The environmental group, An Taisce, has been branded a dictatorship by the Minister of State, Dick Roche.

Mr Roche has demanded that the law be changed so local authorities no longer have to inform An Taisce of planning matters.

He said he had lost respect for the organisation because it was no longer democratic, and was instead being run by a small number of people engaged in a war.

An Taisce's president and acting chairman, Frank Corcoran, said his only comment would be that his organisation was united around its plan to help protect the environment.