Judgment against Donald Trump set aside at Ennis court
Judge said Cork civil engineer’s claim ‘was an attempt to attract publicity’
Cork civil engineer John V Lennon told the court that he made his claim for the €14,095 as a result of the time and effort he made in objecting to Trump Doonbeg’s planned 200,000 tonne rock barrier last year.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan said on Tuesday that the claim by Cork civil engineer, John V Lennon that resulted in the judgement against Mr Trump “has no basis in law whatsoever” and “is vexatious”.
Judge Durcan said that Mr Lennon’s claim “was an attempt to attract publicity”.
In court, Mr Lennon denied that the claim was vexatious or that he was seeking publicity.
Judge Durcan made his ruling following an application by Co Clare based lawyers for Mr Trump, barrister Patrick Whyms and solicitor Lorraine Burke, to have the judgement set aside.
In his ruling, Judge Durcan said he failed to see how someone of Mr Lennon’s ability and experience in the planning process would not but see the error of his ways and that his actions were motivated by the identity of the respondent (Mr Trump) in the case.
Judge Durcan said that if he was unhappy with what a neighbour was building beside him and he ran up a bill of thousands of euros objecting, he would have to pay the costs no matter what the outcome.
Mr Lennon told the court that he made his claim for the €14,095 as a result of the time and effort he made in objecting to Trump Doonbeg’s planned 200,000 tonne rock barrier last year. The application for the barrier was withdrawn last December.
Mr Lennon of John Paul Lennon & Co, Consulting Engineers, Rosehill Terrace, Cork, told the court he became “intellectually infuriated” when he saw that Trump Doonbeg lodged a new coastal protection works application a few weeks after the withdrawal of the first plan.
“I was happy to let the hare sit following the withdrawal of the first application, but I considered the second application to be an abuse of process and playing fast and loose with the Irish planning process,” he said.
“I believed then that I was entitled to recover my time and effort from the first application,” he added.
Mr Whyms said that Mr Trump was never served with the claim. “The planning application was not made by Mr Trump but by TIGL Ireland Enterprises Ltd,” he said.
He submitted that the alleged basis of liability has no basis in law and that the claim is patently vexatious. He said Mr Lennon obtained the judgement in the local court office last June.
Mr Whyms applied for his client’s costs in the case, but Judge Durcan said that the issue of costs can be reserved until the full hearing into Mr Lennon’s claim is heard.
The Trump organisation operate its luxury golf resort at Doonbeg since they purchased it for a knock down price in February 2014.
Earlier this year, President Trump resigned as a director of the two Trump Doonbeg resort firms just days before he was sworn in as President.