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Taxi plates stall bid fails

By JOHN MADDOCK

THE National Taxi Drivers' Union failed to get a temporary High Court order yesterday restraining the issue of further licences between now and the resumption on January 11 of the taxi operators' action against the State's decision to deregulate licences.

The application was made during the third day's hearing of the judicial review proceedings taken by the NTDU.

Thomas Gorman, general secretary of the NTDU, said in an affidavit that under the regulations introduced some months ago by the Minister for State at the Department of the Environment, Mr Molloy, licensing authorities automatically issued licences to all applicants who paid a fee of 5,000 in respect of an ordinary licence and 100 in respect of a wheelchair accessible licence.

Mr Gorman said they had asked licensing authorities to desist from issuing licences pending the outcome of the NTDU challenge in the High Court. It was now apparent the court hearing could not decide the claim before the Christmas vacation. An injunction had not been sought before yesterday because the taximen's challenge to deregulation had got an early trial date and they were not sure as to the rate which licences would be applied for and would be issued.

Mr Gorman said he had learned with alarm on Wednesday that 1,810 applications for new licences had been made to Dublin Corporation and that applications were being received at the rate of 129 a day. Unless the court preserved the status quo it would not be in a position to provide an effective remedy for taxi drivers.

Mr Justice Paul Carney refusing the application for an interim injunction said he had understood the taximen's challenge to the new regulations had been fixed on the basis that there would be no application for restraining orders.


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