Cllr Seamus Morris has described as “shocking” the decision by Tipperary County Council to pursue a Nenagh businessman through the courts over a planning violation.
Philip Ryan of Philips Furniture Warehouse and Carpets, Five Alley, lost a case brought by the council in Nenagh Court. He had permission to operate a warehouse at his site but there was evidence that he was also carrying out retail business.
Mr Ryan’s solicitor Johnny Spencer told Judge Elizabeth MacGrath that his client would now have to let staff go.
“How can the council effectively close down a viable business when the town is crying out for businesses to start up. Philip Ryan has been a hard working businessman for the past 30 years,” said the SF councillor. “He was not a pop-up shop.” Cllr Morris said Mr Ryan had tried to rectify matters in order to stay open but the council had tried to push him into other sites. He also stated it was “disgraceful” that the council had sought its costs of around E1,600, saying it showed the “callousness of a council that effectively ruined a man’s business”.
Cllr Morris said that Mr Ryan had not gone out to Five Alley to break the law but to grow his business and had done the town a favour by moving from his original store on Pearse Street, which had often been blocked by delivery trucks.
“It is the small man getting crushed by an arm of the State. The court had an awful lot of sympathy for Mr Ryan and refused to throw the book at him,” he said.