'I've no choice' - Farmer agrees to stay away from land at centre of dispute after 'spending few hours in Mountjoy'

John Kinsella pictured leaving the Four Courts in Dublin recently. Pic: Collins
John Kinsella pictured leaving the Four Courts in Dublin recently. Pic: Collins

Aodhan O'Faolain

A farmer who was jailed over his refusal to obey a High Court injunction not to trespass on or come within 100m of lands in Co Wexford has walked free from the Four Courts after he agreed to abide by the terms of the order.

Mr John Kinsella, who had spent a few hours in Mountjoy Prison, was released from custody after he gave undertakings before Mr Justice Charles Meenan to comply with orders in respect of lands at Lodgewood in Ferns.

Last Friday the High Court directed the Gardai to arrest Mr Kinsella, who was not present in court and commit him to prison due to his failure to comply with the orders obtained against him by vegetable grower John B.Dockrell Ltd which owns the land.

Mr Kinsella, who previously owned the land, presented himself at Mountjoy Prison on Wednesday morning, before going before Mr Justice Meenan to purge his contempt on Wednesday afternoon.

The judge directed that he be released after he told Mr Kinsella that the court required "a straight yes or no" if he was going to comply with the order.

Mr Kinsella said he had "no choice" other than to comply.

The Judge, after Benedict Ó Flionn Bl for John B Dockrell said that obstructions in the form of a trailer and rocks were preventing access to and from the land, made orders allowing the obstructions to be removed.

When Mr Kinsella said the trailer "isn't mine"  the judge said he didn't have to worry about it, and representatives of the owner could remove it.

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The Judge, who was also told Mr Kinsella intends to contest the orders against him, adjourned the case to a date in October.

Mr Kinsella was brought before the High Court late last month by Gardai for failing to comply with the orders.

Mr Kinsella was released from Garda custody and the case adjourned so he could consider the legal documents and seek legal advice after he gave a sworn undertaking to comply with the orders until the matter returned before the Court.

Last Friday when the matter returned before the High Court Counsel said there had been further interference with the lands and Mr Kinsella's vehicles had blocked the entrances to the land.

Mr Kinsella did not attend the hearing. Mr Justice Bernard Barton then made an order directing that Mr Kinsella be committed to prison.

The orders, which were granted last April,  prevent Mr Kinsella of Ballywilliamroe, Marshalstown, Enniscorthy. from coming within 100 metres of lands, from interfering with the property, and from blocking and impeding any entrances to the lands.

The company sought the orders because it has been unable to access approximately 150 acres of land the firm purchased in June 2017  in Ferns, Co Wexford due to Mr Kinsella's actions.

The company of Monroe, Screen, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, says Mr Kinsella entered the lands without its permission and has illegally has ploughed the lands.

It also claimed gates have been chained and large concrete blocks impede movements on the lands and vehicles were used to block the entrance to the lands from the outside.

Large signs referring to "Vulture Funds and land grabbers"  and threatening that "trespassers will be shot" have been erected on farmland, the court also heard.

Online Editors

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