Galway-based property developer Joe McNamara, who was arrested but later acquitted after he drove a cement mixer into the gates of Leinster House, was back in the news on Monday at the High Court about work he is doing on Achill Island.
It was stated that he had breached a court order granted last Saturday requiring him to immediately cease unauthorised roadway construction works in an area of “high scenic value” on Achill Island, Mayo County Council has told the High Court.
Mr McNamara (41 ), with addresses at Achill Island and Salthill, Co Galway, undertook before the court to comply with the order to cease the works but the council has indicated it intends to bring further proceedings against him.
The council alleged that Mr McNamara had been asked by the council’s planning officers last Friday to stop the works but had continued with them.
The council then sought and secured an order from the High Court on Saturday requiring him to desist from the works but the works continued despite that order, Pat Butler SC, for the council, told Mr Justice Roderick Murphy yesterday.
The council intends to bring proceedings against him over the alleged breach, Mr Butler indicated. In an affidavit last Saturday to support the council’s application, Iain Douglas, a senior planner with the council, said Mr McNamara has an address at Achill Head Hotel, Pollagh, Keel, Achill and also had an address at Salthill.
Having received a number of complaints about excavation works, Mr Douglas said he had gone to the site in question with assistant planner Enda Carey and a garda last Friday, where they found four excavators working on what appeared to be a roadway at Slievemore mountain and excavation works which had been progressed to a significant extent.
During his inspection, Mr Douglas said he spoke with Mr McNamara and informed him the development was being carried out without planning permission, was unauthorised and that he had to halt work immediately.
Mr McNamara indicated he would continue working and would bring his own legal action, Mr Douglas said.
He said he had also advised the excavator drivers, and the driver of a lorry delivering cement, that the development was unauthorised and they should cease working but they failed to heed his advice.
Mr Douglas said the works were being carried out on an area of undeveloped mountain bogland of high scenic value and located adjacent to a large archaeological site which is protected.