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Watch: Gardai dismantle wedding marquee outside halting site as judge rules that it must be removed

  • Judge ordered to take down a marquee they erected at a halting site
  • ‘I know I’m breaching my tenancy but it is my son’s wedding and he has no other place to go’ – father of the groom

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A heavy garda presence is in place outside a halting site in South Dublin where a wedding reception was planned for this evening

A heavy garda presence is in place outside a halting site in South Dublin where a wedding reception was planned for this evening

At least 20 garda vehicles are now in place along the front of the halting site on the Leopardstown Road behind traffic cones

At least 20 garda vehicles are now in place along the front of the halting site on the Leopardstown Road behind traffic cones

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A heavy garda presence is in place outside a halting site in South Dublin where a wedding reception was planned for this evening

A heavy garda presence is in place outside a halting site in South Dublin where a wedding reception was planned for this evening.

The parents of a couple married in Co Armagh this morning have been told by a judge to take down a marquee they erected at a halting site in Dublin for an evening reception today.

At least 20 garda vehicles are now in place along the front of the halting site on the Leopardstown Road behind traffic cones.

The wedding limousine has just arrived back from Co Armagh and members of the wedding party can be seen outside the site walking up and down.

Public order unit vans as well as squad cars and traffic gardai are on site and the operation is causing a hold up to traffic in the area.

Gardai arrived at around 2pm.

This morning Judge Sinéad Ní Chulacháin granted Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council leave to hire an independent contractor to carry remove the marquee at Burton Park, Leopardstown Road, in south Dublin if defendants Michael and Johanna Connors refused to do it themselves.

The judge also told the local authority’s barrister Niall Flynn she would make an order restraining the Connors, and anyone else knowing about the court injunction, from interfering with independent contractor employees while demolishing the wedding marquee.

Mr Flynn, who appeared with solicitor Liz Neary for the council, said Mr Connors yesterday told a council official he knew he was breaching tenancy and Covid-19 rules and regulations but the reception at No 3 Burton Park, Leopardstown Road, Dublin 18, would go ahead.

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At least 20 garda vehicles are now in place along the front of the halting site on the Leopardstown Road behind traffic cones

At least 20 garda vehicles are now in place along the front of the halting site on the Leopardstown Road behind traffic cones

At least 20 garda vehicles are now in place along the front of the halting site on the Leopardstown Road behind traffic cones

“Council acting administration officer Liam Donovan was told by Mr Connors last evening that his son was getting married this morning in Co Armagh and the marquee was to facilitate the bridal party among 40 guests and would be going ahead,” Mr Flynn said.

He told the Circuit Civil Court that when told he was breaching regulations, Mr Connors replied: “I know all that. I know I’m breaching my tenancy but it is my son’s wedding and he has no other place to go.”

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The council was also given leave to broadcast the court’s orders on national radio stations even as the bride and groom and their guests were on their way from Co Armagh for today’s planned 6pm reception in Co Dublin.

Mr Donovan said the gardaí were supporting the council’s application and when he asked Mr Connors to take the marquee down he replied: “I can’t take it down. My son’s wedding is going ahead and I accept the consequences of not taking it down.”

Ms Neary, a solicitor in the legal department of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, said after the injunction application that the council would be moving immediately to take the marquee down or hire an independent contractor to do the work for it.

Judge Ní Chulacháin said she noticed from photographs of the marquee taken by Mr Donovan that there were 11 tables surrounded by chairs in the marquee, enough chairs to accommodate more than 60 people.

Mr Flynn told the court the council considered the planned reception to be a breach of Covid-19 regulations in the middle of a global pandemic as well as breaking a tenancy agreement. The local authority was also concerned about the lack of insurance cover for this evening’s event.

Judge Ní Chulacháin gave the council leave to serve personal notice on Mr Connors and also pin up notices outlining details of the court’s orders. The judge also directed that everyone associated with the reception, including the bridal party and guests, be warned they had been restrained from entering the marquee.

Mr Flynn indicated that the council had significant concerns relating to the use of the marquee for the wedding reception which, he said, unless restrained by the court the Connors planned to go ahead with.

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