Monday 26 June 2017

Traveller from Dale Farm sues UK council over eviction injury

Barry Duggan

A Traveller is suing an English council which evicted over 80 families from the controversial Dale Farm site.

Patrick Egan (47), who is from Rathkeale, Co Limerick, has emerged as one of the ringleaders of the small Essex community which is continuing courtroom battles with Basildon Council following last month's eviction.

Mr Egan -- along with another Rathkeale man, Daniel Gammell (39) -- has now brought the cause of the Dale Farm community to the European Parliament in a bid to halt the site clearance.

Mr Egan, who is from Abbey Court, Rathkeale, but is based in Brussels, where he runs a company which sprays a protective coating on roof tiles, is suing Basildon Council for personal injuries. He claims to have broken his leg while carrying out an inspection of the perimeter of his property.

He is also seeking compensation for damage to his home, 'Dale Farm Cottage' and personal property, including a TV worth £6,000 (€6,970).

Mr Egan further claims the electricity to his cottage was cut off during the evictions, leading to a large quantity of frozen food defrosting.

Earlier this year, Mr Egan and Mr Gammell went to the European Parliament in Brussels where they successfully sought the assistance of South Essex MEP Richard Howitt.

The two men requested Mr Howitt use his influence to establish if Basildon Council was breaching human rights legislation. Mr Howitt asked that the issue be raised with the European Parliament's Human Rights Committee, but the eviction proceeded last month.

Mr Egan, who has also used the name 'Patrick Gore', owns the Dale Farm cottage which gave its name to the controversial site.

Plots

He paid £60,000 (€69,700) in cash for the home in 2004. The house had planning permission and he divided the garden into three plots for mobile homes. He was not evicted last month, but some of his relatives were.

Among Mr Egan's previous jobs were painting work on the HMS Belfast, renovating the facade of the Iranian embassy in London and selling three-piece suites.

As the evictions of over 80 families gathered pace over recent months, Mr Egan put his name forward in one of the High Court battles against Basildon Council. As well as his personal injury claim, Mr Egan has also initiated legal action against Basildon Council for damage to his property, including the front wall of his home, during the evictions.

Mr Gammell is from Pound Lane, Rathkeale. He works as a painter and decorator. His wife, Mary lived at an illegal site on Dale Farm since 2004 and often used her maiden name -- Gore.

The couple were married in 1999 and in the same year, the names Daniel and Mary Gammell went on the deeds of a large home at Ballywilliam, Rathkeale.

Separately, John 'Porkey' Sheridan (35), whose deceased father constructed a large home in the Monk's Hill area of Rathkeale, is receiving free legal aid in his appeal case with the Basildon Council over housing.

John Sheridan is the brother-in-law of Dale Farm spokesman Richard Sheridan, who claimed no Travellers in Dale Farm owned any property in Rathkeale.

Irish Independent

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