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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018

Farmer jailed over refusal to obey orders not to trespass on land

John Kinsella didn’t show up to court today.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/NORRIE3699

THE HIGH COURT has jailed a farmer over his refusal to obey orders not to trespass on or come within 100 metres of lands in Co Wexford.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton said he was satisfied that John Kinsella was “continuously flouting” orders previously granted by the court in respect of lands at Lodgewood in Ferns, and was in contempt of court.

The judge directed that gardaí arrest Kinsella, who was not present in court, and commit him to prison until he is prepared to purge his contempt by agreeing to comply with the orders.

Kinsella was brought before the High Court late last month by gardaí arising out of his failure to comply with an injunction obtained against him by vegetable grower John B Dockrell Ltd which owns the lands.

After spending some hours in garda custody Kinsella, who was not legally represented, was released and the case was adjourned so he could consider the legal documents and take advice.

It was adjourned, following a request by Kinsella, after he gave a sworn undertaking to comply with the orders until the matter returned before the court.

When the case returned before the court today Justice Barton was told by Benedict Ó Floinn Bl, for John B Dockrell, that Kinsella was not present nor represented in court.

Counsel said there had been further interference with the lands since the matter had last been before the court. Counsel said Kinsella’s vehicles were blocking the entrances to the land this morning.

Counsel said Kinsella was fully aware the matter was due before the court to deal with his contempt, and no attempt had been made by him to address matters.

Didn’t show up

Mr Justice Barton said there could be “no doubt whatsoever that Mr Kinsella knew the case was adjourned to Friday’s sitting of the court”, and had not turned up.

The judge accepted that Kinsella had not dealt with the allegations that he was in contempt, and had continued to be in breach of the orders.

The orders, which were granted last April, prevent Kinsella, of Ballywilliamroe, Marshalstown, Enniscorthy, from coming within 100 metres of lands, from interfering with the property, and from blocking and impeding any entrances to the lands.

The company sought the orders because it has been unable to access approximately 150 acres of land it had purchased in June 2017 in Ferns, Co Wexford, due to Kinsella’s actions.

The company, of Monroe, Screen, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, said Kinsella entered the lands without its permission and has illegally ploughed the lands.

It also claimed gates have been chained and large concrete blocks impede movements on the lands, and vehicles were used to block the entrance to the lands from the outside.

Large signs referring to “vulture Funds and land grabbers” and threatening that “trespassers will be shot” have been erected on farmland, the court also heard.

The company claims Kinsella’s actions have caused it a financial loss.

The court heard that Kinsella said in a letter to the company’s solicitor that he “did not recognise” the High Court’s or land registry’s functions, adding that both entities “appear to employ and utilise admitted corrupt judicial functions”.

Kinsella also stated in his letter that he “called a tribal counsel (sic) namely a Hy Cinnsealach of family and friends to a tribunal” the day the plaintiff “broke into my lands and uprooted acres of our communal crop”.

The letter added that the tribunal adjudicated that John B Dockrell “again trespassed on my land and caused damage to acres of our communal crop” which did “not sit well with me nor the communal tribes”.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.

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About the author:

Aodhan O'Faolain & Ray Managh

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