“Freeman” who doesn’t acknowledge planning laws ordered to demolish shed

dungloe courthouse

A man who built a huge shed to accommodate his hobby of converting vintage cars has been ordered to demolish it in order to preserve the scenery at his home near Bloody Foreland.

He has also been order to remove containers and disused vehicles from the property.

Denis McGee, of Brinlack Lower, Gweedore, was described in court as having a "freeman" philosophy, and as a result, he didn’t acknowledge planning laws.

He was ordered to pay a total of €1,000 in fine and costs for failing to observe an enforcement notice from Donegal Co. Council in relation to an unauthorised development.

Dungloe District Court was told Mr McGee, who was not in court, failed to take steps required in the enforcement notice served on him in January 2015.

Killian Smith, an executive planner with Donegal County Council, told the court a large 60 metre shed had been built at the rear of his home, 200 yards from the sea.

The shed, which obstructed the view, should not have exceeded 25 sq metres.

Mr Smith said there were a number of cars and disused vehicles on the site, including two boats, a large steel container and a lorry container, scrap and a mini-digger.

There was a hardened area of one-third of an acre to the rear of the house, which Mr McGee had been instructed to return it to its vegetative state and restore the topsoil.

Despite instruction from the council to Mr McGee to remove the shed, he had completed it and it was operational. The court was told the council was prepared to allow him the equivalent of two car spaces to continue his vintage car restoration hobby.

Mr Smith added: “Mr McGee said he didn’t stand under the law. He has a free man philosophy.”

Judge Paul Kelly imposed a fine of €250 with instructions to McGee to also pay €750 towards the council costs, and ordered him to comply with the order within three months.