Tuesday 22 August 2017

Michelle Morrison tells court she does not want to proceed with claims as Van Morrison says he is 'legally separated' from wife and has no part in court action

Van Morrison and his wife Michelle
Van Morrison and his wife Michelle
Michelle Morrison is involved in a dispute with her neighbours

Tim Healy

MICHELLE Morrison's High Court case over sea views and privacy from her Dalkey home is no longer proceeding, a judge was told earlier today.

The case was due to enter its fifth day when her counsel Mark Sanfey said his client had "considered the matter over the weekend and decided she does not wish to proceed with her claim".

Michelle Morrison arriving at the High Court
Michelle Morrison arriving at the High Court

Mr Justice David Keane said on the basis he was told the matter was being withdrawn, he was dismissing the case.

Over the weekend also, singer Van Morrison, who was married to Ms Morrison, issued a statement dissociating himself from the legal action and said he had never lived in Kilross House, Sorrento Road, Dalkey.

He said the court action “was brought by Michelle Rocca and I have no part in it."

“As we have been legally separated since September 2013, I would appreciate if I was not included in any further references to this ongoing action.”

Michelle Morrison (right) with her sister Laura leaving the High Court yesterday
Michelle Morrison (right) with her sister Laura leaving the High Court yesterday

Ms Morrison told the court last Friday that Van initially thought about using Kilross as a recording studio but later "we decided it would be a family home".

She said privacy was an important consideration for Van who liked to be able to get out of his car and go to his front door without being overlooked. Views of Dalkey Island from Kilross were also important for her, she said.

In a statement issued after today's hearing, Conor and Eileen Kavanagh said they were "pleased" the matter had been brought to an end.

"Conor and Eileen are delighted that the protracted proceedings which have been running since the 20th of November 2009, brought without any legal foundation, have been struck out by Mr Justice Keane with a Cost Order in their favour," the statement read.

Van Morrison and his wife Michelle
Van Morrison and his wife Michelle
Van Morrison and Michelle

"These proceedings have been very difficult and Conor and Eileen are delighted that this difficult time has been brought to a close and their position vindicated.

"They also wish to express their sincere gratitude to everyone involved in bringing this matter to a conclusion," the statement concluded.

It was Ms Morrison's second action over work by neighbours Conor and Eileen Kavanagh on their "Mount Alverno" home. The previous one, brought against the local council in relation to compliance with planning permission, was settled.

After the case was withdrawn, Conor Kavanagh said he was "happy it was all over and done with".

Ms Morrison was not in court.

Esmonde Keane SC, for the Kavanaghs, asked the court to "mark its opprobrium" over what was a vexatious and unstateable case by awarding costs beyond the normal so that his clients would recover the actual costs there had been in defending the case.

Their enjoyment of their principal private residence had been "utterly tarnished" and their lives had been made "a living hell" for the last six years during which it was abundantly clear there was no basis for the claim, counsel said.

The evidence which had been heard during the four days of the case showed  no support for her claim there was an agreement the sea views would be preserved.

Ms Morrison had "played ducks and drakes" with the court and with the Kavanaghs where following failed mediation she changed solicitors and then sought an adjournment of the case.

Even though the Kavanaghs had not been given any opportunity to respond, as the case was not going on, Mr Morrison's evidence has been "palpably incorrect" and the court should mark its disapproval of her conduct particularly as the Kavanaghs had been "dragged through the courts".  Ms Morrison was "utterly devoid of credibility" and the court should also take that into account when awarding costs.

Mr Sanfey SC, for Ms Morrison, said his client fully accepted she was go to have to pay legals costs but because she was not proceeding, the court should not infer the case was falling apart or was frivolous, vexatious and unstateable in the first place.

It was the Morrison side which wanted the matter to go to mediation after the judge urged the parties to do so on the first day of the case but the Kavanaghs did not want to, counsel said.

What the defendants' counsel wanted to do "was punish the plaintiff (Morrison) for saving the court time", Mr Sanfey said.

Life had "not been a picnic" for either the Morrisons or the Kavanaghs who had a very public falling out between them not just in this case but in the previous case, he said.

He asked the court to award only normal costs.

Mr Justice Keane said he wanted to carefully consider the issue of costs and would give a decision later. He dismissed the case on the basis it had been withdrawn.

Read more here:

Michelle Morrison 'has decided she does not wish to proceed with her claim,' High Court hears

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