Frank Dunne challenges work on power lines on his stud farm


Frank Dunne, a member of the Dunnes Stores family, has brought an action in the High Court for access to his stud land for repair work on a power line.

r Dunne alleges that workers’ access to land in Dunboyne, County Meath, will adversely affect farms and breeding operations.

He and horse breeder Ann Marshall, along with their company Hamwood Stud Unlimited, have undertaken two separate but linked actions as part of the ESB and Eirgrid project to rehabilitate the 22km power line between Maynooth and Woodland in Counties Kildare and Meath .

Mr. Dunne was also the owner and trainer of ‘Stanerra’, the only Irish horse to win the prestigious Japan Cup.

He and Ms Marshall say the proposed work, which will require access to their land at Dunboyne, will have a “significant impact” on their valuable bloodstock and breeding operations.

They fear that if the site is now operated with machinery, there is a “real chance” of miscarriages in their mares and cows. Any disruption to operations could damage Hamwood Stud’s “worldwide” reputation, they say

They said they became aware of the proposed work when the ESB issued them with a notice last February demanding access to their land. This comes as a result of contested statutory statements by Kildare and Meath County Councils that these EirGrid line works are exempt developments, they say.

In a draft of the development plan, Eirgrid says upgrades to the line are needed due to transmission grid constraints and to secure additional capacity. The renovation is said to extend the service life of the 220 kV line by 35 years.

In their lawsuit, the horse breeders allege that mistakes were made at various stages of the planning process because there was an alleged “direct link” between the line project and the development of a substation for multinational technology company Intel. They claim that these projects should have been considered cumulatively.

They say Kildare and Meath Borough Councils wrongly relied on Eirgrid’s “erroneous” report when they said the line project was exempt from planning permission when it should have been considered alongside the substation project.

It is also alleged that the procedure for requests for tax-exempt development under the Planning and Development Act 2016 violates European Union law.

Mr Dunne and Ms Marshall also allege that there have been various shortcomings in the environmental assessment of the impacts of these two projects together, in breach of the Habitats Directive. They also argue that their right to public participation in the planning process has been violated.

Her case is against Kildare County Council, Meath County Council, Eirgrid PLC, the Attorney General and Ireland.

In their second lawsuit against the ESB, the Attorney General and Ireland, with Eirgrid on order for payment, they are seeking an order overturning the ESB’s decision to issue orders relating to access to their country.

They are seeking various explanations of the alleged invalidity of sections of the Electricity Act 1927 in cases where a landowner allegedly has no right of appeal against the issuance of a eviction notice. Your challenge in this lawsuit is based on a number of national and European legal bases.

Mr Judge Charles Meenan granted the applicants permission on an ex parte basis (only one side was represented in court) to pursue their judicial review actions. He adjourned the matter. Frank Dunne challenges work on power lines on his stud farm

Fry Electronics Team

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