Clare County Council has secured a High Court injunction restraining the use of a new cabin office at Doolin Harbour for the sale of ferry-ride tickets.
The order was granted by Mr Justice David Keane yesterday, who also placed a one week stay on the injunction coming into effect to allow sea and coastal ferry owners Dick Grant and his company, Sarahfenn Limited, and Liam O’Brien, and his company, Baid Farantoireachta an Chosta Teoranta, to take various steps.
Clare County Council sought an injunction, which is to remain in place until the dispute has been resolved by the High Court, restraining ticket sales from the new cabin on the grounds that it had been erected without planning permission.
The respondents had opposed the action.
Giving judgment, Mr Justice Keane said he was satisfied all the criteria for granting an injunction in favour of the council had been met.
The judge allowed a one week stay on the order. He adjourned the matter of costs to a date in the new legal term. The court heard the council will ultimately seek, at the full trial of the action, the removal of the cabin.
When the matter previously came before the court last week, James Connolly, counsel for Clare County Council, said the provision on the pier of an “unauthorised cabin structure” was a matter of great concern for the local authority which was protecting the public interest through the planning regulations.
Helen Quinn, a senior executive in Clare County Council’s planning, economic development and tourism department, stated that Mr O’Brien and his company, like Mr Grant’s ferry company, engaged in sea and coastal water transport to and from Doolin Harbour.
There had been a history of enforcement action taken by the planning authority with respect to unauthorised developments undertaken by various rival ferry operators, the court heard.
Ms Quinn said that in May, the cabin was erected in the harbour without the consent of the council and was being used as a commercial ticket sales office, advertisement structure and shop.
She told the court the move was symptomatic of the competition between rival ferry operators for the purpose of providing a second ticket office for one over others in a jockeying for trade.
Previously all traders had to share a single ticket sales facility. Mr Grant, through his solicitor, had claimed ownership of the cabin, and claimed there was an historical legal agreement that meant it could remain on the pier.
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