Couple may be able to hold wedding reception on halting site within weeks

Last Wednesday, the marquee where 40 guests were to be entertained following a marriage ceremony in Co Armagh was dismantled
Couple may be able to hold wedding reception on halting site within weeks

Michael and Johanna Connors had erected a marquee, capable of entertaining 60 people, beside their home at No 3 Burton Park, Leopardstown Road, Dublin 8, but when the wedding party turned up on Wednesday afternoon they found the marquee being dismantled by a contractor in the presence of a significant force of gardaí. Picture: Colin Keegan

A newly married couple, whose wedding reception plans were disrupted by a court order because of Covid-19 regulations, may be able to celebrate with their guests in a few weeks.

Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin told Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on Friday she would not continue wedding celebration restraints at a halting site at the couple’s parent’s Co Dublin home until the end of June.

“The Government plans to review Covid-19 restrictions on June 10 so I will continue existing restraints only until June 9,” the judge told Niall Flynn, counsel for the local authority.

Last Wednesday the council, on foot of court injunctions, had the marquee dismantled. Michael and Johanna Connors had hoped to entertain their son and new daughter-in-law’s 40 guests there following a marriage ceremony in Co Armagh early that day.

They had erected a marquee, capable of entertaining 60 people, beside their home at No 3 Burton Park, Leopardstown Road, Dublin 8, but when the wedding party turned up on Wednesday afternoon they found the marquee being dismantled by a contractor in the presence of a significant force of gardaí.

Mr Flynn, who appeared with Liz Neary solicitor for the council, told Judge Ní Chúlacháin the local authority wanted an injunction continued until the end of June restraining the Connors from holding any wedding reception at the marquee site.

It similarly wanted the continuation of a Circuit Civil Court order restraining them from erecting any further such structures on the site.

Judge Ní Chúlacháin declined to issue directions as to discovery of the identity of the owner of the marquee and told Dún Laoghaire Rathdown it could keep it in storage until the matter comes before the court again on June 9.

Gardaí and contractors remove the wedding marquee at Burton Park, Leopardstown on Wednesday afternoon. Picture Colin Keegan
Gardaí and contractors remove the wedding marquee at Burton Park, Leopardstown on Wednesday afternoon. Picture Colin Keegan

On Wednesday, Mr Flynn told the court Mr Connors had said he knew he and his wife were breaching tenancy and Covid-19 rules and regulations but the reception would go ahead. 

When told by a council official that he was breaching Covid-19 rules, Connors replied: “I know all that. I know I’m breaching my tenancy but it’s my sons’s wedding and he has no other place to go.” He said he accepted the consequences of not taking down the marquee.

Judge Ní Chúlacháin on Wednesday had stated she noticed from photographs there were 11 tables surrounded by chairs in the marquee, enough chairs to accommodate more than 60 people.

Mr Flynn had said the council was also concerned about the lack of insurance cover for the proposed wedding reception last Wednesday.

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