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DAA case to have Travellers moved from airport runway exclusion zone resolved

The terms of the agreement between the parties are confidential.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

HIGH COURT PROCEEDINGS brought by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) over Traveller families living in the exclusion zone around the proposed new north runway have been resolved.

The DAA had sought orders including injunctions vacant possession of land located in Collinstown, north Dublin, that had previously been leased to Fingal County Council, which was joined to the action, to house Traveller families.

It claimed the lands are occupied by several members of the McAleer family, who the DAA claimed have no entitlement to be there.

The DAA said it needed the lands vacated as a matter of urgency in order to carry out work on the new runway.

The family members, who were represented by Quinn & Reynolds Solicitors and by the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), denied any wrongdoing and had opposed the DAA’s action.

Some of the families said they had been on the site for some 30 years.

The DAA also joined the council to proceedings, where it claimed that the local authority had failed to hand over vacant possession of the site, over three years after the DAA served it with a notice to quit.

The injunction application, which had been before the courts on several previous occasions to allow out of court discussions aimed at resolving the dispute, was due to be heard by the court today.

However, Justice Michael Twomey was told by Brian Kennedy SC for the DAA that and the matter had been resolved could be adjourned to a date after Easter to ensure that the agreement has been fully fulfilled.

The terms of the agreement between the parties are confidential.

Previously the court heard that the Minister for Transport, which owned the lands before they were acquired by the DAA, granted a licence in the 1980s allowing the local council to use the site as accommodation for Travellers.

The DAA extended that licence agreement with Fingal Co Council until 2017, when it issued a notice to quit. The lands were required as part of the DDA’s plan to construct a new runway.

When vacant possession of the site was not handed over the DAA issued proceedings against Fingal Co Council in 2018.

Those proceedings were discontinued to allow the Council engage with, and seek alternative accommodation for those living at the halting site.

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Arising out of that engagement the DAA claims that while several of the Traveller families left the site, others have remained.

As a result, the DAA in 2020 commenced fresh proceedings, where it seeks orders including injunctions, against those who have currently on the site.

It also brought parallel proceedings earlier this month after another Traveller family allegedly moved on the site. Those were discontinued after the family left the site.

Afterwards in a statement FLAC, which represented one of the Traveller families, welcomed the resolution of the dispute.

“FLAC are happy with the resolution that has been reached and are satisfied that serious consequences have been avoided for our client,” it stated.

About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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