Saturday 3 December 2016

Legal dispute between Van Morrison's wife and her Dalkey neighbours has cost €875,000

Tim Healy

Published 19/06/2015 | 17:14

Mr Morrison with wife Michelle
Mr Morrison with wife Michelle

A legal dispute between the wife of singer Van Morrison and her neighbours has so far cost her €875,000, the High Court heard.

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The figure was revealed as the court decided to postpone until October a scheduled June 30 hearing for the case being brought by Michelle Morrison against Dalkey neighbours, Desmond and Mary Kavanagh.

The case concerns proposals by the Kavanaghs to landscape their property which Ms Morrison says will interfere with views from her home.  

The Kavanaghs say the views never existed and wanted the case to go on this month because another planting season would be lost.

The adjournment was sought because Ms Morrison had decided to get new lawyers after her relationship with the previous firm which handled the case - going on since 2009 - had broken down.

The new lawyers, O'Grady's Solicitors, needed time to take over the papers from other firm and begin work on preparing the case, the court heard.

Read more: Wife of Van Morrison in new legal dispute with Dalkey neighbours

Lawyers for the Kavanaghs opposed the adjournment saying witnesses had been lined up to appear from June 30 for the hearing which was expected to take several days.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan granted the adjournment on the basis Ms Morrison pays the expenses of those witnesses who had been due before the court from June 30.

Earlier, he was told Ms Morrison had paid her previous solicitors, Smith Foy, €875,000 although this included fees for expert witnesses and counsel and did not all go to the firm.

The court heard the case centres on concerns from Ms Morrison, who lives at Kilross House, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, about the view she says she has enjoyed from her home.

The Kavanaghs, who redeveloped their neighbouring "Mount Alverno" property some years ago, want to complete the work through landscaping.

Read more: Michelle Rocca’s privacy case settles at High Court

A previous case by Ms Morrison against Dun Laoghaire Co Council over the planning permission it gave to the Kavanaghs for their house was settled last year following a seven-day hearing in 2010 in the High Court in which she was given leave to challenge the council's decision to issue a compliance certificate for the work on the Kavanagh property.

She claimed that decision impacted on her privacy.

Separately, she brought a case against the Kavanaghs which the court heard Friday (June 19) centres mainly on the question of the view from the Morrison house.

 Esmonde Keane SC, for the Kavanaghs, said it was their case that not only did the view not exist but there was no right in law to it. There were also sides issues in relation to a window on the Kavanagh property and about vehicular access, he said.

Mark Sanfey SC, for Ms Morrison, said there would be no prejudice to the Kavanaghs in granting an adjournment because, even if the case was heard from June 30, it would probably be October before a decision would be given by the court.

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