Peace in High Court action involving protesters and meat plants

By Aodhan O’Faolain

Peace has broken out at all Dawn Meats factories affected by the beef price blockade after the High Court heard today, Friday, August 30, that permanent orders restraining trespass and intimidation could be made with the consent of named protesters who had taken part in disruptive nation-wide protests.

Similar consent orders were made against named protesters blockading plants owned by ABP and Slaney Meats.

Brian O’Moore SC told the court that consent permanent orders could be made against named defendants.

Mr. Justice Charles Meenan was told a compromise had been reached between named protesters and Dawn Meats, ABP and Slaney Meats which earlier this week obtained temporary restraints against protesters and was today seeking to attach and commit to prison one particular protester Seamus (otherwise Mex) Delahunty, of Mooncoin, Co. Kilkenny.

Lyndon MacCann SC, who appeared with barrister Stephen Walsh for Dawn, said a motion against Delahunty seeking to attach and commit him to prison for breaching of High Court orders could be struck out by consent.

MacCann said consent orders permanently restraining Delahunty and Declan Ryan, Liam Cunningham, James Kennedy, John Hassett, Michael Power, James O’Shea and Tom Fitzpatrick could be made by the court by consent of the named defendants with no orders for costs.

The orders restrain all of them from impeding, obstructing, hindering or in any way interfering, directly or indirectly, with access to or egress from Dawn factories at: Grannagh, Co. Waterford; Meadow Meats, Rathdowney, Co. Laois; Hazel Hill, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo; Ardnageehy, Charleville, Co. Cork; and Greenhills, Beaupark, Slane, Co. Meath.

The orders not only permanently restrain the named defendants in the proceedings but apply to their respective servants or agents or any persons acting in concert with them or with knowledge of the making of the orders, restraining such people from engaging in conduct that is intimidating or abusive of Dawn Meats staff or customers and suppliers and at factories owned by ABP and Slaney Meats.

A solicitor for Delahunty said there had been some confusion as at least three people by the name of Delahunty in Mooncoyne were also known as “Mex” and added that papers had been served in error on an uncle of Delahunty.

Judge Meenan said the attitude of Delahunty was entirely appropriate and the correct way to deal with the application before the court.

“A considerable amount of common sense has broken out,” Judge Meenan said.

He made the orders requested by Dawn Meats, ABP and Slaney Meats and consented to by named defendants and granted all of them should protests continue, liberty to apply to the court.

Earlier this week the High Court had granted Dawn Meats, ABP and Slaney Meats temporary injunctions restraining named defendants from intimidating suppliers and staff or continuing to blockade factories.

The court had heard that the blockades were threatening the putting in place of a multi-million-euro export deal with China whose hygiene and processing inspectors had eventually been allowed into the factories.