Jarvey firm takes licence battle to High Court

A row over the issuing of additional jarvey licences in tourist town Killarney has been brought to the High Court.

Killarney Jaunting Cars Ltd has brought proceedings arising out of what it claims is the Killarney Town Council’s failure to deal with its request to either issue new licenses, or re-issue expired ones, allowing the operation of horse-drawn carriages in the Co Kerry town.

The company currently holds eight of the 37 licences, issued by the council. The operation of a horse-drawn carriage service in Killarney without a licence is an offence under local by laws.

The licence is also a prerequisite for jarveys seeking a permit from the National Parks and Wildlife Service to bring passengers into Killarney National Park.

Yesterday, the High Court heard Killarney Jaunting Cars gets most of its business from tour operators, local hotels and internet bookings, and there has been an extra demand for jarvey services in recent years.

Killarney Jaunting Cars claims to satisfy the demand it made a request to Killarney Town Council, whose functions have since been taken over by Kerry County Council, in respect of obtaining extra licences. The company says the council failed to deal with its requests.

In its action, Killarney Jaunting Cars claims by failing to deal with its applications, the local authority has breached its duties and has acted unlawfully.

The company wants the High Court to order the council to determine anually the number of licences for horse-drawn hackney carriages in accordance with the law and the legitimate expectation of Killarney Jaunting Cars Ltd.

It also seeks several declarations including the council has acted contrary to natural justice by failing to either re-issue licences that have expired or had lapsed The council has opposed the action and has urged the court to dismiss the case.

Opening the case, David Sutton SC, said his client, after making inquiries about getting additional licences in 2012, made applications in 2013. Counsel told the court that application was met “with silence.”

Mr Sutton said the company made representations in 2014, but again nothing was done. For 2015, the council informed the company it decided some weeks ago not to issue additional licence after the tourist season.

The hearing before Judge Max Barrett continues.


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