Dublin Port Company has claimed that a transport and warehousing firm has breached a court order by failing to vacate a site which it needs to deal with the impact of Brexit.
As a result of the alleged breach DPC, which is state-owned, is seeking orders from the High Court that could result in the jailing of a director of McQuaid O’Flanagan Warehousing and Transport Ltd and the seizure of the company’s property.
DPC had previously brought proceedings in the Commercial Court against a number of parties to try to secure possession of a site at Tolka Quay, which is about 600 metres south of the Port Tunnel.
DPC intends to use the site as a truck park and one of its customs, immigration and agricultural inspection posts after Brexit.
The property had been mainly occupied by McQuaid O’Flanagan, which had a lease with the former owners of the site.
DPC bought the site in January from the former owners and said McQuaid O’Flanagan’s lease on the 3.7-hectare site expired last November.
Various orders had been sought by DPC against a number of parties that had been on the site, including one preventing McQuaid O’Flanagan trespassing or otherwise interfering with its right to take possession.
Those proceedings were resolved on consent in March. As part of that agreement, Mr Justice Robert Haughton made an order requiring the defendant to vacate the property in stages. The site was to be fully vacated by McQuaid O’Flannagan by the end of July.
The case returned before Mr Justice David Keane at Wednesday’s vacation sitting of the High Court when lawyers for DPC said that McQuaid O’Flanagan was in contempt of the order.
The defendant had not left the property and in correspondence the company had said it would not be able to vacate the site until September.
DPC said it fears trucks will be brought to a standstill in the immediate aftermath of Brexit if its plans are hampered or delayed. Workers were due to start preparing the site in the past few days, the court heard.
As a result of the defendant’s alleged breach of the High Court order, DPC is seeking an order to appoint a receiver to sequester the property of McQuaid O’Flanagan and of Mr Gerald McQuaid, one of its directors. It also seeks an order for Mr McQuaid’s attachment and possible committal to prison.
The judge, on an ex-parte basis, granted DPC permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on the defendants and adjourned the matter to tomorrow’s sitting of the court.
Source: The Times