Sunday 11 December 2016

'Anglo Avenger' jailed over Stonehenge stunt

Aoife Finneran

Published 03/12/2011 | 05:00

'Anglo Avenger' Joe McNamara leaving the High Court
yesterday after he was jailed for four days. Photo: COURTPIX
'Anglo Avenger' Joe McNamara leaving the High Court yesterday after he was jailed for four days. Photo: COURTPIX
The Stonehenge-type structure on Achill Island

THE man dubbed the 'Anglo Avenger' has been jailed for four nights after the construction of a Stonehenge-type structure on Achill Island.

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Property developer Joe McNamara (41), was found to be in contempt of a court order requiring him to cease working on what Mayo County Council say is an unauthorised and unlawful development.

Mr McNamara's barrister said his client's construction was intended to be "a place of reflection" on the island.

Mr Justice Roderick Murphy ordered that as Mr McNamara was not prepared to purge his contempt he must remain in Mountjoy prison until next Tuesday.

Mr McNamara, with addresses at Achill Island, Co Mayo, and Salthill, Co Galway, hit the headlines last year when he drove a cement lorry with the words "Anglo" and "toxic bank" at the gates of Leinster House. He was acquitted of charges of criminal damage and dangerous driving.

Yesterday, the High Court, Dublin, heard that Mr McNamara was asked by the council's planning officers last Friday to stop the works but had continued with them. The judge ruled that after being served with an order to desist, Mr McNamara had continued work on the structure.

Pat Butler, counsel for the local authority, said that his client had obtained an injunction on November 26, requiring Mr McNamara to stop work on the structure.

A letter containing the order was hand-delivered to Mr McNamara around noon on the following day.

Mr Butler said that when Mr McNamara was served with the order, approximately 24 concrete columns had been built. The next day council officials noted that six more columns had been added.

Mr McNamara opposed the council's application, claiming he was unaware of the contents of the order. In an affidavit he said he put the envelope containing the order "in the back of his jeep" and did not read it until "later that night". He apologised for his actions.

Contempt

He claimed the structure, which the court heard was intended to be "a place of reflection", was exempted under current planning regulations.

Mr Justice Murphy said he was satisfied that Mr McNamara had been properly served and had continued working in contempt of the court order.

The matter will come before the courts again on Wednesday.

Irish Independent

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