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Saturday 18 August 2018

Man to be jailed over his refusal to not trespass on farmland at centre of bitter row

Large signs referring to 'Vulture Funds and land grabbers' and threatening that 'trespassers will be shot' have been erected on the farmland

John Kinsella as he is escorted to the holding cells in the nearby Bridewell garda station at an earlier date in relation to the case. Photo: CourtPix
John Kinsella as he is escorted to the holding cells in the nearby Bridewell garda station at an earlier date in relation to the case. Photo: CourtPix

Aodhan O Faolain and Ray Managh

The High Court has jailed a farmer over his refusal to obey orders not to trespass on or come within 100m of lands in Co Wexford.

Mr Justice Bernard Barton said he was satisfied that Mr John Kinsella was "continuously flouting" orders previously granted by the Court in respect of lands at Lodgewood in Ferns, and was in contempt of court.

The Judge directed that the Gardai arrest Mr Kinsella, who was not present in court, and commit him to prison until he is prepared to purge his contempt by agreeing to comply with the orders.

Mr Kinsella was brought before the High Court late last month by Gardai arising out of his failure to comply with an injunction obtained against him by vegetable grower John B.Dockrell Ltd which owns the lands.

After spending some hours in Garda custody Mr Kinsella, who was not legally represented, was released and the case was adjourned so he could consider the legal documents and take advice. 

It was adjourned, following a request by Mr Kinsella, after he gave a sworn undertaking to comply with the orders until the matter returned before the Court. 

When the case returned before the Court on Friday Mr Justice Barton was told by Benedict Ó Flionn Bl for John B Dockrell that Mr Kinsella was not present, nor represented in court.

Counsel said there had been further interference with the lands since the matter had last been before the court.

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Counsel said on Friday morning Mr Kinsella's vehicles were blocking the entrances to the land.

Counsel said Mr Kinsella was fully aware the matter was due before the court to deal with his contempt, and no attempt had been made by him to address matters.

Mr Justice Barton said there could be "no doubt whatsoever that Mr Kinsella knew the case was adjourned to Friday's sitting of the court", and had not turned up.

The Judge accepted that Mr Kinsella had not dealt with the allegations that he was in contempt, and had continued to be in breach of the orders made against the farmer.

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.

The company claims Mr Kinsella's actions have caused it a financial loss.

The court heard that Mr Kinsella said in a letter to the company's solicitor that he "did not recognise" the High Court's or land registry's functions, adding that both entities "appear to employ and utilise admitted corrupt judicial functions".

Mr Kinsella also stated in his letter that he "called a tribal counsel (sic) namely a Hy Cinnsealach of family and friends to a tribunal" the day the plaintiff "broke into my lands and uprooted acres of "our communal crop."

The letter added that the tribunal adjudicated that John B Dockrell "again trespassed on my land and caused damage to acres of our communal crop" which did "not sit well with me nor the communal tribes."

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