A PROTRACTED row between the Moy Valley Harbour Commissioners and Moy Valley Resources may finally be resolved at a sitting of the circuit court in Castlebar on May 24 next. The dispute, which dates back to 1997, is in respect of the lease and rental of the southern part of Ballina Quay.
Almost a fortnight ago, on February 9, the impasse took a dramatic turn when employees of Moy Valley IRD and Moy Chocolates were prohibited from entering their place of employment after the entrance gates were locked and security guards were employed to patrol them.
An application, at a sitting of Ballina Circuit Court last week, for an injunction by Moy Valley Resources was adjourned until May by Judge Raymond Groarke, pending ‘certain undertakings’ being honoured.
Sources claim the kernel of the dispute relates to the fact that Moy Valley Resources has repeatedly ignored requests for an increased rental for the buildings, which the company has significantly renovated since leasing them from the Harbour Commissioners.
In a written statement by the Harbour Commissioners, it is argued that ‘it was never the intention of the Board to remove Moy Valley Resources from theses premises’. It claims, however, that ‘[all] attempts to resolve this dispute, reasonably, in the past failed’.
Arbitration was eventually agreed but Moy Valley Resources failed to pay the fee within the stipulated time (by November 2006), it is alleged in the statement.
“It was then decided by River Moy Harbour Commissioners to begin due process which has culminated with the gate of Ballina Quay being locked to Moy Valley IRD staff and tenants on Friday, February 9, 2007,” continued the statement.
It has emerged that the gates were also locked on Wednesday, February 14 last, but that staff were able to access the property. According to a Moy Valley Resources spokesman, the gates were opened again within ten minutes of the Court ruling on Friday morning last.
Afterwards, Moy Valley Resources issued the following statement.
“As a result of restrictions being placed on the use of its property at the Quay, Ballina, by the River Moy Harbour commissioners the Company was forced to take the issue to court. Arising from this action, all restrictions have now been removed and Moy Valley Resources and its tenants have been restored full access and use of the property. As the matter is still subject to legal proceedings at a later date we do not wish to comment any further at this time.”
Moy Valey Resources is an integrated resource development (IRD) company promoting the advancement, economic welfare, environmental enhancement and social cohesion among the communities of the Moy Valley region. The area reaches from Belderrig to Dromore West and Crossmolina to Foxford.