Farmer’s shed blocking way to graveyard must be demolished, says judge

Disputed right-of-way ran through farmyard

Judge Matthew Deery: ordered farmer not to further obstruct the carriageway.

Judge Matthew Deery: ordered farmer not to further obstruct the carriageway.


A Co Kildare farmer who built part of a cattle shed over a right-of-way to a centuries-old graveyard has been told by a judge to take it down.

Rodney Coe, Yew Tree Farm, Quinsboro, Monasterevin, was yesterday ordered by Judge Matthew Deery not to further obstruct the carriageway, both for pedestrians and cars, that crosses his lands, to Yew Tree Cemetery.

Judge Deery said Andrew Mahon, Grange Road; George Byrne, Quarry House, Ballykelly; John Dunne, Collier; and Patrick Donoher of Inchacooley, all Monasterevin, were entitled to a declaration of entitlement on behalf of their local Catholic parish to the public right-of-way. Barrister Peter Bland SC had told the Circuit Civil Court that a carriageway for horse-drawn hearses and mourners had existed from time immemorial to Yew Tree Cemetery.

He said the disputed right-of-way ran through Mr Coe’s farmyard and lands and was currently only used by parishioners for the tending and blessing of graves. Judge Deery, in a reserved judgment on the case which he heard over five days last year, said the parties had at that time reached a sensible settlement whereby Mr Coe would, at his own expense, build an alternative roadway to the graves without the need of anyone accessing his farmyard.

But the settlement had broken down over the expense of the undertaking and Mr Coe’s objection to certain clauses in a Kildare County Council planning permission for the new right-of-way. He said it was left to the court to decide the matter and he ruled the plaintiffs were entitled to the declaration of an unobstructed right-of-way to the graves.

He also granted them an injunction directing Mr Coe to demolish that part of the new shed that was blocking the carriageway. Mr Bland said the graveyard and a church ruin dated back to the sixth century and was associated with the monastic settlement of St Evin from which Monasterevin took its name.