Saturday 1 October 2016

Great grandmother (90) won’t have to pay €1,500 bill for satellite dish

Alan O’Keeffe

Published 20/10/2015 | 12:27

Anne Rudd at court with her daughter Terry Davey
Anne Rudd at court with her daughter Terry Davey

A great-grandmother taken to court for having a satellite dish on her house is not longer faced with a €1,500 legal bill.

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Ann Rudd’s case made headlines when she was left facing a hefty legal bill for breaching planning laws by having a satellite dish on the front of her home on St Enda’s Road, Terenure, Dublin.

Anne Rudd paid legal costs
Anne Rudd paid legal costs

At a recent sitting of Dublin District Court, Judge John O’Neill urged Dublin City Council and the family of Mrs Rudd to see if they could agree on a compromise regarding the council’s legal costs of 2200 euro.

An agreement was reached later that the council would accept €1,500 in legal costs from the family.

But when the case came before Judge O’Neill today, barrister Peter Maguire spoke on behalf of the pensioner and asked that, in the interests of justice, an exception should be made so that she should not have to pay any of the legal costs of the council.

“She has an income of only €230 a week. It would be unfair and unjust that she should have to pay these costs,” said Mr Maguire.

He said she had to pay water tax, property tax, and feed and clothe herself.

“She cannot afford to pay,” he said.

Mr Maguire said she did not fully understand the letters she received from the council about the dish as there was “a degree of senility” involved and she was somewhat confused by the letters.

But once her daughters became aware of the situation they informed the council they were undertaking to removed the dish.  

The dish was already removed when the summons was issued, he said.

Justice O’Neill said the council had done everything properly and had granted her extensions of extra time to remove the dish and had agreed to a reduction in their legal costs.

The judge said he was disappointed that an agreement reached in talks between her daughters and the council on the €1,500 costs was not honoured by the family.

But, in considering the situation of Mrs Rudd (90), he would make no order for the payment of costs. The council’s solicior Michael Quinlan said the council would agree to the charge being dismissed.

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