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Engineering firm seeks trespass order against former owner of premises

Winthrop Engineering claims James Jordan and others broke into property and cut power

Winthrop Engineering is seeking an order from the High Court restraining James Jordan from trespassing or interfering with the premises. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

An engineering company has asked the High Court for orders preventing the alleged former owner of its Dublin premises from trespassing or interfering with the property.

The action has been brought by Winthrop Engineering & Contracting Ltd, a firm founded by well-known businessman Barry English, against James Jordan.

Winthrop claims that on December 30th last year Mr Jordan, accompanied by others, broke into the company’s premises located at a unit in Turnpike Business Park, Ballymount in Dublin 22.

It is claimed that Mr Jordan identified himself to a member of Winthrop’s staff and said that “Barry English”, the plaintiff’s group managing director, had not paid rent to him for several months.

It is also claimed that Mr Jordan, and those with him, cut the power to the premises.

The gardaí were called, but Mr Jordan and those accompanying him had left the property before a patrol car arrived.

It is claimed that Mr Jordan had said he would return to the property, but has not done so.

Power was subsequently restored to the building, and Winthrop resecured it.

The High Court on Thursday heard that Mr Jordan has no entitlement to trespass on the property.

As a result of the defendant’s alleged actions, Winthrop is seeking various injunctions against Mr Jordan.

It seeks an order restraining Mr Jordan from trespassing or interfering with the premises.

It also seeks an injunction preventing Mr Jordan from impeding access to the property, and that he does not attend at the property without prior written consent from Winthrop.

European headquarters

Winthrop, represented in court by Daragh Breen BL, said it occupies the unit at the centre of the dispute, along with several other adjoining units in the business park, as its European headquarters.

It claims the defendant was the owner of the unit and that it had leased the unit from him since 2012.

A receiver was appointed over the defendant’s interest in the unit in 2018. In late 2019 Winthrop says it purchased the unit from the receiver for €250,000.

The counsel said that, in addition to raising an issue about rent, Mr Jordan had stated in a letter to Winthrop that it had encroached beyond the bounds of space provided to it under the lease agreement, and had no entitlement to use this space.

The counsel said that Mr Jordan’s actions amounted to a “disruptive trespass” and his client’s staff felt intimidated.

The counsel said Winthrop is the lawful occupier of the property and denies encroaching on any area that it is not entitled to occupy.

The counsel said it sought undertakings from Mr Jordan of JJ Carpets, Coolmine Industrial Estate, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 not to re-enter the premises.

However, none were received.

The matter came before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor, who, on an ex-parte basis, granted Winthrop permission to serve short notice of its proceedings on Mr Jordan.

The judge said he was not prepared to grant any orders in the case until he had heard from both parties.

He adjourned the matter to Friday’s sitting of the court.

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