Aodhan O’Faolain

High Court proceedings that could have resulted in the imprisonment of persons protesting outside two beef processing plants have been struck out following an agreement between the factory owners and the protesters.

Mr. Justice Anthony Barr was informed on this morning’s vacation sitting of the court that proceedings brought by Dawn Meats seeking to attach and have several protesters committed to prison for the alleged breach of injunctions previously granted by the court could be struck out.

Separate proceedings brought by Liffey Meats, who had previously obtained injunctions preventing protesters from blockading three of its plants, were also struck out, on consent following an agreement reach between those parties.

Earlier this week, Dawn Meats secured permission from the court to bring motions seeking to attach and commit to prison 18 protesters at two of its beef plants for an alleged breach of court orders.

The plants in question were Dawn’s facilities at Rathdowney, Co. Laois, and Grannagh, Co. Kilkenny.

The company claimed that a number of persons had breached injunctions which prevented protesters from trespassing at the plants, blocking the entrances of the factories, and intimidating employees or visitors seeking to egress the facilities.

The 18 included nine “John Does” who are not named but who were specifically identified to Mr. Justice Anthony Barr in photographs taken at one of the plants.

Nine others associated with alleged breaches of a High Court injunction were named in the proceedings.

When the matter returned before the judge on Friday, Declan McGrath SC, appearing with Stephen Walsh Bl, for Dawn Meats, said following talks between the sides it had been agreed that the attachment and committal motions could be struck out.

In a separate action, Rory Mulcahy SC for Liffey Meats said proceedings brought by his client, where it was seeking injunctions preventing several individuals from unlawfully protesting, trespassing or intimidating customers, suppliers or staff at Liffey Meats plants, could on consent be struck out.

After striking out the matter the judge also granted Liffey Meats liberty to apply to the court should the need arise.