High Court orders arrest of man over refusal to vacate ESB substation site

Glen Oglesby says he has nowhere else to go

The High Court has ordered the arrest of a man over his continuing refusal to obey a court order to vacate an electricity substation in Dublin’s north inner city.

Mr Justice Mark Sanfey made the order in respect of Glen Oglesby, who, the ESB claims, has been at the substation site in Gloucester Place Upper for several weeks.

Mr Oglesby has no right to be on the property with his caravan, the ESB says, and has refused to comply with orders it obtained earlier this month requiring him to leave the site, which, it alleges, is not safe for human habitation.

He disputes those claims and says he has nowhere else to go.

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When the matter was previously before the court, Mr Oglesby said he would leave the site and make arrangements with the plaintiff to remove his possessions. He has failed to do this.

As a result of his continuing refusal, the ESB said it was with “great reluctance” seeking orders to have Mr Oglesby arrested and brought before the court to answer his contempt.

Despite making a promise to the court to leave, said John Punch SC, for the ESB, the defendant put a lock on the gate of the site, which is close to the defendant’s family home, that prevents the ESB from accessing the site.

The ESB had further concerns about the use of a ladder by Mr Oglesby which may allow other persons on to the property.

Counsel said it is hoped arrangements can still be made with Mr Oglesby to avoid the ESB having to seek his arrest and possible committal to prison. He was not present in court when the case was before the judge on Wednesday,

Mr Justice Sanfey noted the difficulties but said court orders must be obeyed.

The judge was satisfied Mr Oglesby is in contempt of court and granted the order directing gardaí to arrest him and bring him before the court.

In granting that order, the judge said he hoped every effort is made to bring the matter to satisfactory conclusion without the need to arrest the defendant.

Earlier this month, the ESB brought proceedings over the illegal trespass on the substation.

It claims it has had to act in the public interest and to protect public safety as the site is not a safe place for anyone to be living.

It secured an order requiring people alleged to be on the property to vacate the site.

When the matter was previously before the court, Mr Oglesby accepted he was residing on the property with his dog. He said the caravan was well away from the transformers and the dangerous parts of the substation.

He added that houses and sheds adjoining the ESB property were closer to the dangerous parts of the substation than his caravan.

The ESB has also brought proceedings against Paul Oglesby, Glen’s brother, over the trespass. However, Glen told the court that Paul does not reside on the site.

No order seeking Paul Oglesby’s attachment was sought by the plaintiff.