A full hearing of a local man's High Court bid to halt the development of the proposed new prison at Thornton Hall in north Co Dublin will take place later this month.
Michael Kavanagh, who has lived in Kilssallaghan, Co Dublin, all his life, is also seeking an injunction to prevent the awarding of a tender for the construction of the €29 million facility.
Mr Kavanagh, a grandfather and retired Aer Lingus worker, told an earlier hearing of the court that he had lived beside the proposed site for more than 60 years. He said he first heard of the Government decision to build the prison on the radio and was "truly astounded and shocked" because there had been no prior consultation with the local community.
The proposed new prison will mean that some 2,500 people, including prisoners and workers, will be located in a purely agricultural area of Dublin, he said.
When the matter was before Mr Justice Thomas Smyth yesterday to deal with issues of discovery of documents, the judge fixed July 24th as the date for a full hearing of the case.
Martin Giblin SC, for Mr Kavanagh, strongly resisted the decision to have the full hearing on that date on grounds that his side were not ready.
Mr Justice Smyth responded that he had been asked to deal with the matter urgently and urgency had been given to it.
Mr Giblin continued to protest at the decision and said he understood that no application for an early date had been made.
The judge said an application was made for an early trial. All he could do was what the justice system required - deliver justice as soon and as expeditiously as he could for the litigants that come before the court. Mr Giblin said he feared there was a grave risk that justice would not be done. The judge said Mr Giblin could take whatever course he wished.
© 2007 The Irish Times