Sunday 22 October 2017

Former sexton of Dublin church and school ordered to leave her home of 35 years

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Ray Managh

THE former sexton and caretaker of St Catherine’s and St James’s church and school, Dublin, was today given just under a fortnight to quit the house in which she has been living for the past 35 years.

Barrister Ruth Cannon told the Circuit Civil Court that the Representative Body of The Church of Ireland had provided Eileen Walsh with a tenancy of 90 Elford Terrace, Donore Avenue, Dublin 8 in 1982.

Ms Cannon told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that the church body had made an application to the Residential Tenancies Board’s dispute resolution service in late 2011 and had been granted a termination order against Ms Walsh.

David Ritchie, chief officer and secretary of the representative church body, stated in an affidavit that on 2nd September 2011 notice had been served on Ms Walsh terminating her employment on notice.  She had been told her occupation of 90 Elford Terrace was dependent on her being sexton and caretaker of St Catherines and St James’s Church and school.

Mr Ritchie said an adjudication hearing had taken place and an order terminating the tenancy had been made by the Tenancies Board and served on Ms Walsh by the landlord in September 2011.

Ms Cannon said the Tenancies Board had directed Ms Walsh and all persons residing in the dwelling, including her son David, to vacate and give up possession of the property.  In 2015 Ms Walsh had appealed on a number of issues including that Dean Robert McCarthy was then no longer in office and no longer an agent authorised to act on behalf of the church body.

Judge Linnane heard that a tenancies appeal tribunal had upheld the Board’s decision as valid and directed that Ms Walsh and all residents should leave within 56 days.

Ms Cannon said this period was now well expired and since Ms Walsh had not appealed further to the High Court and had continued to fail to comply with the terms of the termination the church body was asking the court to enforce the order.

Judge Linnane directed that the Tenancies Board determination of November 2015 be enforced and ordered Ms Walsh and her son, and anyone else in occupation, to vacate within 10 days of service of her order on them.

The judge also granted the church body an order for possession.  She refused to make an order for legal costs against Ms Walsh.

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