety, food and feed hygiene and HACCP; food packaging, labelling, advertising and marketing; and nutrition and health claims and restrictions on allergens.

Danielle regularly presents at national Environmental, Planning and Energy conferences; lectures on the Law Society of Ireland Environmental Diploma Course and is co-author, with Dr. Yvonne Scannell, of the annual environmental chapter of ‘Construction Projects: Law and Practice’, published by Thomson Reuters.



  • The €400M Dublin Waste to Energy PPP Project on planning and environmental consents, financing, refinancing and operations;
  • The consenting, financing, development and / or operation of over 1,500MW of wind projects in Ireland;
  • Bord Na Móna’s successful SID application for an MBT Facility, County Kildare;
  • Advising the State in connection with the consenting and regulation of upstream petroleum including offshore consents for the Corrib Gas Field and the CER on development and implementation of the Petroleum Safety Framework;
  • Irish Water on the Water Supply Project – Dublin & Midland Region Project, and on many other water abstraction and wastewater projects;
  • Fingal County Council and its technical advisors on the Greater Dublin Drainage Project;
  • Bord Iascaigh Mhara on its aquaculture and foreshore licence applications for the Deep Sea Project in Galway Bay;
  • Dunbia on its successful planning application for an expansion of its slaughtering facility in County Meath;
  • NDFA and DoES on planning and environmental issues affecting/delaying the procurement and delivery of 7 projects in the €500 million Second Level Schools and Third Level Education PPP Programmes;
  • The HSE’s successful SID application for the National Forensic Mental Health Hospital;
  • PPP including advising bidders and awarding authorities in Ireland on projects in the roads, waste and energy sectors
  • The proposed corporatisation and privatisation in respect of the Ministry of Electricity and Water (Bahrain).
  • RTÉ’s successful SID application for campus redevelopment at Montrose, County Dublin.
  • A large private hospital on its objection to the RPA’s Railway Order application for Metro North, which resulted in the re-alignment of the proposed route.



  • Highfield Solar on its successful judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to refuse permission on a ‘prematurity’ ground for its c. 45MW solar farm in Co. Wexford;
  • Element Power and Pinewood Wind Limited on their separate but related ongoing judicial review challenges to the ant-wind zoning in the Laois County Development Plan 2017 – 2023;
  • A number of soil and stone operators on their separate but related ongoing judicial review proceedings of the EPA’s decisions that soil and stone are waste not by-products;
  • Irish Water on its defence of a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to approve a CPO for the Upper Liffey Valley Sewage Scheme;
  • Advising a client on simulataneous planning injunction proceedings seeking to stop construction and civil proceedings for damages caused by alleged flooding (development sector);
  • Advising a client on simultaneous sets of judicial review proceedings challenging a local authority decision to grant permission for a grid connection and an AA Screening Determination for a grid connection (energy & renewables sector);
  • Advising a client on simultaneous sets of planning injunction proceedings seeking to stop operations and an EPA prosecution for alleged breach of EPA Licence (food and drink sector);
  • Advising a client on simultaneous planning injunction proceedings seeking to stop operations and civil proceedings for breach of contract (food and drink sector);
  • Advising a developer on its judicial review challenge to the de-zoning of lands in a Local Area Plan in Meath (development sector);
  • Coillte Teoranta on its successful defence of judicial review proceedings in the High Court and the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn the planning permission for the Cullenagh Wind Farm;
  • Religious Sisters of Charity on successful judicial review proceedings challenging the de-zoning of lands under the draft Dublin City Council Development Plan 2011 – 2017;
  • Greenstar on successful judicial review proceedings challenging the proposed Variation to the Dublin Regional Waste Management Plan 2005 – 2010;
  • Advising on defence of section 160 planning injunction proceedings in the telecommunications, waste and energy sectors in the Circuit Court and High Court;
  • Advising on the defence of EPA prosecutions in the food & agribusiness and waste sectors in the District Court, Circuit Court and the Court of Criminal Appeal;


Transactional M&A, project-financing

  • Mergers & Acquisitions including CRH plc on its acquisition of assets from Lafarge and Holcim for €6.5bn; Centrica on the acquisition from Bord Gáis of its Irish gas and electricity supply business; Viridian Group in respect of its £1.62 billion acquisition by Arcapita; the acquisition of EcoWindPower by Viridian; and the acquisition of multiple renewable energy projects in Ireland.
  • Energy Sector Financing including advising a consortium of banks on the financing the State’s largest independent biomass CHP plant and advising developers and a number of financial providers on the financing of multiple windfarm projects.
  • LL.B, Trinity College Dublin, 2004
  • Diploma in Applied Finance Law, Law Society, 2007
  • IPMA Certified Diploma in Project Management, 2011
  • Professional Certificate in Law on the Regulation of Food Safety (Distinction), University College Dublin, 2013
  • Admitted as a solicitor, 2008
  • Dublin Solicitors’ Bar Association (former Council Member )
  • Young Dublin Solicitors (former Chairperson)
  • Irish Environmental Law Association
  • International Project Management Association (IPMA)