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Friday 29 August 2014

Court orders FG Senator’s husband to pay plumber

Caroline Crawford

Published 26/07/2012 | 05:00

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Senator Fidelma Healy Eames and her husband, Michael, arrive at court yesterday
The home of Senator Fidelma Healy Eames and her husband Michael in Co Galway

THE HUSBAND of Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has been ordered to pay over €12,000 to a builder who had sued the couple after he was forced off a job he was carrying out at their home.

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Judge Rory McCabe ruled in favour of tradesman Michael Allen at Galway Civil Circuit Court this morning.

He found that a contract had existed between Mr Eames and Mr Allen for work to be carried out at the Eames home at Oranmore in Co Galway in 2009.

Judge McCabe dismissed the case against Senator Healy Eames as he said he was satisfied she wasn't intimately involved or even peripherally involved.

Ms Healy Eames was first elected by the Labour panel in 2007.

Earlier this week Irish Rail said its dispute with the Senator, which centred on her attempt to travel on an intercity train without buying a ticket beforehand, has been resolved.

The Judge also dismissed a counter claim that the work carried out by Mr Allen was not up to standard.

Mr Allen had sued the couple for alleged non-payment for plumbing work carried out on their three storey home.

Michael Allen claimed he was paid only €13,000 of the €28,840 he quoted for plumbing and heating works before he was taken off the job at the couples home in Maree, Oranmore, in November 2009.

The tradesman claimed that in addition to works on their home he began a refurbishment of their garage which Ms Healy Eames was eager to complete for use as a Fine Gael boardroom.

He claimed that when additional costs were taken into account including work done on the garage he was owed in the region of €23,000.

Today Judge McCabe found in his favour and awarded him €12,412.97.

Ruling in favour of Mr Allen, Judge McCabe said; “The fact that the defendant tried to rewrite the contract and force the plaintiff to accept a new deal at less than the agreed price speaks for itself.”

Earlier the court heard from Senator Healy Eames who dismissed claims that she was building a Fine Gael boardroom in her garage as “a terrible thing to say”.

Mr Eames had claimed that he had never requested the work on the garage to go ahead.

Today Judge McCabe said it would have been “unthinkable” for a contractor to do such work on spec.

Judge McCabe also dismissed claims from Mr Eames that he had requested Mr Allen to continue the job, stating that a letter sent to that effect was simply a “set up letter”.

Judge McCabe added that in his mind Mr Eames had no real intention to allow Mr Allen continue the job.

The court also heard evidence from Gerry Slattery, who finished the job after Mr Allen was thrown off site.

It heard that the young plumber was not VAT or tax registered at the time and had been paid in cash by Mr Eames.

Irish Independent

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