Quinn v an Bord Pleanála

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Quirke
Judgment Date04 October 2000
Neutral Citation2000 WJSC-HC 6056
CourtHigh Court
Docket Number[1999 No. 12065 P]
Date04 October 2000
SEAN QUINN GROUP LTD v. BORD PLEANALA & ORS

BETWEEN

SEAN QUINN GROUP LIMITED
PLAINTIFF

AND

AN BORD PLEANALA, THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, THE MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, IRELAND, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND LAGAN CEMENT LIMITED
DEFENDANTS

2000 WJSC-HC 6056

No. 12065p/1999

THE HIGH COURT

Synopsis:

Practice and Procedure

Practice and procedure; plaintiff seeks declaratory and other reliefs against defendants arising out of order of planning authority granting planning permission to sixth-named defendant, a business competitor of plaintiff, for development of cement manufacturing installation; concurrent application of sixth-named defendant seeks order dismissing plaintiff's proceedings on grounds that they comprise an abuse of process of the courts and are vexatious; whether plaintiff in commencing these proceedings has an ulterior motive and seeks a collateral advantage for itself beyond what the law offers; whether plaintiff has instituted proceedings for purpose which the law does not recognise as a legitimate use of remedy which has been sought; whether plaintiff abusing process of court to achieve improper objective.

Held: Plaintiff's claim dismissed.

Sean Quinn Group Ltd. v. An Bórd Pleanála - High Court: Quirke J. - 04/10/2000 - [2001] 1 IR 505 - [2001] 2 ILRM 94

The plaintiff sought relief against the defendants, one of whom was Lagan Cement Limited. Lagan Cement Limited, who were a competitor of the plaintiff, had been granted planning permission to develop a cement factory in County Meath. Lagan Cement Limited brought the present application to dismiss the present proceedings on the grounds that they constituted an abuse of process. Quirke J was satisfied that the present proceedings were instituted solely to further the commercial interest of the plaintiff. The inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to strike out proceedings should be exercised sparingly. In this instance the proceedings had been initiated for an improper purpose, constituted an abuse of process and accordingly the plaintiff's claim would be dismissed.

Citations:

MCCAULEY V MCDERMOT 1997 2 ILRM 486

GOLDSMITH V SPERRINGS LTD 1977 2 AER 566

CASTANHO V BROWN & ROOT (UK) LTD 1981 1 AER 143

WALLERSTEINER V MOIR 1974 3 AER 217

GRAINGER V HILL 1838 4 BING NC 212

MAJORY, IN RE 1955 2 AER 65

CAVERN SYSTEMS (DUBLIN) LTD V CLONTARF RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION & DUBLIN CORPORATION 1984 ILRM 24

LONRHO PLC V FAYED (NO 5) 1993 1 WLR 1489

1

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Quirke delivered on the 4th day of OCTOBER, 2000 .

2

The Plaintiff is a limited liability company which engages in the manufacture, distribution and sale of cement in Northern Ireland and which recently has commenced similar operations in Scotch Town in County Cavan pursuant to permission granted by the first named Defendant (hereafter referred to as "the Board") on the 13th of June, 1998.

3

In these proceedings the Plaintiff seeks declaratory and other relief against the Defendants arising out of an Order made on the 14th day of April, 1999 whereby Meath County Council decided to grant permission to the sixth named Defendant, Lagan Cement Limited (hereafter referred to as "Lagan") for the construction and development of a cement manufacturing installation and factory at Killaskillen in Kinnegad in the County of Meath.

4

Certain parties who are not privy to these proceedings appealed the Order of Meath County Council to the Board which indicated its intention to make a decision by way of a determination of that appeal in April of the year 2000.

5

An application made on behalf of the Plaintiff to this Court seeking relief by way of an interlocutory injunction restraining the Board pending the resolution of these proceedings from making a decision by way of a determination of that appeal was refused by this Court on the 12th of April, 2000 on grounds inter alia that since the conduct of the Plaintiff in connection with Lagan's planning application had been wholly inconsistent with an equitable objective the Plaintiff was not entitled to relief of an equitable nature.

