The Commission lodged an application and an action under Article 226 EC for a declaration that, by failing to take all the measures necessary to comply with Articles 3 and 4 (4) of Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the Conservation of Wild Birds in respect of the red grouse and Article 6 (2) of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora in respect of the Owenduff-Nephin Beg Complex special protection area, Ireland failed to comply with those Directives and failed to fulfill its obligations under the EC Treaty.
The Irish Government responded that the Commission failed to establish the full facts of which it complained. The habitat of the red grouse had reduced to such a degree that it was no longer sufficient for its conservation.
The court declared that by failing to take the measures necessary to safeguard a sufficient diversity and area of habitats fro the red grouse and by failing to take appropriate steps to avoid, in the Owenduff-Nephin Beg Complex special protection area, the deterioration of the habitats of the species for which the special protection area was designated, Ireland had failed to fulfill its obligations under Article 3 and 6 (2) of the Council Directives 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 and 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992. Ireland was ordered to pay the costs.