Estate of late FG councillor John Bailey secures injunction over alleged trespass

Temporary injunction prevents lands being sprayed with weedkiller

The temporary injunction preventing the lands being sprayed was granted, on an ex-parte basis.

The temporary injunction preventing the lands being sprayed was granted, on an ex-parte basis.

 

The estate of deceased Fine Gael Councillor John Bailey has secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing an alleged trespasser on farmland spreading “poisonous weedkiller” there.

The personal representative of Mr Bailey’s estate has brought proceedings against Francis Tiernan in relation to 100 acres at Castlewarden on the Dublin-Kildare border.

Darren Lehane BL, instructed by solicitor Richard Hammond, for the estate, said the lands belong to Mr Bailey but Mr Tiernan has been trespassing on it since April last.

Counsel told Mr Justice Michael Quinn on Tuesday the dispute had a long history.

A contract for a €4.6m sale of the lands had been entered into between the parties in 2006 but the sale was never completed.

That lead to High Court proceedings for alleged breach of contract, being brought against Mr Tiernan. In 2013, the court ordered Mr Bailey be paid €1.2m damages by Mr Tiernan, counsel said.

In 2018, Mr Tiernan sued Mr Bailey and filed a legal claim with the Property Registration Authority in respect of the lands. That action has not been progressed by Mr Tiernan, counsel said.

Last April, Mr Tiernan unlawfully entered the lands which he says have been used by another party, with consent of the late Mr Bailey, to graze sheep.

Counsel said Mr Tiernan has refused to leave the property, has used machinery to carry out works and in recent days has also burned scrub on the lands.

Counsel said a sign was also erected on the lands directing that all animals and feeding equipment be removed as Mr Tiernan was going to “spray weed killer which may be poisonous” in the coming days.

The estate fears application of week killer could have “disastrous consequences for the lands”, counsel said.

Mr Tiernan had not responded to the estate’s demands to leave the property, counsel said.

The court also heard that the name of Mr Tiernan, with addresses at Longfield Road, Forkhill, Newry, Co Armagh; Ann Street, Dundalk, Co Louth and Swanward Court, Parnell Road, Dublin 12, had featured at the Smithwick Tribunal.

Arising out of the references made about Mr Tiernan at that inquiry, the estate has concerns about Mr Tiernan, counsel said.

Spraying

That tribunal considered events surrounding the IRA killing of senior RUC officers Harry Breen and Robert Buchanan as they crossed the border in 1989.

The tribunal heard Mr Tiernan, along with former Detective Owen Corrigan, were kidnapped and beaten by the IRA in 1995.The tribunal concluded the two were abducted “because of a business transaction with the Provisional IRA which turned sour”.

The tribunal also said Mr Tiernan was believed to be involved in “large-scale smuggling” and was suspected of being involved in fraud.

Counsel said, while the estate was only seeking an interim order preventing the defendant spraying the land with weed killer, it intends to seek further orders at a later stage.

These include an order restraining Mr Tiernan from entering the lands, damages for trespass and declarations he is not allowed to enter or use the property.

The temporary injunction preventing the lands being sprayed was granted, on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Quinn.

The judge said he was satisfied to make the temporary order based on the evidence put before the court, including that a sign had been put up stating the lands were to be sprayed.

The judge adjourned the matter to early July.

Killiney-based Mr Bailey, who died in July 2019 following a long illness, was a well known Fine Gael Councillor who served on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, County Council for many years.

He was also the Chairman of the Dublin GAA County Board for a decade and a former intercounty referee. One of his children is the former FG TD for Dun Laoghaire, Maria Bailey.