Mother claims son moved into farm and changed locks
A WOMAN in her 70s has launched High Court proceedings against her son and daughter-in-law, who it is alleged have taken occupation of her home and are refusing to leave it.
Elizabeth Stanley lives with her husband Jim and their family at Rahandrick, Ballacolla, Portlaoise, Co Laois. She has lived at the farm for the past 50 years, the court was told.
Last Saturday she claims her 46-year-old son Patrick Joseph Fitzpatrick gained entry to the house when she was absent after breaking the lock of the front door.
It is also alleged the a locksmith fitted new locks on the doors during Mr and Mrs Stanley's absence.
Barrister Peter Bland, for Mrs Stanley, yesterday told Judge Iseult O'Malley that Mr Fitzpatrick, his wife and the couple's two young children are currently occupying the property and are refusing to leave.
Mr Fitzpatrick has claimed he is co-owner of the property, which his mother disputes.
The court heard that on Sunday, Mr Fitzpatrick got a locksmith to change internal locks in the property.
The court heard Patrick is a son from Mrs Stanley's marriage to the late Francis Fitzpatrick, who died in 1970.
The court heard that she has lived on and held sole beneficial occupation of the farm, which had been registered in the late Mr Fitzpatrick's name, since then. She married Jim Stanley in 1976.
Counsel said Patrick Fitzpatrick, who has not lived at the property since 1984 when he went to college, previously brought proceedings against his mother seeking an interest in the property.
Counsel said the High Court struck out Mr Fitzpatrick's claim.
The court also heard that in 2012 Mr Fitzpatrick, who lived and worked abroad for many years, gained access to the property and also refused to leave. Eventually the locks of the property had to be changed.
In her proceedings, Mrs Stanley, who the court heard is very concerned about the events, seeks a number of orders including injunctions compelling her son, and his family to leave the property.
Ms Justice O'Malley granted the application by Mr Bland, for permission to serve short service of proceedings against Patrick Joseph Fitzpatrick and his wife.
The application was made on an ex parte basis, where only one side was represented in court. The matter will return before the High Court today.