Thursday 30 October 2014

Neighbours sue each other after 13-year 'war of intimidation'

Ray Managh

Published 19/02/2013 | 04:00

Mary McBride, with her husband Eddie

AN ELDERLY couple claim they have been "crucified" by their neighbours for the past 13 years in a dispute which led to both parties seeking €40,000 damages.

The next-door neighbours are suing each other after claiming assault or emotional suffering, following an alleged war of harassment and intimidation.

Mary McBride (83) claims that she and her husband Eddie, who is also in his 80s, have been harassed and intimidated by neighbours Michael and Marian Hanway.

And she told Judge Alison Lindsay in the Circuit Civil Court, Dublin, yesterday that they had been "crucified" by neighbours Michael and Marian Hanway for the past 13 years

The Hanways, of 38 Villa Park Gardens, Navan Road, Dublin, are suing the McBrides, who live at number 40, for emotional suffering, harassment and intimidation, trespass and deliberate camera surveillance of the comings and goings at their home. But the McBrides counter, alleging assault, noise pollution and putting them in fear.

Breffni Gordon, counsel for the Hanways, told the court that the dispute started when his clients returned from holiday in 1998.

They found a double row of blocks had been built on to the rear garden boundary wall by the McBrides, he said.

Marian Hanway, a nurse, said "things festered" after that leading to a "falling out" and the eventual arrest of her husband, Michael for noise pollution. He was later fined and bound to the peace.

Mrs Hanway said solicitors' letters from the McBrides became frequent, complaining about the sound of wind chimes or their dog growling.

Poisoned

Gardai had also searched their home when the McBrides claimed she had poured weed killer on a grass patch outside the McBride home.

Mrs Hanway told the court she was watering the grass.

She and her husband Michael said the McBrides secretly made CCTV recordings of activities in the Hanway rear garden and driveway, and claimed a camera had been hidden behind an air vent. They also alleged hedge clippings were thrown on their back lawn by the McBrides.

Her husband said there had been a constant "tyranny of intimidation" from the McBrides who kept banging doors in their home and kept the TV and radio up loud.

And he denied having driven his car at the McBrides, before braking suddenly in front of them. The McBrides claimed the Hanways harassed, intimidated, abused, threatened, stalked and spat at them.

They said that after going running Mr Hanway cleared his nostrils on the footpath outside their sitting room window. They had water and eggs thrown at them by the Hanways.

Mrs McBride said the grass patch outside their home had been poisoned on at least three occasions.

She was convinced weed killer had been poured on it but had no proof it was Mrs Hanway.

The Hanways had kept loud music on in their home, often when they were at work all day.

She also said Mr Hanway had once called her a "f ... ing bitch".

The case continues today.

Irish Independent

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