A dispute between Stena Line and Doyle Shipping Group over the provision of services for ferry docking at Dublin Port is to be fast-tracked by the Commercial Court.

Doyle Shipping Group (DSG) had operated a contract with Stena Line Limited to provide services to allow Stena ferries dock at Dublin Port.

The services provided include stevedoring, checking-in and out of passengers, loading and unloading freight and administration services.

Stena Line and Doyle Shipping Group in dispute over €4m-a-year Dublin Port contract

The contract for the provision of the services was worth €4m per year.

Last August Stena informed DSG that it was ending their agreement, and gave DSG three months notice.

DSG claims the notice is invalid.

DSG, which provides services at all of Ireland's major ports, argues the termination notice is in breach of an oral agreement it says it negotiated with Stena in 2015 for the provision of services at Dublin Port till 2022.

As a result DSG has brought proceedings against Stena where its seeks declarations including that the termination notice is invalid and of no effect, and that the 2015 agreement, the terms of which it has been operating, is binding.

It also seeks injunctions restraining Stena from breaching the contract with DSG, and from transferring any of DSG contractual obligations to any other party.

DSG further seeks an order preventing Stena from removing or evicting it from any of the properties or locations in Dublin Port where it operates.

Paul Gallagher SC for DSG said there was some urgency to the proceedings particularly as the purported termination is due to take place on December 1st and there are concerns for the jobs of the 53 people employed by his client involved in the work.

Stena opposes the action and claims the termination notice is valid. It says it is entitled to terminate the agreement on three months notice based on a provision of an agreement the parties entered into in 2011.

In its proceedings against DSG Stena, which has entered into a contract with another party to provide the services at Dublin Port, it seeks a declaration that its termination notice of August 31 last is valid.

It also seeks an injunction restraining DSG from obstructing or interfering with its activities in connection with the removal of freight and its passengers' services at the 5.16 ha section of the port, off Alexandra Road in Dublin 3, where Stena operates from.

If necessary Stena also seeks an order for possession of that section of Dublin Port where its ferries operate from.

Both sets of proceedings were admitted to the fast track Commercial Court list by Mr Justice Brian McGovern Monday.

The proceedings will return before the court later this month.

Source: Irish Examiner