High Court prevents residents blockading Dublin building site

Developers of Tre asury Annex Building on Lower Grand Canal Street fear building site could be shut down due to health-and-safety risks

The High Court has granted a temporary injunction preventing local residents from blockading the site where an eight-story building is being constructed in central Dublin.

The interim injunction was granted on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Tony O’Connor late on Friday evening in favour of RGRE Dev Co Number 5, which is currently developing the Treasury Annex Building at Lower Grand Canal Street in Dublin 2.

The plaintiff, represented in court by Ciara Davin, instructed by solicitor Phil Raynor of Eversheds Sutherland, sought the injunction over fears that the alleged ongoing blockade by residents from nearby Macken Villas could result in the construction site being shut down due to health-and-safety risks.

The developer claims that the residents, who had voiced concerns over certain issues the plaintiff claims to have addressed, have demanded an “ex-gratia” payment in order to lift the blockade.


RGRE said it was not prepared to meet the residents’ payment demand, and that the blockade amounts to an unlawful interference with its right to access the public road from the site.

The court heard that the plaintiff obtained planning permission to demolish an existing three-storey building on the site and to construct a new, eight-storey building in its place.

There were no objections from the residents to its plans, counsel said.

Counsel said demolition works commenced on the site during the summer, and it is hoped to start construction works in the coming weeks.

Counsel said her client had entered into talks with the Macken Villas residents over their concerns including noise levels, dust coming from the site and access to the villas for bin collection and emergency services, communications from the developer and notice about the commencement of works.

Counsel said that all those concerns had been addressed and met by her client.

However, it is claimed the residents, whom it is alleged have been given payments in respect of other developments near their homes, have sought an amount of money per unit in the villas from the developer that RGRE was not prepared to make.

Counsel said the blockade has been maintained over the last number of days. The plaintiff’s building contractors have not been able to get any vehicles in or out of the site. This, counsel said, had resulted in several health-and-safety issues.

They include the build-up of various materials including rubble, plywood and steel girders, which her client wants to remove from the site and a build-up of dust.

There are concerns that, in the run up to Halloween, persons may come on to the site in search of materials for bonfires, counsel added.

Other issues concerning health and safety was the lack of space on the site and that workers have had to physically carry large containers of diesel on to the site to fuel machines currently operating there.

These health-and-safety matters represented a risk to workers on the site, the residents of Macken Villas and the public, counsel said, adding that if the situation was allowed to continue the site could be shut down.

Counsel said that the gardaí had been called and had removed the blockade.

After the gardaí left the scene, the persons mounting the blockade simply returned and recommenced their protest, counsel said.

The judge said while he had heard from only one side in the case, he was satisfied to grant the injunction based on the health-and-safety concerns raised by the defendant.

The injunction prevents the residents and anyone acting in conjunction with them from blockading the construction site and from interfering with the plaintiff’s access to and from the public roads adjoining the site until further order of the court.

The judge, after giving the parties permission to return to court to seek to have the order lifted or varied, adjourned the matter for a week.