6

This application, which was made concurrently with the Plaintiff's application for interlocutory relief comprises an application made on behalf of Lagan for an Order dismissing the proceedings herein on the grounds that the proceedings comprise an abuse of the process of the Courts and are vexatious in nature. The application made on behalf of Lagan has been supported in argument by the Board and by the third, fourth and fifth named Defendants (who will hereafter be referred to as "the State").

FACTS
7

The following findings of fact are common to this application and to the Plaintiff's concurrent application for interlocutory relief against the Board:-

8

(1) In December, 1998 the Plaintiff, by its agent Mr. Sean Quinn (who is apparently the beneficial owner of the Plaintiff company) was fully aware of Lagan's impending application for planning permission and of its full nature and extent. At that time Mr. Quinn had been advised professionally in respect of the Lagan application and admitted during a newspaper interview that the Plaintiff was preparing to object to that application.

9

In December of 1998 the Plaintiff was making covert payments to a group called the Ballinabrackey Residents Action Group by way of surreptitious financial contributions (totalling £30,000) to fund legal proceedings which had been commenced by a Ms. Marie Goonery for the purposes for seeking to restrain Meath County Council from determining Lagan's application for planning permission. Those proceedings were compromised on the 10th of March, 1999 on terms which included the payment of £50,000 from Lagan to Ms. Goonery as a contribution towards her costs of those proceedings. On the 11th of May, 1999 Ms. Goonery commenced new judicial review proceedings seeking relief which was virtually identical to the relief which is sought on behalf of the Plaintiff herein. An interim injunction obtained by Ms. Goonery ex parte in those proceedings was discharged by Order of the High Court [Kelly J] made on the 15th or 16th day of July, 1999 [and perfected on the 11th day of August, 1999].

10

The Plaintiff actively concealed its participation in the proceedings commenced by Ms. Goonery and no adequate explanation has been offered to this Court for the Plaintiff failure to disclose openly its interest in those proceedings.

11

Although a Notice of Appeal has been served in respect of the Order dated the 11th of August, 1999 discharging the interim Order it would appear that no further step has been taken since the 11th of August, 1999 with a view to advancing the substantive proceedings commenced by Ms. Goonery.

12

(2) The proceedings herein were commenced by the issue and service of a Plenary Summons dated the 1st day of December, 1999 which was seven and a half months after the date upon which Lagan was granted permission for its development and approximately twelve months...

To continue reading

Request your trial
22 cases
  • Dunnes Stores v Bord Pleanála and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 13 November 2015
    ...the court was referred, include Grant v. Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd. [2008] 4 I.R. 679, Sean Quinn Group Limited v. An Bord Pleanála [2001] 1 I.R. 505, State (Toft) v. Dublin Corporation [1981] I.L.R.M. 439 and State (Abenglen Properties) v. Dublin Corporation [1984] I.R. 381. These cases......
  • Bula Holdings and Others v Roche and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 6 May 2008
    ...COLLEGE & ANOR UNREP SUPREME 20.6.2003 2003/29/6870 GALVIN v GRAHAM TWOMEY 1994 2 ILRM 315 SEAN QUINN GROUP LTD v BORD PLEANALA & ORS 2001 1 IR 505 2001 2 ILRM 94 2000/16/6056 GOLDSMITH v SPERRINGS 1977 1 WLR 498 LONRHO PLC v FAYED (NO 5) 1993 1 WLR 1489 KEANEY v SULLIVAN UNREP FINLAY GE......
  • Beades v Ireland
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 3 June 2016
    ...Hanna J. then observed: '[21] This was expressly adopted as part of the law in this jurisdiction by Morris P in Desmond v Riordan [2001] 1 I.R. 505 (see also Macauley & Co. Ltd v Wyse-Power (1943) 77 I.L.T.R. 61). [22] Since judicial immunity from suit is thus set in stone, it follows tha......
  • Leona Flynn v National Asset Loan Management Ltd and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 25 July 2014
    ...ACT 1924 S2(1) DELANY & MCGRATH CIVIL PROCEDURE IN THE SUPERIOR COURTS 3ED 2012 587 SEAN QUINN GROUP LTD v BORD PLEANALA & ORS 2001 1 IR 505 2001 2 ILRM 94 2000/16/6056 GRANT v ROCHE PRODUCTS (IRELAND) LTD 2008 4 IR 679 2008/27/5893 2008 IESC 35 OMEGA LEISURE LTD v SUPERINTENDENT BARRY & O......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT