Sunday 22 April 2018

Man charged with obstructing Irish Water brings High Court challenge aimed at halting prosecution

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Aodhan O'Faolain

A MAN charged with obstructing Irish Water has brought a High Court challenge aimed at halting his prosecution.

Stephen Bennett (44), of Pearse Green Sallynoggin, Dublin, is facing charges before both Dublin and Dun Laoghaire District Courts under section 12 of the Water Service Act 2007, for obstructing the company exercising its powers.

In his High Court action against the DPP, he wants to stop his prosecution.

Mr Bennett, represented by Michael Ó Higgins SC, claims the DPP has no power to prosecute the offences under the 2007 Act.

The matter came before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys who granted permission to him to bring the challenge.

Mr O'Higgins told the court the Water Services Act provides that offences under this legislation may be brought by a water services authority.

The only entity that can bring summary proceedings under the Act is a water services authority, he said.

The DPP is not a water services authority,, he said. The prosecutions have no lawful basis, and they should be prohibited, it was submitted.

The DPP argued permission to bring the challenge should not be granted.  The DPP was fully entitled to proceed to prosecute Mr Bennett.

The matter comes back before the court next month.

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