Tuesday 20 August 2019

Seven agree to leave vacant Arbour Hill premises, High Court hears

Stock picture
Stock picture

Tim Healy

Seven people who say they have been involved in cleaning up a vacant, dilapidated and rubbish-strewn north Dublin property have agreed before the High Court to vacate the premises.

Provided the seven leave 49A-51 Arbour Hill within 14 days, an application for legal costs against them by the owners of the building over an injunction for alleged trespass will be waived,  the court heard.

However, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said he was granting an order for costs against all other unidentified people in occupation, who did not turn up in court.

The undertaking was given today by: Anthony Brophy, Conor Geraghty, Aoife Kavanagh, Clare Lyons, Thomas Little, Ailish Kerr and Michael Somers, who said they were resident in the buildings.

The owners, Julian Khan, Arona Khan, Ronald Khan, and David Elliot, were granted injunctions preventing trespass on the property which the court heard is being sold and has planning permission for 25 housing units.

One of the seven, Mr Brophy, told the court that before they moved in the property it subjected to vandalism, used for drug taking and used by "unsavoury" characters.

"Since we came, this has all come to a halt", he said.

Neighbouring residents had come to accept them and gardai were satisfied they were not causing any hassle or running amok, he said.

Clare Lyons said there had been considerable fly tipping and the building had been allowed to become degraded.   She also said they had made reasonable efforts to contact people identified with the property and had tried to be as co-operative as possible.

Paul Coughlan BL, for the owners, said his clients had sought vacant possession so that the property could be sold immediately.   It was at sale agreed stage, he said.

The court heard the owners learned of the occupation from a neighbour on October 1 last and despite security men being sent to the property, as well as communications with certain occupants, they refused to vacate.  At one stage, there was an offer from the occupants to put in place insurance and pay a nominal rent of €1 per week, but this was refused.

Mr Justice Gilligan, who told the seven the court appreciated they had participated in the court process, said as there was no issue as to ownership.

There was planning permission for a significant development of 21 two-bed units and four three-bed units in what was being describe as a "vibrant city quarter" with excellent development potential, he said.

He was satisfied to grant orders for possession and restraining trespass. 

The possession order means the City Sheriff can move without any further orders against any illegal occupants should it not be vacated within two weeks, the court heard.

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