Ireland faces fines of more than €1.7m after the European Commission decided to take the country back to the European Court of Justice over the Derrybrien wind farm in Co Galway.

According to the commission, Ireland is guilty of a "failure to comply" with a previous court judgment by not properly carrying out an environmental impact assessment. 

The commission said: "The scale of the development and its sensitive moorland hilltop location means that its operation continues to have an impact locally. 

"The site could still benefit from mitigation and remediation measures, but these can only be identified after an environmental impact assessment has been done. Ireland must, therefore, ensure that this happens."

The commission said it was "requesting the Court of Justice of the EU to impose a minimum lump sum payment of €1.685m (€1,343 per day).

"The commission is also proposing a daily penalty payment of €12,264, if full compliance is not achieved by the date when the court issues its ruling."

The Department of the Environment said it noted the commission request in respect of the environmental impact assessment for the wind farm.

It said Irish authorities have been in regular communication with the commission on the matter and remain committed to ensuring that an appropriate environmental review takes place.

The ESB said following a European Court determination in July 2008, it agreed to participate in an independent non-statutory, voluntary environmental review of the wind farm.

It said this process is still under way and some environmental studies have already been carried out.