Firm has ‘no right’ to be on site

A civil engineering firm is unlawfully occupying a site in Ringsend, Dublin, close to the Poolbeg power-generating station, in a dispute over payment for works carried out, the High Court heard yesterday. 

The National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) has brought a High Court action against Francis Dolan Plant Limited, trading as Dolan Civil Engineering & Demolition, which it claims has been in unlawful occupation of a site known as the ESB Oil Farm, at Poolbeg, in Dublin 4, for the last week.

NORA is the body responsible for ensuring Ireland meets its EU and International Energy Agency obligation to keep a minimum of a 90-day stock of oil for use in the event of a shortage.

NORA is seeking injunctions compelling Francis Dolan Plant to vacate the site and to remove all its equipment, machinery, plant, and property. It is also seeking orders from the court preventing the engineering firm from trespassing on the lands, causing a nuisance at the site, and from interfering with access to the site by either blocking the roadway or gate.

The court heard today that NORA had engaged Francis Dolan Plant to carry out works on the site, under a €1.9m contract, which had been terminated.

Barrister Marcus Dowling, counsel for NORA, told High Court president, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, that, a week ago, the company, which claims it is owed money by NORA for work, occupied the site, which it had no entitlement to do.

NORA is seeking court orders compelling Francis Dolan Plant to vacate the site, for health and safety reasons, and alleges there is a clause in the contract requiring any disputes to be settled by arbitration. Francis Dolan Plant claims it is owed monies for works completed before the contract was terminated in July, and alleges there was “radio silence” from NORA in respect of its claim for payment. Francis Dolan Plant disputes the urgency of the matter and says it would take a week for it to remove its plant and equipment.

Judge Kelly, who expressed a desire that the two parties come to “a sensible commercial resolution” of the dispute, adjourned the case for a week.


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