Former billionaire Sean Quinn says he has to use a road that two companies claim he is encroaching on in order to visit a potential wind farm site.
In an emailed letter to the High Court earlier today, he said he was unable to attend court due to the short notice of the case.
However, he undertook not to visit Swanlinbar Quarries, Co Cavan, owned by Mannock Quarries, if he could use the road to visit the land for the future wind farm.
Earlier this week, Mannok Cement and Mannok Build, formerly part of the Quinn Group, sought injunctions preventing Mr Quinn from trespassing.
When the case returned to court today Mr Quinn did not appear, but in his letter he said he needed access to a road which connects the Mannok quarry to a cement works .
The companies claim that on several occasions since late 2019, Mr Quinn has trespassed on their land.
The most recent intrusion, it is claimed, happened on May 8 when he was seen driving around his land in his Mercedes-Benz E-Class, including at Swanlinbar Quarry.
The companies say the grounds are active industrial sites, where heavy machinery is used, and Mr Quinn’s alleged presence poses a significant health and safety risk.
The companies have been granted leave to serve brief notice of the injunction proceedings on Mr Quinn at his home in Greaghrahan, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.
Today Judge Alexander Owens was told by Andew Fitzpatrick SC that his clients were ‘skeptical’ of the contents of Mr Quinn’s letter but were not seeking the injunction at this stage.
Judge Owens agreed to adjourn the application until next week.
In the letter, Mr Quinn, who apologized for not being present, said he was ready to commit if he could access a road he built 20 years ago that links the quarry from Swanlinbar to a cement plant.
The road was built on land owned by parties, including local farmers, who he said had leased it to him.
He said the road is used by Coillte, local lawn cutters, farmers and wind farm operators.
Mr Quinn said he needed access for commercial reasons as he had an interest “in the limestone lands” on the Swanlinbar side of the mountain.
He said he also needed road access as he is “in discussions with investors” and local landowners regarding the construction of a new wind farm on the mountain.
Mr Quinn said he did not accept some of Mannok’s claims, including that his presence posed a health and safety risk.
He said he knows the property like “the back of my hand”. The sites, he said, were closed and there were no moving vehicles.
Mr Quinn added that the case could be resolved without “further disrupting the court”. He said he had honored an earlier undertaking given to a Belfast court not to enter land belonging to the plaintiffs in the North.
He said he was happy to pledge not to visit Mannok-owned sites until his access to the roadway was impeded.
The plaintiffs claim that Mr. Quinn has no right or interest in the lands and has no defense to the claims against him.
The companies say they are not entirely certain of the purpose of Mr. Quinn’s alleged intrusions.
They believe his actions constitute “a form of misguided aggression in the form of defiance” aimed at the company’s management.
It has been claimed that company directors are concerned that unless upheld by the court, Mr Quinn’s intrusion will continue.