By Aodhan O’Faolain

Dawn Meats has been granted permission by the High Court to serve copies of motions seeking to attach and commit to prison 18 protesters at two of its beef plants for breach of court orders.

The 18 include nine ‘John Does’ who are not named but who were specifically identified to Mr. Justice Anthony Barr by photographs taken at one of the plants.

Nine others associated with alleged breaches outside the Grannagh, Co. Kilkenny plant, just outside Waterford city, were named in the proceedings.

Declan McGrath SC, for Dawn Meats, told the court that in one instance a copy of a court order was taken down by one of the men and burned.

McGrath was granted short service of an ex parte application – where only one side was represented in court – seeking to attach and commit the defendants. Judge Barr made the applications returnable to Friday morning, September 4.

Counsel said temporary injunctions had been granted by the court earlier and permanent restraints granted on consent of named defendants last week. The permanent orders had been breached since those orders were made, he added.

McGrath said that at 11:10am on Tuesday, September 3, a laminated copy of court orders had been affixed to a pole at the Rathdowney, Co. Laois, plant after defendants refused to accept service.

“A man had ripped the order from the pole and we have photographs of that taking place,” McGrath said. He said the protesters concerned were undoubtedly aware of the content of the orders concerned.

He said Dawn Meats did not wish to see anyone jailed but had suffered considerable losses because of the blockades. He said Dawn Meats representatives also had a photograph of the man burning the order made by the court.

McGrath said the company was also seeking short service of proceedings relating to the Grannagh plant.

Nine individuals had been photographed and were clearly identified, although the company had been unable to get their names.

Judge Barr granted leave to serve today’s orders by affixing copies of the orders to wooden placards and wooden notice boards at the sites.

He said he was concerned about the safety of summons servers who may be drawn into a situation of conflict and directed that service could also be made by posting the court orders on the Dawn Meats website.

The attachment and committal applications were returned to Friday.