Man who erected wedding marquee at Traveller halting site refused to take it down when asked by officials, court hears

A DAD who had a marquee erected at a Traveller halting site to accommodate his son’s wedding reception refused to take it down when approached by council officials, a court was told.

Cork City Council applied in the Cork Circuit Court today for an injunction order to have the structure taken down and in the event of it being re-erected that Council officials can enter the site to remove and retain it.

Marquee erected at the Meelagh halting site in Mahon, Cork city

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Marquee erected at the Meelagh halting site in Mahon, Cork city

Judge Sean O’Donnabhain was told that the wedding reception marquee was erected at No 3, Meelagh Halting Site, a vacant bay, which the council planned to fill soon.

Barrister Meg Burke, for the local authority, said James and Julia Keenan of 7 Meelagh had the marquee erected by an unnamed company from Tipperary.

James Keenan told officials that the marquee was to facilitate his son’s wedding reception as he was getting married in Shannon on Saturday.

The couple were returning to Cork for a family reception which would accommodate 40 people, in contravention of the Covid-19 health regulations.

Ms Burke said Keenan refused to take down the structure, saying he had spent a lot of money on his son’s reception.

It’s understood the tent cost €1,200 to erect.

RULING NEEDED

She said she was informed this morning that the marquee had been taken down but she said the Council wanted to ensure it would not be re-erected over the weekend.

She said: “It was erected on Wednesday and has come down overnight. I understand it has been taken away.”

She said there were other concerns around the function and while she was not suggesting that James or Julia Keenan were involved in the current ongoing feud during which shots were fired in Mahon, members of their extended family were and might possibly be attending the wedding reception.

Judge O’Donnabhain asked Ms Burke if the Council was happy with an undertaking from the family not to re-erect the marquee.

COVID BREACH

He said: “It could go up as quickly as it came down” and she replied a court ruling was needed on the matter.

Judge O’Donnabhain granted the injunction against the defendants who have been informed that if they re-erect the marquee for the wedding that the local authority will have the power to take it down.

Judge O’Donnabhain said: “In the event of it being re-erected, the Council is at liberty to enter the site and remove it”.

Miss Burke also expressed concern about a wedding reception being held at the site without the presence of a marquee, stating: “If events were to go ahead without the marquee that would be a breach of the health regulations.”

The judge said: “It is up to the Gardai to enforce public health regulations.”

The judge reserved a decision on costs on the case until next Monday.

He gave permission for a notice of the court’s injunction to be posted at the site and that the decision can be broadcast nationally, since people would probably be considering travelling from other parts of the country.

Neither of the defendants were present in court and the injunction was granted on an ex-parte basis.

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