Farmer seeks to stop IDA from acquiring his land

A farmer has brought a High Court action today aimed at stopping the Industrial Development Authority from acquiring his land.

Today the court heard the IDA decided to acquire Mr Thomas Reid's property at Blakestown in Co Kildare, which it is seeking for a potential development, after he told them that he was not interested in selling up.

He and his family have worked the farm for generations.

His land adjoins both the Carton House Estate and the INTEL site in Leixlip, and Mr Reid does not believe that his lands are likely to be developed for industrial purposes.

In his action, Mr Reid claims that the IDA's decision to acquire his land, after he turned down their offer to buy his property, is flawed.

He claims it is in breach of his property rights on grounds including that sections of the act (The 1986 Industrial Development Act) which the authority says gives it the power to acquire Mr Reid's lands, are unconstitutional.

Today his counsel Patrick Butler SC told the court that the 1986 IDA act does not provide for an independent review of the decision to compulsorily acquire land or allow independent body with the power to refuse or permit compulsory acquisition by the IDA.

In proceedings against the IDA, Ireland and the attorney General Mr Reid (aged 51) of Hedsor House, Blakestown, Maynooth, Co Kildare is seeking a number of orders quashing the IDA's decision of November 23 last to compulsorily acquire his home, which contains a historical house which dates back to the 1700s.

He is also seeking various declarations including that provision of the 1986 Act are unconstitutional and that the IDA failed to engaged in an open and fair decision making process, and predetermined the selection of Mr Reid's property, before deciding to acquire his lands.

Permission to bring the action was granted by Mr Justice Michael Peart, who adjourned the action to date in March.

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