Monaghan County Council v Brogan

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr. Justice Keane
Judgment Date01 January 1987
Neutral Citation1986 WJSC-HC 1308
Date01 January 1987
Docket Number1986 No 16 M.C.A,[1986 No. 16 MCA]

1986 WJSC-HC 1308

THE HIGH COURT

1986 No 16 M.C.A
MONAGHAN CO COUNCIL v. BROGAN
IN THE MATTER OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT 19761976 SECTION 27
BETWEEN/
THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF MONAGHAN
APPLICANTS

AND

BRENDAN BROGAN AND PATRICK BROGAN
RESPONDENTS

Citations:

DUBLIN CO COUNCIL V SELLWOOD QUARRIES LTD 1981 ILRM 23

DUBLIN CO COUNCIL V TALLAGHT BLOCK CO LTD 1982 ILRM 534

DUBLIN CO COUNCIL V TALLAGHT BLOCK CO LTD UNREP SUPREME 17/05/83 1983/2/351

EAST BARNET UDC V BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION 1962 2 QB 491

GALWAY CO COUNCIL V LAKAGH ROCK LTD 1985 IR 120

LOCAL GOVT (PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT) ACT 1976 S27

PATTERSON V MURPHY UNREP COSTELLO 04.05.78 1978/10

STAFFORD & BATES V ROADSTONE LTD 1980 ILRM 1

Synopsis:

PLANNING

Use

Material change - Intensification of use - Permission not obtained - Unauthorised development - Slaughter of cattle - Former occasional slaughter of cattle by respondent farmer for consumption by his family and by greyhounds owned by his relative - Held that there was evidence of a significant increase in the slaughtering of cattle on the respondent's premises, and that the purpose of the increase was the provision of meat for human consumption as part of a commercial venture - Held that such slaughter was not authorised under the Slaughter of Animals Act, 1935 - Held that the applicant had proved a material change in the use of his premises by the respondent, and that the applicant was entitled to an order under s.27 of the Act of 1976 restraining the respondent from slaughtering cattle on his premises - ~Galway County Council v. Lackagh Rock Ltd.~ [1985] I.R. 120 considered - Local Government (Planning & Development) Act, 1963, s.3 - Local Government (Planning & Development) Act, 1976, s.27 - (1986/16 MCA - Keane J. - 26/11/86) - [1987] ILRM 564

|Monaghan County Council v. Brogan|

1

Mr. Justice Keane delivered the 26th day of November, 1986.

2

This is an application under Section 27 of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act 1976for an Order restraining the Respondents from using their premises at Annaghkilly, Newbliss, Co. Monaghan.as an abattoir. It was agreed between the parties that the matters in issue could only be determined on oral evidence.

3

The Respondents are father and son and live on a farm at Annaghkilly. The environmental officers employed by the North Eastern Health Board suspected, as a result of information which they had received, that the Respondents were slaughtering what are called "casualty cattle" on their farm and that the carcasses were intended for human consumption. ("Casualty cattle" is the term used to describe cattle which are sick or diseased or have suffered some injury.) The Applicants, in their capacity as Sanitary Authority for the area, had never granted any licence under the Slaughter of Animals Act, 1935 authorising the Respondents to carry on this activity. Inspectors, accordingly, made a number of visits to the Respondents" farm beginning in September 1984. The Respondents, while admitting that animals have been regularly slaughtered on the farm, maintain that the activity has been carried on with a view to providing animal food for greyhounds and not for human consumption.

4

Four Officers of the North Eastern Health Board - Mr. Patrick Garvey, Mr. Dermot McCabe, Mr. Christopher Ahern and Mr. Matthew Grogan - gave evidence of inspections they had made of the farm during the period from September 1984 onwards. In addition the premises were visited by the Planning Officials of the Applicants, Mr. Noel McCann and Mrs. Maura Donoghue. Their unchallenged evidence was that every effort was made by the Respondents to prevent them from gaining access to the premises, including threats of violence and the use of foul and abusive language. So intimidating was the atmosphere that greeted them on a number of occasions that it was necessary for them to be escorted by members of the Gardaí.

5

These witnesses said that, on a number of visits, they saw the equipment normally used in an abattoir on the premises, including knives, hooks from which sides of beef could be hung and weighing scales. On occasions as many as six or seven barrels of offal were found by them in the yard, which did not appear to be more than a few days old, indicating that, in their view,at least twelve cows had been recently slaughtered. They also found a docket with the heading of a Veterinary Surgeon, Mr. Desmond J. Patton, on it and writing which appeared to indicate that cuts of meat for human consumption were being packaged on the premises. This was reinforced by the presence of a number of small plastic bags of a kind which would be used for packaging meat. They also found sides of beef hanging in the shed on occasions which were clearly, in their view , unfit for human consumption. About thirty cows were housed in relatively cramped conditions in a shed, some of whom appeared to be lying down and sick.

6

Mr. Garvey also gave evidence that on the 3rd March, 1983 an advertisement appeared in the following terms in the "Northern Standard", the newspaper which circulates in the area:-

"Casualty cattle wanted. Highest prices paid. Telephone Clones 126."

7

Mr. Garvey said that he had searched the papers from the 1960's onwards but had been unable to discover a similar advertisement. The advertisement of 3rd March, 1983 was repeated on a number of subsequent occasions, but the format was changed on the 17th January, 1985 to:-

"Cull and canning cows wanted."

8

The telephone number given on each occasion was that of the Respondents,

9

The first-named Respondent said in evidence that, apart from the slaughtering of animals on occasions for keeping in the deep freeze and consumption by members of his household he had never slaughtered animals for human consumption on his farm. He said that all the slaughtering activities carried on by him were to provide animal food for greyhounds which his brother, Vincent Brogan, bred and trained on a nearby farm. He said that in the 1940's and 50's, he and his brothers, including Vincent, used to keep greyhounds and that they would kill a couple of cows a week to feed them. He said that he continued to do this after Vincent left in order to keep Vincent's dogs supplied with meat. He also...

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