THE constant jangling of wind chimes in a neighbour's back garden was described by an 83-year-old pensioner as a deliberate act of cruelty against her and her husband, Eddie.
Mary McBride, of 40 Villa Park Gardens, Navan Road, Dublin, told Judge Alison Lindsay in the Circuit Civil Court that neighbours Michael and Marian Hanway, who live at No 38, would deliberately hang out several wind chimes at a time.
"It was torture," she said.
Pat O'Brien, counsel for the McBrides, asked Judge Lindsay for maximum damages of €38,000 against the Hanways who are demanding a similar amount of compensation for bad neighbourliness by the McBrides.
Judge Lindsay has heard allegations by both sets of neighbours that each had been deliberately caused emotional suffering, harassment and intimidation including assault and trespass.
The Hanways alleged the McBrides, both in their eighties, kept their home under camera surveillance.
When Breffni Gordon, counsel for the Hanways, told Mrs McBride she had ignored letters of mediation from his clients, she told the court: "I will not ever have anything to do with that family."
She said the Hanways, who have alleged a "tyranny of intimidation" against the McBrides, had broken their word in the past and her family had suffered so much at their hands that she did not trust them.
Eddie McBride told Mr O'Brien that Mr Hanway was often like "a wild man" and Mr Hanway had once hosed him down across their garden boundary and that he had to get a change of clothing.
He said Mr Hanway would call him "a b******s" for no apparent reason and his son, Martin, who he accused of poisoning grass outside the McBride home, had called him "a bleedin' w****r."
Garda Sergeant John Broderick, married to one of the McBride daughters, said Mr Hanway had complained about him to the Garda Ombudsman Commission which had rejected the complaint.
Maura McBride said she had seen Marian Hanway on CCTV shovel a substance across grass outside her parents' home and then brush it in.
She had recorded 191 incidents throughout the 13-year neighbours' dispute.
Another daughter, Kate Tierney, said that as the years went by, the Hanways "upped the ante" on intimidation.
Daughter Eileen Kelly said that on one occasion the sound of music emanating from the Hanway household was "horrendous".
Judge Lindsay has reserved her judgment until Friday.
Both families are claiming damages and restraining injunctions against each other.