Court grants injunction against former landowner in row over data centre land

Court Grants Injunction Against Former Landowner In Row Over Data Centre Land Court Grants Injunction Against Former Landowner In Row Over Data Centre Land
Brian McDonagh allegedly repeatedly trespassed on the lands, cut the locks of the gates and replaced them with his own locks. Photo: File image
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High court reporters

The High Court has granted a temporary injunction preventing the former owner of lands earmarked for a data centre from trespassing on the property. 

The order was made in favour of Fane Investments Limited which alleges that Mr Brian McDonagh, who it says is a former owner of lands it owns at Mount Kennedy, Kilpedder in Co Wicklow is allegedly trespassing and allegedly interfering with the 82-acre property.
The court heard that while the lands are currently green fields used for grazing animals, planning permission for a data centre has been obtained for the site.
It claims that Mr McDonagh has been allegedly changing locks on the gates and has allegedly impeded Fane, and its agents from accessing the lands.
The temporary injunction restraining Mr McDonagh from trespassing on or interfering with the lands was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Ms Justice Nuala Butler at the High Court on Thursday.
The judge said that based on the evidence before the court she was satisfied to make the order against Mr McDonagh. The injunction proceedings will return before the High Court later this month.
Represented by Frederick Gilligan Bl, instructed by solicitor Carrie McDermott of MDM Solicitors, Fane claims that it acquired the lands from Ulster Bank in 2021.
That sale was not challenged, counsel said, adding that his client has leased the lands to local farmers to graze livestock.
Counsel said that Mr McDonagh has repeatedly trespassed on the lands, cut the locks of the gates and replaced them with his own locks. This has interfered with the rights of his client, and the farmers who have leased the property, counsel said.
Complaints have been made to the Gardaí, counsel added.


In the latest incident Fane tried to have a disused portacabin removed from the lands, but had difficulty in accessing the property, because it is claimed Mr McDonagh parked his vehicle in front of a gate accessing the site.
Counsel said that in correspondence Mr McDonagh has claimed that the lands are his, and that the portacabin was a food store for animals grazing the lands.  Counsel said that Mr McDonagh has also claimed in correspondence that his wife and her family graze their livestock on the lands.
Mr McDonagh claimed in his correspondence that the persons who had come to remove the store had damaged the container and that any attempt to remove it or interfere with the welfare of the livestock would be reported by him to the Gardaí.

Counsel said that his client had sought an undertaking from Mr McDonagh not to interfere with the lands, however, none had been forthcoming resulting in the bringing of the injunction application.

Counsel said while there was a long legal history concerning the site, the lands are registered to his client, and Mr McDonagh from Drummin, Delgany, Co Wicklow has "no business" being on the property. 
Counsel said Mr McDonagh and his brothers Maurice and Kenneth had been involved in lengthy proceedings concerning the lands with Ulster Bank and receivers it appointed over the property. 
That action had been resolved in the banks' and the receiver's favour by the Court of Appeal last April.

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