'Protesters' activities outside greyhound stadium are lawful', High Court told

People protesting outside Shelbourne Park over the greyhound industry have not engaged in any unlawful activity, the High Court has been told.

'Protesters' activities outside greyhound stadium are lawful', High Court told

A number of people who have been outside Shelbourne Park stadium in Dublin's Harold's Cross protesting over the greyhound industry have not engaged in any unlawful activity, the High Court has been told.

The protesters' lawyer complained to the court today they had never been notified by the stadium operators of their intention to seek an injunction restricting protests, which was granted on a temporary basis last Friday.

Had the stadium owner's concerns been brought to their attention, they would have been prepared to discuss it with them, senior counsel for three of them, Peter Bland, told the court today when the case was adjourned on consent for two weeks.

Mr Bland said his clients were law-abiding responsible citizens "who have not engaged in unlawful activity" and had never caused any difficulty to the stadium owners or the gardaí.

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds said she granted the interim injunction on Friday because it was an urgent matter where there had been a serious threat to residents in the locality.

The protests began earlier this year following an RTE television exposé of certain practices in the greyhound industry.

The court heard on Friday Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium Ltd sought the injunction after leaflets were put through the doors of local residents encouraging them "to help shut down the stadium".

The leaflet said residents have "sat on the fence too long", and it was "time to act". If they failed to act "severe measures" will be taken against them and their property, it said.

The leaflet added: "We do not want blood on our hands, do you?” and "We are outside Shelbourne Park every Saturday night, join us."

The injunction, preventing interference with access to the stadium and restricting protests to 50 metres from the entrance, was made against "persons unknown" and five named individuals.

The five were: Laura Broxson and Tawnie Ocampo of Burnell Green, Northern Cross, Malahide, Co Dublin, Catherine Wood of East Wall Ringsend, and Conor Brady and Noiren Carrigg both of Carnoustie, Annaghlong, Gorey, in Co Wexford.

Ms Justice Reynolds said yesterday she was very mindful of the fact the defendants had not been put on notice of the injunction application, but she had had granted it because of the urgency of the matter, with race meetings due to take place over the weekend, and the fact there was little gardai could do without a court order.

The judge said that pending a full hearing, the matter could be dealt with by way of undertakings, rather than a continuing injunction, from the named defendants. She suggested discussions between the parties.

Following discussions however, she was told no agreement on undertakings had been reached and all five named defendants wanted time to put in replying affidavits. The judge adjourned it for two weeks.

She was also told there was consent between the sides to join a sixth person as a defendant when the case comes back.

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