Fossa Rowing Club access case put back to let tempers cool

A farm family had no choice but to defend proceedings against a 123-year-old rowing club, some of whose members had “aggressively pursued” a claim for a right of way through the lands, a judge said yesterday.

Fossa Rowing Club access case put back to let tempers cool

Fossa Rowing Club has effectively been shut down after its members lost the claim last week, the court has been told. In 2011, it sued Cornelius A Dennehy for a right of way to a “magnificent” club house it built on the shores of Lough Leane in 2012 — before it had obtained a right of way, the Circuit Civil Court was told in Killarney last week.

The matter was adjourned to Tralee Circuit Civil Court to yesterday to decide on costs and to allow the sides to come up with an access arrangement. However, the period was too short, the court was told.

James Dwyer, counsel for Fossa Rowing Club, said it wanted time to clear the boat house and no order as to costs. There probably would be an appeal, and the status quo (ie pedestrian access) should remain in that event, Mr Dwyer suggested.

Elizabeth Murphy, for the Dennehys, said a period of some weeks was in order, to allow tempers to cool.

She would want 72 hours notice from the club to remove materials .

The issue of costs had been ventilated in July and named persons, five club trustees, put forward as plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs were named on documents and in court: Connie Daly, Scarteen, Aghadoe; Kathleen O’Sullivan, Crohane, Fossa; Mike Sheehan, Ards, Fossa; Angela Daly, Scarteen, Aghadoe; and Pat Talbot, Aghadoe.

The July hearing was told costs at that stage had reached €150,000.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan said he would award costs to the Dennehys against the named plaintiffs, who could go back to the club on the matter and would put a stay in the event of an appeal. However he might take a different “tack” and might put a permanent stay on the costs, if no appeal to the High Court was pursued.

The Dennehys, who had lodged a counter claim, were entitled to costs, he added.

Judge O’Sullivan said “the status quo cannot remain”. The club had no right to go down the lands and had to seek permission, and if people started to go down, Ms Murphy was entitled to look for an injunctions.

A 72-hour notice will have to be given by the club to go through the lands on a defined area to remove material and the matter put back for eight weeks to allow for cooling off.

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