A MAN who told a judge that he is homeless and has no place to bring his children on access visits has been given a month to get a caravan off a site in Croom and tear up the base he put on.
Brendan Quilligan, who is living in the caravan at Bawnogue, was before Kilmallock District Court for failing to obey a local authority order to vacate the site and restore it to its original state.
Judge Patricia Harney, who had heard the case on a number of previous occasions, said that the matter of Mr Quilligan being unsuccessful in getting planning permission to build a house had been ongoing for three years.
Limerick City and County Council planning inspector Sean Moran, gave evidence that the local authority had turned down an initial application from Mr Quilligan to build a house on the site on four grounds, including concerns about traffic and line of sight from the proposed entrance to the development.
A second application had run into similar difficulties, he told the court.
Mr Moran said that there is no planning permission for the caravan that is on the site or the base which had been put down. Mr Quilligan had been ordered to remove both and to restore the site to its previous state, he said.
Mr Quilligan told Judge Harney: “I want to have somewhere where I can bring my kids. I have nowhere else to go and I haven’t seen them since Christmas.”
He said he had been living at his parents’ home but there were family difficulties and he couldn’t stay, so he moved into the caravan.
Mr Quilligan said there is a current planning application before the Council and that he could deal with the line of sight requirements by removing the ditch,as he owns the land.
Judge Harney said that while she had “some sympathy for his personal circumstances”, she would not allow Mr Quilligan more time to pursue the planning application before doing as the Council’s order instructed.
She said she would allow one month for Mr Quilligan to comply with the Council’s order to restore the site and after that, he would be fined €500 a day for every day he did not fulfil the order.
Asked by the judge if there were expenses incurred by the Council, solicitor Will Leahy said that costs were running at €2,900 but his goal is to achieve compliance”
Judge Harney awarded costs against Mr Quilligan.