Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Eirgrid refused security for costs in damages action

Co Monaghan Anti-Pylon plc -v- Eirgrid plc      Neutral citation number: (2012) IEHC 103.
High Court: Judgment was delivered on March 30th, 2012, by Mr Justice Peter Charleton.
Judgment: An application by the defendant, Eirgrid plc, for an order for security for costs in an action for damages taken by Monaghan Anti-Pylon plc was refused on the grounds that special circumstances arose in the case.
Background: The case arose as a result of an aborted hearing by An Bord Pleanála concerning the construction of overhead power-lines on pylons as part of a scheme known as the Meath- Tyrone 400kw interconnector.

County Monaghan Anti-Pylon plc (initially a committee) was established to oppose this on health grounds and argue in favour of buried interconnector power-lines. The group raised about €250,000, most of which it spent on an expert’s report and on legal representation before the Bord Pleanála hearing. This began on May 10th, 2010, and continued until June 28th. On the 23rd day of the hearing, counsel for Eirgrid announced that the hearing could go no further as there had been a mistake in the height of the proposed pylons in the newspaper advertisements announcing the planning application. The hearing was abandoned and has not resumed since, although it is expected to. Monaghan Anti-Pylon plc claimed it had expended most of its funds on this aborted hearing and would be unable to return to donors seeking money for a fresh hearing. It claimed Eirgrid was responsible for this loss due to its mistake and the resulting abandonment of the hearing after 23 days, and it sought the reimbursement of its funds. Eirgrid sought an order for security of costs against the group to be lodged before the matter going to trial.
Read the full case @ The Irish Times

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