The traveller parents of a couple married in Co Armagh this morning have been told by a judge to take down a marquee they erected at a halting site in Burton Park, Leopardstown Road, Dublin, for an evening reception today.
Gardaí and contractors are now on site removing the marquee.
Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain granted Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council leave to hire an independent contractor to carry remove the marquee if defendants Michael and Johanna Connors refused to do it themselves.
The judge also told the local authority’s barrister Niall Flynn she would make an order restraining the Connors, and anyone else knowing about the court injunction, from interfering with independent contractor employees while demolishing the wedding marquee.
Mr Flynn, who appeared with solicitor Liz Neary for the council, said Mr Connors yesterday told a council official he knew he was breaching tenancy and Covid 19 rules and regulations but the reception at No 3 Burton Park, Leopardstown Road, Dublin 8, would go ahead.
“Council acting administration officer Liam Donovan was told by Mr Connors last evening that his son was getting married this morning in Co Armagh and the marquee was to facilitate the bridal party among 40 guests and would be going ahead,” Mr Flynn said.
He told the Circuit Civil Court that when told he was breaching regulations Connors replied: “I know all that. I know I’m breaching my tenancy but it is my sons’s wedding and he has no other place to go.”
The council was also given leave to broadcast the court’s orders on national radio stations even as the bride and groom and their guests were on their way from Co Armagh for today’s planned 6p.m. reception in Co Dublin.
Mr Donovan said the gardaí were supporting the council’s application and when he asked Mr Connors to take the marquee down he replied: “I can’t take it down. My son’s wedding is going ahead and I accept the consequences of not taking it down.”
Ms Neary, a solicitor in the legal department of Dunlaoghaire Rathdown County Council, said after the injunction application that the council would be moving immediately to take the marquee down or hire an independent contractor to do the work for it.
Judge Ni Chulachain said she noticed from photographs of the marquee taken by Mr Donovan that there were 11 tables surrounded by chairs in the marquee, enough chairs to accommodate more than 60 people.
Mr Flynn told the court the council considered the planned reception to be a breach of Covid-19 regulations in the middle of a global pandemic as well as breaking a tenancy agreement. The local authority was also concerned about the lack of insurance cover for this evening’s event.
Judge Ni Chulachain gave the council leave to serve personal notice on Mr Connors and also pin up notices outlining details of the court’s orders. The judge also directed that everyone associated with the reception, including the bridal party and guests, be warned they had been restrained from entering the marquee.
Mr Flynn indicated that the council had significant concerns relating to the use of the marquee for the wedding reception which, he said, unless restrained by the court the Connors planned to go ahead with.
In a statement, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown said: “Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council were made aware yesterday of an unauthorised temporary structure that was erected at a Council property in Leopardstown.
“Due to the unauthorised nature of the temporary structure and concern that the structure was to be used to facilitate a large scale gathering, the Council sought leave from the Dublin Circuit Civil Court for an order to remove the structure should the owners not do so themselves. At a court sitting today Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin granted leave for the Council to do so.
“Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council can confirm that it carried out the removal of the temporary structure as per the court order.”