Dublin pub fails to stop action against it over water leak

Action arises out of leak believed to have caused loss of one million litres of water a day

 The Leopardstown Inn. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The Leopardstown Inn. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

The operators of Dublin’s Leopardstown Inn have failed to get the High Court to dismiss an action against them arising out of a major water leak seven years ago outside the premises.

The leak, allegedly caused by damage to a main during a drilling operation for a water source, was estimated at the time to have caused the loss of one million litres of water a day for a fortnight before it was discovered in February 2014.

The damaged pipe serves around half the population in Dun Laoghaire, including Blackrock, Booterstown, Monkstown and Deansgrange. It is located at Brewery Road around 100 metres from the Stillorgan reservoir and buried some 10 metres underground.

Hyper Trust Ltd, which operates the pub and underwent a court-approved survival scheme in 2015 following an examinership process, sought to have the action against it over the damage by Irish Water struck out on grounds of inordinate delay in prosecuting the case. Irish Water opposed the application.

Ms Justice Eileen Creedon, in a judgment published this week, rejected the Hyper Trust application saying she was not satisfied there had been inordinate delay.

The case is also against Hyper Trust directors Desmond and Brian Reddy, and against the drilling company, O’Rourke Well Drilling Ltd of Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

It is claimed Hyper Trust and Desmond Reddy and/or Brian Reddy engaged O’Rourke’s to drill boreholes on an undeveloped strip of Reddy-owned land beside the pub. It was to source a water supply for the pub.

However, the water main ran through the land. O’Rourke’s allegedly drilled a six-inch borehole about nine to 10 metres deep when the drill struck the water main.

After Hyper Trust emerged from court protection in 2015, Irish Water brought proceedings against the defendants who denied the claim.

Hyper Trust applied to the court last year to dismiss the case against it on grounds of delay.

Ms Justice Creedon said the period between the commencement of Irish Water’s original proceedings in May 2015 and the date of the discovery of the leak (February 10th, 2014) was reasonable.

She was satisfied on the facts there was no prejudice to the defendant which would warrant a dismissal of the case.