A marquee erected yesterday morning for a wedding reception for a married couple in Co Armagh was demolished yesterday following a court order.
There was a strong Garda presence around the stop in Leopardstown, south Dublin, to ensure the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown District Council could carry out the removal.
The couple’s parents had been instructed by a judge to dismantle the marquee they had erected for an evening reception.
At least 20 Garda vehicles were at the front of the stop on Leopardstown Road behind traffic cones.
The wedding limousine returned from Co Armagh at around 3 p.m. and members of the wedding party could be seen pacing up and down outside the premises.
Public order vans, patrol cars and traffic gardaí were on site, and the operation created traffic obstruction in the area. Gardaí arrived around 2pm and the marquee was removed later that afternoon.
“At the request of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown District Council, gardaí is in a place on Leopardstown Road where council officials are executing a court order,” said a statement from Lake Garda.
The council said: “Due to the unauthorized nature of the temporary structure and concern that the structure should be used to facilitate a large-scale gathering, the council sought permission from the Dublin Circuit Civil Court to remove the structure in case the owners do not this itself ”.
“The District Council of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown can confirm that they have carried out the removal of the temporary structure in accordance with the court order,” he added.
Martin Collins, co-director of the Traveler Advocacy Group Pavee Point, said, “People can no longer invoke ignorance.”
“Everyone knows the rules and regulations … that large gatherings are not acceptable at this point,” he said.
“It’s very dangerous and can be a super spreader for Covid-19. I can only advise my community and ask them not to interfere or organize large gatherings – they are effectively playing Russian roulette with their lives. “
“We shouldn’t get complacent and we haven’t defeated this virus. I encourage all travelers to put their shoulders behind the wheel and support our collective efforts to fight this virus. “
Mr. Collins wanted to emphasize that “most travelers follow public health guidelines” but that behavior is “frankly inexcusable”.
The Pavee Point representative said the wedding plans were “inexcusable and unjustifiable”.
Yesterday morning Judge Sinéad Ní Chulacháin gave the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown District Council permission to use an independent contractor to remove the marquee in Burton Park on Leopardstown Road in south Dublin if Defendants Michael and Johanna Connors refused to do so themselves to do.
The judge told the local authority attorney Niall Flynn that she would issue an order preventing the Connors and anyone else in the know of the injunction from disrupting independent contractors while they tear down the wedding tent.
Mr Flynn, who appeared for the council with attorney Liz Neary, said Mr Connors told a council official he knew he was breaking rental and Covid-19 rules and regulations, but the reception at No. 3, Leopardstown Road, Dublin 18, would continue.
“Acting council administrator Liam Donovan was informed by Mr. Connors last night that his son was getting married this morning in Co Armagh and that the marquee should facilitate the 40-person bridal shower and continue,” said Mr. Flynn.
He told the Circuit Civil Court that when he learned he was breaking the law, Mr. Connors replied, “I know all of this. I know I’m violating my tenancy, but it’s my son’s wedding and he has no other place to go. “
The council also received permission to broadcast the court’s orders on national radio stations while the bride and groom and their guests were out and about for yesterday’s scheduled 6pm reception in Co Dublin from Co Armagh.
Mr Donovan said the Gardaí supported the council’s proposal and when he asked Mr Connors to dismantle the marquee, he replied, “I cannot dismantle it. My son’s wedding is going ahead and I accept the consequences if I don’t take them off. “
Ms. Neary, a lawyer in the legal department of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown District Council, said after the injunction petitioned that the council would move immediately to dismantle the marquee or hire an independent contractor to do the work for them.
Judge Ní Chulacháin said she noticed in photos of Mr Donovan’s marquee that there were 11 tables surrounded by chairs, enough chairs to accommodate more than 60 people.
Mr Flynn told the court the council viewed the planned reception as a breach of Covid-19 regulations as well as a breach of a rental agreement. The community was also concerned about the lack of insurance coverage.
Judge Ní Chulacháin gave the council permission to notify Mr. Connors personally and also to issue communications detailing the court orders.
The judge also ordered that all persons involved in the reception, including the bridal party and guests, should be warned that they would be prevented from entering the marquee.