Beef Protests: TD told he has no right to speak on behalf of protesters in court

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Ray Managh

A TD, who interrupted High Court proceedings against a number of beef plant protesters today by claiming to make representations on their behalf, was told by a judge he had no right of audience in the court.

Peadar Tobin, the Meath West TD, stood up in the public gallery during the call-over of cases and said he wished to inform the court that some named defendants had not been served with and had no knowledge of the proceedings against them in relation to a protest at Liffey Meats, Ballinasloe.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr told Tobin he had no right to speak on their behalf and the politician left the court shortly afterwards without further attempt to participate in the proceedings. Judge Barr said that in any case he would be ensuring proper service had been made on anyone against whom the court contemplated making any orders.

Rory Mulcahy SC, who appeared with barrister Padraic Lyons for Liffey Meats Cavan and several other Liffey Meats franchises, told Judge Barr his client would not be proceeding today (Tuesday) against the defendants in whom Mr Tobin had expressed an interest. They will be facing injunctive applications on Friday next.

Judge Barr granted permanent consent orders restraining three other defendants, Trevor Pearson, Michael Shannon and Paul Murphy, from unlawfully protesting, trespassing or intimidating customers, suppliers or staff at Liffey Meats plants. The three were represented by barrister Patricia Hill and James Staines solicitor.

As well as being restrained from impeding access to or egress from Liffey Meats properties the trio were also restrained from entering any of the plants and recording or photographing anyone entering or leaving the plants and from publishing any material capable of identifying any such person.

Mr Mulcahy told the court that his clients were undertaking not to pursue Pearson, Shannon and Murphy for costs or damages to date as sought in summonses against them.

Judge Barr also granted consent permanent orders prohibiting unlawful protest by eight individuals against whom the Kepak group of companies had obtained temporary injunctions last week in relation factories at Ennis, Co Clare; Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath;  Athleague, Co Roscommon and Clonee, Co Meath. 

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Judge Barr was told by barrister Anthony Thullier that Kepak would not pursue the defendants for damages following their undertaking but no such undertaking was given in relation to Beef Plan Movement Company Limited who, although not fettered with restraining injunctions, is a defendant in this and a number of other proceedings by Kepak, Liffey Meats and Dawn Meats.

All orders restrain the named protesters and anyone acting with them or who has knowledge of the court orders from engaging in unlawful protests at meat plants.

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