High Court reporters
A building company has claimed before the High Court that work on a new hotel and offices it is constructing in Dublin city centre have been held up because entrances to the site are being blockaded by local residents.
Collen Construction Limited is building a 270 bed-hotel and commercial offices at Castleforbes Business Park, at Sheriff Street Upper in Dublin 1.
The company says that work has been held up by persons living in the nearby Castleforbes Square Apartments, Liffey Trust/North Bank Apartments who are unhappy with various aspects of the development.
In a sworn statement to the court seeking the injunction the company said it has been informed that the residents intend to continue their protest, which started last month.
The company claims the blockade is causing it to lose a large amount of money on a daily basis.
At the High Court on Friday afternoon Collen secured an injunction preventing's five named locals alleged involved in the blockade, and persons unknown from obstructing either persons or vehicles from entering or leaving the site.
The order was granted by Mr Justice Senan Allen, on an ex parte basis, following submissions to the court by Barry Mansfield Bl for Collen.
Counsel said that the protest has been peaceful in nature.
It is claimed that between March 4th and March 11th, protesters including women with young children and family pets, have moved in a circular motion at the entrance gates which has prevented vehicles from getting in and out of the site without risk of injury to the protesters.
Counsel said the blockade was adjourned to allow talks between the sides.
Collen's claims that its offer of making a payment of €75,000 to community projects in the locality was rejected, and the protest recommenced on March 23rd last.
The ongoing blockade has already resulted in the building firm sustaining significant financial loses, and it fears that those losses will multiply if it cannot resume work quickly and competition target dates are missed.
Working days lost
The company, which said it initially had difficulties in identifying exactly who the protesters are, claims the protesters intend to continue their blockade.
Counsel said that to date 16 working days had been lost on the project.
Losses due to the disruption and delay have been estimated at approximately €350,000 per week, counsel added.
The judge accepted that Collen is entitled to an injunction, having made out a strong case that such an order should be granted.
He said that if the residents have concerns about dust, noise and nuisance, they should take a court action against the company.
They were entitled to mount a protest, and the court was willing to hear their side of the argument, he added.
However, the judge said the residents were not entitled to maintain a blockade in the manner alleged by Collen, which he noted has prevented the company from bringing any material onto the site.
The company, he said, was sustaining "significant financial losses" because of the blockade.
In the circumstances the judge said he was prepared to make an injunction in the terms sought by the company.
The matter was adjourned for a week.