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Alleged Pollution of Stream near Limerick Results in Legal Battle |

Alleged Pollution of Stream near Limerick Results in Legal Battle

In a recent court hearing before Mr Justice Barton in the Chancery Division, the case of O’Donnell v. Cooperative Wholesale Society, Ltd., reached its conclusion. The plaintiff, David O’Donnell, a farmer from Shanagolden, Co. Limerick, brought the action against the Cooperative Society and the Oola Cooperative Creamery Society, Ltd., both having a registered place of business in Manchester and Limerick, respectively.

O’Donnell’s claim centres around a stream near his land at Garryduff, Co. Limerick, which, until September 1503, was utilized by the Cooperative Society and later sold to the Oola Cooperative Society. The stream flows past the creamery and through fields owned by O’Donnell, crucial for watering his cattle. According to O’Donnell, the natural purity of the water was compromised, rendering it unfit for his livestock. Seeking redress, O’Donnell requested an injunction against the Oola Cooperative Creamery Society, Ltd., restraining them from polluting the stream, along with £50 in damages. Additionally, he sought £30 in damages from the Cooperative Wholesale Society, Ltd.

The defendants countered the allegations, arguing that if any discharge occurred into the stream before 1909, it was with the knowledge and consent of the previous landowner, Edmund Fitzgerald. They claimed to have an agreement with Fitzgerald to discharge any matter into the stream, and the plaintiff, upon purchasing the land, was well aware of these facts. The defendants further asserted that the leave and licence were never revoked by O’Donnell and were renewed upon his acquisition of the land.

Legal representatives for both parties presented their arguments before Mr Justice Barton. Counsel for the plaintiff, Mr Chapter, QC, and Mr Leahy, presented O’Donnell’s case, emphasizing the alleged harm caused to his cattle due to the pollution of the stream. On the defence side, Sergeant Matheson, Mr Deffett, QC, and Mr E. F. Holmes, argued that the defendants had legal permission for their actions and that O’Donnell was aware of these arrangements when he acquired the land.

Following the completion of arguments, Mr Justice Barton reserved judgment on the matter.

Freeman’s Journal – Monday 25 March 1912

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