Businessman remains in jail after refusing to purge contempt of court orders

Fergal Deery has spent almost eight weeks behind bars in relation to dispute over Monaghan premises

Fergal  Deery had breached orders originally made by the High Court in 2015 . File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Fergal Deery had breached orders originally made by the High Court in 2015 . File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

A businessman will remain in Mountjoy Prison after refusing to purge his contempt over his failure to comply with a High Court order to stay away from two properties in Co Monaghan.

Fergal Deery has spent almost eight weeks, including Christmas, behind bars over contempt of orders made in March 2020 in relation to a long running dispute. Mr Deery was committed to Mountjoy Prison in early December by Mr Justice Senan Allen over breach of the March order. It required Mr Deery, who had breached orders originally made by the High Court in 2015 not to trespass or interfere with two premises located in Monaghan town previously controlled by Mr Deery’s family, to be brought before the court to answer his contempt.

Mr Deery’s attachment and committal to prison was sought in March by Wardglade Limited ,which acquired the properties, which operated as a bar and a nightclub, from a receiver in 2015. Mr Deery, who denies breaching the order, is unhappy over the sale, which he alleged was fraudulent, and claims he was illegally evicted from the property in 2013.

On Tuesday, when the case was reviewed by the High Court, Mr Deery told Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds via a video link from Mountjoy Prison he was not prepared to purge his contempt.

CCTV footage

During the short hearing, Mr Deery again denied breaching the court orders and denied he was the person seen on CCTV footage entering the premises at the centre of the dispute. He said other people went onto the premises and he and his family were owed an apology by other parties for what had been done. He was not prepared to purge his contempt by giving an undertaking to comply with the orders, he said.

Ms Justice Reynolds, who told Mr Deery he knew what he needed to do to secure his release from prison, adjourned the matter to early next month.

In 2015 High Court orders were obtained by Wardglade against Mr Deery, of Drumhillock, Monaghan restraining him from trespassing on the properties. Mr Deery was jailed in July 2018 for two weeks after he was found in contempt of the 2015 orders. He was released after he purged his contempt and gave undertakings to comply with the orders, and to cease making comments on social media or in public about Wardglade director Ciaran Marron and about two associates of Mr Marron, Seamus and Frank McEnaney.

Last year, Wardglade brought fresh proceedings claiming further breaches of the orders and that Mr Deery, and related parties, had entered the properties without Wardglade’s consent on several occasions in September and December 2019. It also claimed Mr Deery commenced a campaign of intimidation against persons associated with Wardglade and had made threats against Mr Marron’s family, business associates and his solicitor on social media.

When the case was called on last March, Mr Deery did not attend, citing transport difficulties. The hearing was adjourned for 24 hours to allow him get to court but he did not attend the subsequent hearing.