Jail warning for Dartmouth Square owner

Wednesday 13 June 2007 15.57
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Ranelagh, Dublin 6 - Court told two caravans parked in square
Ranelagh, Dublin 6 - Court told two caravans parked in square
Noel O'Gara - Intends to use park as 'city fruit farm'
Noel O'Gara - Intends to use park as 'city fruit farm'

A court has ordered that the assets of a Westmeath businessman should be seized unless he complies with a court order not to make unauthorised use of a park in Dublin city centre.

Noel O'Gara is the owner of Dartmouth Square park in Dublin 6.

He was before the Circuit Civil Court on foot of an application by Dublin City Council to have him jailed for breaching a previous court order.

Last March, Mr O'Gara was ordered to remove a caravan and generator from Dartmouth Square and not to make any unauthorised use of the park.

Judge Esmond Smyth was told there are now two caravans parked there.

Mr O'Gara told the court the caravans were occupied by a homeless man who was acting as his caretaker and gardener, and his family.

He said they had nowhere else to go and he could not just throw them out onto the street.

Mr O'Gara also said he now intended to use the park as a 'city fruit farm'. And because he was using it for agricultural purposes, he did not have to seek planning permission for the caravans.

But the judge said he was satisfied Mr O'Gara had not made any genuine efforts to comply with the court order. He warned him that he may face jail in the future.

The judge made an order for the seizing of the assets of Mr O'Gara's company, Marble and Granite Tiles Ltd. The court heard the company's main asset is the park.

The order will not come into force for ten days to allow Mr O'Gara to appeal to the High Court.