Friday, July 22, 2022

High Court reporters

A development company is seeking a High Court injunction over what it claims is the “large-scale” illegal occupation of lands ear-marked for a major housing project in Co Laois.

The action has been brought by Salzagold Limited, which claims the illegal occupation has turned its property into “a base for anti-social behaviour”.

It claims that over 40 caravans and over 150 people are currently trespassing on lands the company owns at Graiguecullen which it wants to develop into much-needed housing and other facilities for the nearby Carlow Town area.

The occupiers, it claims, first entered the lands earlier this month, have refused to leave, and it is feared that an additional 30 caravans may soon go onto the site, the High Court heard.

The company says it is hugely concerned by the behaviour of the persons it claims are occupying the lands and who have no authority to be there.

The alleged behaviour includes the starting of larges fires, anti-social behaviour, and the dumping of large amounts of refuse and waste on the property.

The owner says it is further concerned about the operation of a tree cutting business on the land by the occupiers without any property health and safety procedures being in place, and joyriding and other dangerous vehicular activities by the occupiers on the site.

In recent days the company said the local fire brigade had to put out a large fire that had broken out on the site.

Vacate lands

The company, represented by in the action by Stephen Byrne BL, seeks various orders including an injunction requiring persons unknown and all those who have knowledge of the orders to vacate and cease interfering with the lands.

The action is also against one named individual, Hugh (Hughie) Doyle, who, it is claimed, is acting as a spokesperson for the group.

The court heard the land in question was the subject of a previous illegal occupation in March. However, the small number of persons who were on the lands on that occasion departed the site shortly afterwards, the company claims.

The matter came before Mr Justice Brian O’Moore who granted the applicant, on an ex-parte basis, permission to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on the persons allegedly illegally occupying the lands.

The action will return before the courts next week.

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