Crosbie firm must leave docklands premises by December 31st, court rules

Dublin Port claimed Crobie transport company had been overholding on a lease

The High Court has given the Crosbie transport firm until midnight on December 31st to vacate a docklands premises that the Dublin Port Company says it needs now more than ever with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald had ruled earlier this month the port company was entitled to possession of property that had been leased to a haulage company of businessman Simon Crosbie, son of Harry Crosbie, whose family transport business has operated from the docklands since 1936.

The semi-State port company claimed the Crosbie Automation Transport business had been overholding on a lease for the Promenade Road property. It said it required the property for wider redevelopment of the port for core import and export activity.

The court rejected a counterclaim by Automation that it was entitled to a new tenancy. Automation employs 19 people and is principally involved in transporting bulk materials from the port to customers.


Final orders

The case came back before Mr Justice McDonald on Friday for final orders including a date for the company to vacate.

Owen Hickey SC, for Automation, sought a six to 12-month stay on the possession order so his client could find new premises. Otherwise, it meant the business would face the “appalling vista” of closing down, he said.

Declan McGrath SC, for the port company, said Automation knew since 2017 his client required these premises and had been asked to deliver them up since February 2018 in accordance with the lease.

Mr McGrath said the property was needed so core activities at the port could be developed. That had been made urgent by the prospect of Brexit but was even more urgent in view of what now appeared to be a no-deal situation, he said.

Development of core activities

Mr Justice McDonald said there was no question the port company required the land for development of core activities and the no-deal situation had compounded that. He said Simon Crosbie had argued that the activities of his business required that it be close to the port. However, Mr Crosbie had not investigated the alternative “inland port” location near Dublin Airport for activities such as his.

The judge said a December 31st date gave a reasonable period for vacating the premises. He made no order as to costs, which means both sides pay their own costs.