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Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2002

Amendment to Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994.

24.—The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 , is amended by inserting the following after Part II:

“PART IIA

Offences Relating to Entering and Occupying Land Without Consent

Interpretation (Part IIA).

19A.—(1) In this Part, except where the context otherwise requires—

‘Commissioner’ means the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána;

‘consent duly given’ means consent given by—

(a) in the case of lands referred to in subsection (2)(a), the relevant statutory body,

(b) in the case of lands referred to in subsection (2)(b), the relevant trustees, and

(c) in any other case, the owner concerned;

‘health board’ means

(a) a health board established under the Health Act, 1970 ,

(b) the Eastern Regional Health Authority, or

(c) an Area Health Board established under the Health (Eastern Regional Health Authority) Act, 1999 ;

‘local authority’ means a county council, a city council or a town council for the purposes of the Local Government Act, 2001 ;

‘object’ includes any temporary dwelling (within the meaning of section 69 of the Roads Act, 1993 ) and an animal of any kind or description;

‘owner’ means—

(a) in relation to land, the person lawfully entitled—

(i) to possession, and

(ii) to the immediate use and enjoyment,

of the land as the owner, lessee, ten-and or otherwise, or any person acting on behalf of that person;

(b) in relation to land referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2), the relevant statutory body or trustees, as the case may be;

‘statutory body’ means—

(a) a Minister of the Government,

(b) the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland,

(c) a local authority,

(d) a harbour authority within the meaning of the Harbours Act, 1946 , or a company established pursuant to section 7 of the Harbours Act, 1996 ,

(e) a health board,

(f) a vocational education committee within the meaning of the Vocational Education Acts, 1930 to 1999,

(g) any other body established—

(i) by or under any enactment (other than the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2001), or

(ii) under the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2001, in pursuance of powers conferred by or under another enactment,

and financed wholly or partly by means of moneys provided, or loans made or guaranteed, by a Minister of the Government or the issue of shares held by or on behalf of a Minister of the Government, and subsidiary of any such body.

(2) In this part a reference to land includes—

(a) land provided or maintained by a statutory body primarily for the amenity or recreation of the public or any class of persons (including any park, open space, car park, playing field or other space provided for recreational, community or conservation purposes) or is land within the curtilage of any public building,

(b) land held by trustees for the benefit of the public or any class of the public, and

(c) land covered by water.

Extent of application (Part IIA), etc.

19B.—(1) This Part does not apply to any public road within the meaning of the Roads Act, 1993 .

(2) This Part is without prejudice to any other enactment (including any other provision of this Act) or any rule of law.

Entry on and occupation of land or bringing onto or placing an object on land without consent.

19C.—(1) A person, without the duly given consent of the owner, shall not—

(a) enter and occupy any land, or

(b) bring onto or place on any land any object,

where such entry or occupation or the bringing onto or placing on the land of such object is likely to—

(i) substantially damage the land,

(ii) substantially and prejudicially affect any amenity in respect of the land,

(iii) prevent persons entitled to use the land or any amenity in respect of the land from making reasonable use of the land or amenity,

(iv) otherwise render the land or any amenity in respect of the land, or the lawful use of the land or any amenity in respect of the land, unsanitary or unsafe,

(v) substantially interfere with the land, any amenity in respect of the land, the lawful use of the land or any amenity in respect of the land.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Where a member of the Garda Síochána has reason to believe that a person is committing or has committed an offence under subsection (1) the member—

(a) may demand of the person his or her name and address,

(b) may direct the person to leave the land concerned and to remove from the land any object that belongs to the person or that is under his or her control, and

(c) shall inform the person of the nature of the offence in respect of which it is suspected that person has been involved and the statutory consequences of failing to comply with a demand or direction under this subsection.

Refusing or failing to give name or address or failure to comply with direction.

19D.—Where a person—

(a) refuses or fails to give his or her name and address to a member of the Garda Síochána when demanded under section 19C, or gives to the member a name or address that is false or misleading, or

(b) fails to comply with a direction under that section,

he or she shall be guilty of an offence.

Arrest without warrant.

19E.—A member of the Garda Síochána may arrest without warrant a person—

(a) who fails or refuses to give his or her name and address when demanded under section 19C(3)(a) or gives a name or address which the member has reasonable grounds for believing is false or misleading,

(b) who fails to comply with a direction given under section 19C(3)(b), or

(c) whom the member finds committing an offence under section 19C(1).

Removal, storage and disposal of object.

19F.—(1) Where a person fails to comply with a direction under section 19C(3)(b), a member of the Garda Síochána may remove or cause to be removed any object which the member has reason to believe was brought onto or placed on the land in contravention of section 19C(1) and may store or cause to be stored such object so removed.

(2) Any person who obstructs or impedes or assists a person to obstruct or impede a member of the Garda Síochana in the execution of his or her duty under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Where an object has been removed under this section without the presence or knowledge of any person claiming to own, occupy, control or otherwise retain it, the Commissioner shall serve or cause to be served upon each such person whose name and address can be ascertained by reasonable enquiry, a notice informing the person where the object may be claimed and recovered, requiring the person to claim and recover it within one month of the date of service of the notice and informing him or her of the statutory consequences of his or her failure to do so.

(4) An object removed and stored under this section shall be given to a person claiming possession of the object if, but only if, he or she makes a declaration in writing that he or she is the owner of the object or is authorised by its owner to claim it or is, for a specified reason, otherwise entitled to possession of it and, at the discretion of the Commissioner, the person pays the amount of any expenditure reasonably incurred in removing and storing the object.

(5) The Commissioner may dispose of, or cause to be disposed of, an object removed and stored under this section if—

(a) the owner of the object fails to claim it and remove it from the place where it is stored within one month of the date on which a notice under subsection (3) was served on him or her, or

(b) the name and address of the owner of the object cannot be ascertained by reasonable enquiry.

(6) Where the Commissioner becomes entitled to dispose of or cause to be disposed of an object under subsection (5) and the object is, in his or her opinion, capable of being sold, the Commissioner shall be entitled to sell or cause to be sold the object for the best price reasonably obtainable and upon doing so shall pay or cause to be paid to the person who was the owner of the object at the time of its removal, where the name and address of the owner can be ascertained by reasonable enquiry, a sum equal to the proceeds of such sale after deducting therefrom any expenditure reasonably incurred in its removal, storage and sale.

Penalties and proceedings.

19G.—(1) A person guilty of an offence under this Part shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one month or to both.

(2) In any proceedings for an offence under this Part it shall be presumed until the contrary is shown that consent under this Part was not given.

Jurisdiction of District Court.

19H.—(1) Notwithstanding any statutory provision or rule of law to the contrary, the jurisdiction of the District Court shall not, in summary proceedings in relation to an offence under this Part, be ousted by reason solely of a question of title to land being brought into issue.

(2) Where in summary proceedings in relation to an offence under this Part a question of title to land is brought into issue, the decision of a justice of the District Court in the proceedings or on the question shall not operate as an estoppel in, or a bar to, proceedings in any court in relation to the land.”.