Saturday 27 May 2017

Lotto winner told to live on €1k as assets are frozen

David Walsh (left) and Mary Walsh (right)
David Walsh (left) and Mary Walsh (right)
David Walsh at the Four Courts. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

Freezing orders on the assets of a woman who must pay her stepson more than half a million euro out of a Lotto jackpot win are to continue until next week, the High Court said.

Mr Justice Richard Humphrey's ruled last Thursday that Mary Walsh (aged 66) must pay €560,000 to her stepson David Walsh, plus his legal costs, after the judge found he he was entitled to a one-sixth share of a €3.3m winning ticket.

David Walsh, aged 52, of Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, sued Mrs Walsh, from Perrsepark, Ballinasloe, and argued that he was entitled to his share on the grounds his signature was among six on the back of the winning ticket. 

Mrs Walsh, who was married to David's late father Peter Walsh, denied his claims.

She argued that the ticket was hers and claimed David was offered and accepted her and her late husband's house in lieu of €200,000 euro from the win.

David denied that. The Judge rejected her claim.

David Walsh at the Four Courts. Photo: Collins
David Walsh at the Four Courts. Photo: Collins

Last Thursday, the judge placed a stay on the order pending any appeal against the decision.

She was also ordered not to reduce her assets below €929,000, comprising the one-sixth share and estimated legal costs, inclusive of appeal costs.

When the matter was briefly mentioned before the court on Monday, the judge continued those orders until a full hearing next week of the freezing of assets order.

But he made an exception for livign expenses of €1,000 between now and next Monday.

Following a seven-day hearing, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said he believed the evidence of Mr Walsh over that of his stepmother.

He also rejected Mrs Walsh's evidence that the reason she had allowed others to sign the back of the ticket was to enable them to avoid gift tax.

He also rejected her evidence that David Walsh chose to take the family home valued at €135,000 instead of €200,000 cash. He found that the transfer of the house to Mr Walsh had nothing to do with the Lotto win.

Mr Walsh in his action said that he had been promised a share by his father.

Peter Walsh died in December 2011 and he said his stepmother did not give him the money.

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