Supreme Court backs farmer and halts State compulsory purchase order

Kildare farmer Thomas Reid has won a lengthy legal battle with the IDA over a compulsory purchase of his family’s land.

The decision today (Thursday) comes within days of farmers in Roscommon farmers putting plans for the Galway section of the Dublin to Galway Greenway on hold, after they objected to the greenway going through their private land.

Reid sued the IDA and the State after the IDA notified him of its intention to acquire the land which is in the vicinity of Intel’s Leixlip site in Co.Kildare.

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the High Court’s decision and ruled the compulsory purchase could not go ahead.

The 72-acre farm in question is located at Blakestown in Co. Kildare and has been in the Reid family since 1904.

In its judgement, the Supreme Court said the IDA had never denied that it had no particular industrial undertaking in mind for the lands.

It also said the authority was trying to create a land bank and added that the law did not give any power to the IDA to acquire lands not required for immediate use.

The court also ruled that as IDA Chairman Liam O’Mahony was also a director of a company who acted as consultants to the IDA and produced a report on land options in the area for the IDA could give rise to a ‘perception of bias’ even though there was no allegation of actual bias.

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