Your car park is on my land, O'Gara tells HSE
DISPUTE: Rebel tells drivers they don't need to pay and display
THE HSE has insisted it has "absolute title" to a Dublin car park which businessman Noel O'Gara claims he owns.
The site -- in Terenure -- is used by Dublin City Council as a pay-and-display facility.
In a letter to the local authority, Mr O'Gara had claimed he is the owner of the land at the junction of Eaton Road and Terenure Road North.
The solicitors' letter stated O'Gara Estates Ltd had title over the plot.
It added: "Despite repeated requests from our client, your council has failed to move the car parking meters from our client's lands and your city council has continued to unlawfully use the lands of our client."
But the HSE insists it is the owner of the land.
The issue was raised by Labour councillor Henry Upton who asked the council for "an update on the ownership of and rights to the Terenure car park".
Cllr Upton revealed Mr O'Gara had "informed people who park there that the city council has no entitlement to charge for parking there".
Speaking to the Herald, Cllr Upton said it was important for businesses in the area that the facility was kept open.
The council said it had operated a pay-and-display car park on part of the site since the mid-1970s, by arrangement with the HSE.
It has been "informed by the HSE that they are confident that they have absolute title to the site and that (Mr O'Gara) does not have any claims to the car park lands".
The local authority said: "The HSE holds a fee farm grant interest in the site and are in correspondence with (Mr O'Gara) regarding his legal interest in the land."
Mr O'Gara's legal letter, written some months ago, had given the council seven days to remove the parking meters.
However, the parking meters remain. Mr O'Gara told the Herald the HSE had not been able to produce a consent from the Shaw estate, who owned the freehold when the HSE "supposedly registered part of the land".
"When the HSE allowed the buildings along the front to be demolished that was a clear breach of covenant," he added.
"Ask any elder resident of Terenure and they will tell you that the land was commonage for 30 years or more prior to the council putting up their meter. They can't now reclaim a commonage as private property."
The businessman came to prominence in 2005 when he bought Dartmouth Square from Patrick Darley for €10,000. He was forced by a Circuit Court order to remove three caravans from the park in 2007.