A LEGAL dispute between Health Minister James Reilly and his neighbours has been settled, after they complained he had blocked their access to the beach.
The claim against the minister and his wife, Dorothy, was struck out at the Circuit Civil Court, with the terms of the agreement remaining private.
The case was taken against the Reillys by six members of a family who jointly own a holiday home beside the minister's beachfront home at Seaform, Southshore, Rush, Co Dublin.
The Reillys were sued by bookkeeper, Joan Deveney, Clonlea, Ballinteer Road, Ballinteer, Dublin 18; designer Bernadette Jarrett, Swallow's Rest, Ballynerrin, Wicklow; business manager Monica Boyne, Sunday's Well, Naas, Co Kildare; housewife Carol Hicks, Wesley Lawns, Sandyford, Dublin 18; company directors Joseph Doran, Templeroan Avenue, Knocklyon, Dublin 18; and David Doran, Strathdon, Hollybrook Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3.
None of the parties appeared in court yesterday, nor was anybody present later at the holiday home, Knockarlow, owned by the party of six.
However, the right of way problem was evident, with five old concrete steps in the garden having obviously been barricaded off by a wooden picket fence.
Barrister Joe Barnes told the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that the claim against the minister and his wife could be struck out.
Mr Barnes, who appeared for the Reillys' neighbours, told Judge Matthew Deery that the matter had been settled and asked the court to receive and file a memorandum of agreed terms without further order. The terms of the agreement were not publicly disclosed.
The party of six claimed to have a pedestrian right of way over the Reillys' lands and alleged that in February 2010 the Reillys had gate pillars and fencing removed from the Knockarlow property and erected a fence of their own, which blocked the plaintiffs' pedestrian access to the beach.
They had sought a declaration from the court that they had a right of way over the Reillys' lands and had also sought an order directing the removal of the offending fence.
They had also sought a declaration that the pillars and fencing removed by the Reillys were the property of the plaintiffs, who had also sought damages for trespass.
Angus Buttanshaw, counsel for the Reillys, said he confirmed the terms of settlement and asked that any reserved costs in the proceedings to date be vacated. Judge Deery Struck out the case. Afterwards, the family said they could not comment on the settlement.