15 Aug 2022

Farmer ordered to appear in court over refusal to vacate land


Farmer refusing to vacate land.

A judge has ordered a farmer to appear before the High Court over his refusal to comply with a Court order to vacate 50 acres of land he owns. 

In a judgement Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds said she was "satisfied beyond reasonable doubt" Tom Morrin is in breach of orders made against him by the High Court in July 2017.

Those orders direct him to surrender vacant possession, remove all machinery and livestock from 50 acres of land at Caragh, Naas Co Kildare owned by Mr Morrin to a receiver appointed over the property. 

He has also failed to comply with an order to cease interfering with agents of the receiver Mr Tom Kavanagh of Deloitte Ireland from carrying out their duties in respect of the property. 

The judge in her decision also dismissed applications by Mr Morrin of Poplar Square, Naas, Co Kildare,  to have the receiver's case thrown out, on the grounds it was frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of process.

The Judge further dismissed Mr Morrin's bid for an order preventing Mr Kavanagh's and his agents from trespassing on his property. 

Mr Kavanagh was appointed as receiver over the lands in 2013 by Bank of Scotland Ireland arising out of a mortgage agreement alleged entered into between it an Mr Morrin in 2006.

The loan was subsequently acquired by a financial fund Pentire DAC.

The receiver has brought proceedings against Mr Morrin seeking orders including that the farmer be attached and brought before the court for his alleged ongoing contempt of the 2017 orders. 

Mr Kavanagh, represented by Stephen Byrne Bl, claims the defendant had flouted the order, on which no stay has been placed.

Mr Morrin remains in occupation of the property and continues to farm the lands, it was claimed. 

It was also claimed that on a number of occasions security firm personnel engaged by the receiver had engaged difficulties.

On certain days cattle were seen on the lands and agents the receiver had employed were told to leave the property by a person purporting to be an employee of the defendants.  

It was also claimed that in correspondence Mr Morrin had sent the receiver in January a draft statement of claim disputing the injunction order made in 2017 and indicating that he intends to sue the Irish Government, the Irish judiciary, the Central Bank and the Gardaí in the European Court of Human Rights for breaches of his rights.  

Through his lawyers, Mr Morrin, who has appealed the July orders, opposed the application and disputed the receiver's claims. 

Giving the court's decision Ms Justice Reynolds noted that Mr Morrin did not dispute that he remains in occupation of the land, in breach of the order.  

The Judge directed that an order for Morrin's attachment, which requires him to come before the court to answer his ongoing contempt, be directed to the Commissioner of An Garda Siochana. 

He was not present when the judgement was given. 

The case will return before the High Court next week.  

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