Wednesday 26 October 2016

Directors of €1.5m trust fund told to pay out €4,500 to homeless man for shelter

Ray Managh

Published 27/11/2015 | 11:39

Court case: Declan Heffernan
Court case: Declan Heffernan

The directors of a €1.5 million trust fund have been told by a court to pay out €4,500 to a homeless man to give him shelter over Christmas and the New Year.

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Declan Heffernan had on Monday last asked Judge Jacqueline Linnane for the pay-out from the trust fund left between him and his sister Carolyn Heffernan by their late mother.

Barrister Rudi Neuman Shanahan had told the court that Mr Heffernan had faced living on the streets of Dublin during the bitter winter months.

Judge Linnane said today that the money would have to be paid to Heffernan’s solicitor Colm Doherty of CN Doherty and Co and she ordered that Mr Doherty would make payments out directly to hostels or night shelters to cover Heffernan’s accommodation only.

The judge had heard on Monday last that Heffernan’s former home at 29 Kincora Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3 had been badly damaged by fire and that he had since been living in an outhouse attached to the premises.

Mr Neuman Shanahan told the court that an insurance company had paid the trustees €100,000 compensation following the fire but No 29 had not been made habitable again.  He said the cash remained in the trust which also covered a second property that was currently being rented out with payments being made into the trust.

Barrister Dermot Francis Sheehan, appeared for trustees Michael J. Kennedy solicitor and Carolyn Heffernan, a retired solicitor and sister of Mr Heffernan, of Castle Avenue, Clontarf.

Mr Sheehan said the trustees had taken proceedings to wind up the trust and seek an injunction restraining Mr Heffernan from living there.  Mr Heffernan on Monday last gave the court an undertaking on oath that he would not go near the now boarded up No 29.

Mr Sheehan said Mr Heffernan had a considerable financial interest in the trust and the trustees were neither opposing nor consenting to a pay-out which would have to be made through an order of the court.

Judge Linnane said that in evidence put before the court by Carolyn Heffernan it had been stated that the unfortunate fire had started in that part of No 29 used as an apartment by Mr Heffernan.

The sworn affidavit also stated that since the fire Mr Heffernan had invited other homeless drug users into the property and had been prosecuted in the District Court in relation to offences connected to the use of the property.

Mr Neuman Shanahan said the proceedings may not go to full trial early next year as there was a likelihood the trust would be wound up by consent of both the trustees and Mr Heffernan.  He said any interim pay-out to Mr Heffernan would come out of his eventual nett share of the trust.

Judge Linnane said she would authorise the trustees to pay Mr Heffernan’s solicitor €4,500 from trust funds to be used by Mr Doherty only for the cost of providing accommodation for Mr Heffernan until January 25 next.  The money would constitute an advance of Mr Heffernan’s entitlement under the trust fund.

“Mr Heffernan’s solicitor is to deal directly with whatever accommodation provider is being used.  Is that quite clear,” Judge Linnane said.

She said that Mr Heffernan should be reminded of the undertaking he had given to the court last Monday.

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