Saturday 10 December 2016

Son agrees not to spend funds in row over Queen's bowl

Tim Healy

Published 30/07/2015 | 02:30

Michael Carroll, son of the late Mary Elsie Carroll, leaves the High Court in Dublin yesterday
Michael Carroll, son of the late Mary Elsie Carroll, leaves the High Court in Dublin yesterday

A man has given a court undertaking not to dissipate any funds connected with the estate of his late mother, said to include a Wedgwood fruit bowl which was part of a dinner service specially commissioned by Queen Victoria.

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Correspondence, including some from London fine art auctioneers Sotheby's, suggested Michael Carroll had sold the bowl back to the family of the Duke of Devonshire for £100,000 (€141,000), the High Court previously heard.

Michael Carroll's family allege the bowl, used by the British royal family at their summer residence at Balmoral before it passed to the family of the Duke of Devonshire, is part of the estate of their late mother, Mary Elsie Carroll, after she bought it in England in the post-war years.

At the High Court yesterday, John Kerr BL, for Michael Carroll, said his client was prepared to give undertakings not to dissipate any funds connected with the estate of his late mother.

On foot of those undertakings, John Hayden BL, for Marie Ryan, a sister of Mr Carroll and executrix of their late mother's estate, said the matter could be adjourned on consent to October.

Ms Ryan had brought an application for orders restraining dissipation by Mr Carroll of any proceeds from the sale of the bowl.

In a text to his sister Mr Carroll claimed he last saw the bowl, containing some trifle, in the fridge of the family home at Sarsfield Square, Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Marie Elsie Carroll died in 2011 and, in her will, left her home - valued at some €53,000 - to her daughter and six sons. The remainder of the estate was also divided between the siblings.

The bowl is part of the estate and is valued at more than the entire estate, Mr Hayden told the court last week, when he got leave from Mr Justice Paul Gilligan to serve short notice of Ms Ryan's proceedings against her brother. Mr Carroll lived at Sarsfield Square for a time and also has an address in Dublin.

Ms Ryan wants injunctions restraining him from dissipating any proceeds from the sale of the bowl or some €30,000 allegedly taken from a joint account in an Irish bank.

When the matter returned to court yesterday, the judge was told there was consent it could be adjourned on foot of undertakings from Mr Carroll. The judge noted the undertakings and adjourned the matter to October.

Last week, Mr Hayden told the judge the bowl was part of a dinner service commissioned by Queen Victoria and used at Balmoral Castle.

When the British royal family ceased to visit Balmoral as frequently as previously, the service passed to the family of the Duke of Devonshire at Longleith House, counsel said. Individual parts of the service later appeared to have been sold.

In the correspondence from Sotheby's, it appeared the family of the Duke of Devonshire said they would pay £100,000 for the bowl rather than have it sold at auction, the court heard.

The UK Inland Revenue also issued a notice of waiver removing any tax liability concerning the sale of the bowl, Mr Hayden added.

Irish Independent

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