Council wins order against caravans using derelict site on Traveller Housing Scheme

The local authority was concerned that others may seek to occupy a site which it says is not safe
Council wins order against caravans using derelict site on Traveller Housing Scheme

High Court reporter

The High Court has extended orders preventing persons from trespassing or occupying part of a Traveller Group Housing Scheme operated by Leitrim County Council.

On Friday Mr Justice Conor Dignam was told that while the persons who had moved on the site had vacated the property, the local authority was concerned that others may seek to occupy a site which it says is not safe.

Last month the Council secured an injunction after informing the court that the occupiers parked their caravans in a derelict bay at the Shannonside View Traveller Group Housing Scheme in Carrick-on-Shannon Co Leitrim and had refused to leave the site.

The council said they had no right to be there, and that the bay they were occupying posed a health and safety risk.

The order was secured against John Mongan, John Mongan Junior and Margaret Mongan, who the council alleged were three of the persons on the site who had moved to Leitrim from Dublin.

Trespass

The council also alleged that trespass commenced when "a group of individuals wearing balaclavas cut open a locked barrier and placed their two caravans on an empty lot of the property, which is beside a playschool.

The incident, it was claimed upset children and staff at the school and resulted in local gardaí being called.

The occupants' initial refusal to leave the site resulted in the High Court making orders against the three named individuals and all other persons in occupation of the site to vacate the property.

The court also restrained the occupants from interfering with or obstructing the council from taking possession of the property in question and from entering or placing any further structures on the land without the council's consent.

When the matter returned before the court on Friday Niall Flynn Bl for the council said that the site has now been vacated by the defendants.

Counsel said his client does not know where the defendants have moved to.

However, counsel asked the court to extend the orders previously granted.

Health and safety concerns

The council, he said, was concerned that others may try to occupy the bay, which he said is derelict and had been closed off from the rest of the scheme.

He said there are serious health and safety concerns over the bay's sewage and electricity supply.

The council plans to repair and renovate the site and make the bay available for use.

However, Mr Flynn said those works won't be done in the short term.

The bay is part of a housing scheme for members of the Irish Traveller Community, which is not a halting site that facilitates random occupation by travelling parties.

It contains 14 bays which the council says are allocated to occupants on a contractual basis.

Several families are on a waiting list for a place on the site, counsel said.

The defendants were not in court on Friday.

On a previous occasion Mrs Mongan told the court that they were seeking legal advice in relation to the matter.

Mr Justice Dignam agreed to extend the injunction, which he said should remain in place until the final hearing of the action.

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