Injunction sought to stop 'super' prison plan

 

A man who lives across the road from the proposed new prison at Thornton Hall in north Co Dublin has applied to the High Court for an injunction to stop works on the site.

Michael Kavanagh, who has lived in Kilsallaghan, Co Dublin, for all of his life, is also seeking an injunction to prevent the awarding of a tender for construction of the prison on the €29 million site.

In the application, which continues today before Mr Justice Thomas Smyth, Mr Kavanagh is seeking to prevent Minister for Justice Michael McDowell from taking any further steps to construct a "super" prison complex on the 150-acre site at Thornton Hall pending the full hearing of his legal challenge.

In an affidavit, Mr Kavanagh, a grandfather and retired Aer Lingus worker, said he has lived in Kilsallaghan for over 60 years and his mother's side goes back several generations in the area. He had reluctantly taken this action as circumstances were so compelling he believed he had no other option.

He said he was concerned that the intention of the Minister for Justice was to present the local community with a "fait accompli".

In his main action, Mr Kavanagh is seeking a declaration that the decision to develop the complex and the relocation of the Central Mental Hospital to the site was taken without carrying out an environmental assessment in accordance with EU directives.

He is also seeking a declaration that the National Development Plan 2007-2013 requires that an environmental assessment be carried out in accordance with the EU directive. He wants a further declaration that secondary treatment of waste water is required under EU directives in relation to waste treatment from the prison.