Longford farmer and National Party's James Reynolds loses High Court bid aimed at preventing his removal from ICSA

'The views of the National Party are in direct conflict and are at odds to those of the ICSA' - Justice Paul Gilligan

Aodhan O Faolain

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Aodhan O Faolain

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Longford farmer and National Party's James Reynolds loses High Court bid aimed at preventing his removal from ICSA

James Reynolds.

The High Court has dismissed an application by National Party co-founder James Reynolds to continue an injunction preventing the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association from removing him from senior positions he had held with the organisation.

The ICSA said it decided to remove Mr Reynolds as a member of the County Executive for Longford, its National Executive and as the ICSA's National Treasurer because of his involvement with the National Party which it described as being "in the mode of right wing European Movements."

Mr Reynolds opposed the ICSA's action against him and argues it is not entitled to remove him from the said positions.

In High Court proceedings against the ICSA he claimed the procedures it engaged in to remove him were unfair. His removal from the positions would also damage his reputation, he claims.

Earlier this year Mr Reynolds, of Rorkes Drift, Laughill Coolarty, Edgeworthstown Co Longford secured a temporary High Court injunction restraining the ICSA from taking any steps to remove him from the positions.

The court also made a temporary order preventing farming group, which has 10,000 members, from holding any meeting related to his removal. 

On Tuesday his lawyers sought to extend the injunction until the matter has been fully determined by the High Court. The ICSA argued that the injunction should be dismissed.

In his ruling on Tuesday Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said he was satisfied not to put an injunction in place until the dispute had been determined.

The Judge noted the ICSA  held a special meeting last November to discuss Mr Reynolds involvement in the National Party which is opposed to unrestricted immigration, anti-abortion and favours the reintroduction of the death penalty for certain crimes. 

Noting the break down in the relationship between the two parties the judge said "the views of the National Party are in direct conflict and are at odds to those of the ICSA." 

The Judge said ICSA members were unhappy and had to distance itself from comments Mr Reynolds posted on social media.

The comments were about politicians and people in public life, using words like crooked and treason. He had also well as comments he made about the Church of Ireland which the ICSA deemed offensive.

Mr Reynolds had also gone on Claire Byrne Live TV programme, where he spoke on behalf of the National Party, and criticised the efforts of the Irish Naval Service in rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean.

Mr Reynolds had also said that RTE and Newstalk published fake news stories.

The ICSA as a lobby group seeks good relations with elected public officials, public servants and the media, the Judge said. 

The ICSA he added does not support or endorse any political party, and it believed Mr Reynolds had used his position to gain air time and traction for the National Party.

In these circumstances alone the balance of convenience did not favour the granting of an injunction, the Judge said.

The Judge said the Mr Reynolds had not made out a strong case  case that was likely to succeed, plus he was satisfied that damages would be an adequate remedy.

The Judge said that Mr Reynolds application could also be rejected on grounds including that he delayed in bringing his proceedings plus he had not disclosed all the relevant information to the High Court when seeking the temporary High Court injunction.  

The judge also awarded the ICSA its legal costs of the application.