13 Aug 2022

Fears that Pope Francis visit will increase caravans trespassing on site

Fears that Pope Francis visit will increase caravans trespassing on site

The Basilica at Knock

The visit by Pope Francis to Ireland has increased fears of illegally parked caravans at a business park, with a case in the High Court this week.

A receiver has been given permission by the High Court to seek to have persons allegedly breaching orders not to trespass at a Mayo business park committed to prison for contempt.

The court heard that the motion was being brought over fears that next month's visit by Pope Francis could see an increase of trespassers parking their caravans at the site.  

The action has been brought on behalf of Mr Ken Fennell an insolvency practitioner with Deloitte against persons whose identities are unknown but are believed to be members of the Irish Travelling Community, who have allegedly taken up residence at the N5 Business Park,  Moneen in Castlebar, Co Mayo. 

Mr Fennell previously obtained orders from the court directing all the trespassers to vacate the business park and cease trespassing on the site. 

The matter returned before the Court on Wednesday when lawyers for Mr Fennell said the trespass has continued and that several persons are in contempt of the orders previously obtained from the court.  Brian Conroy Bl for Mr Fennell, said that despite the orders caravans remain on the site, which has lead to criticism of his client from the businesses operating in the park.Counsel said his client has been informed by one operator that it fears more trespassers will come on the site when Pope Francis visits Knock Shrine in Co Mayo in late August.  

The court heard that receiver has tried to resolve matters peacefully, and had hoped the Gardai might intervene, but has been unable to get the trespassers to leave. 

Counsel said that as a result of the ongoing trespass his client had no option but to bring motions for attachment and committal to prison against those persons who continue to breach the orders.  

It is claimed that there is a health and safety risk as the site is unsuitable for residential purposes. The trespassers' have allegedly caused damage, and have burnt burning rubbish in the park.

Mr Fennell was appointed as receiver of the business park, which contains commercial units, development land and common areas, by Promontoria (Arrow) Ltd in 2015.  

The property is owned by Mr Anthony Gaughan and TJ Gaughan Construction Ltd.

Permission to serve short notice of the attachment and committal proceedings were granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Ms Justice Caroline Costello. 

The Judge adjourned the matter to next week.

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