Unemployed mum is told to vacate family home
Published 16/07/2016 | 02:30
An unemployed Dublin mother has been told by a judge in the Circuit Civil Court to vacate a house belonging to her former partner and in which she had been living rent free for 22 years.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane said Ita Clarke had been fully aware that her former partner and father of her children, Ruadhan Neeson, was under extremely severe financial circumstances and that a bank had threatened to repossess the house at Emerald Mews, Upper Grand Canal Street, Dublin.
Ms Clarke had denied Mr Neeson was the owner of the house, which was recently valued at €560,000. She had claimed adverse possession of the property.
Judge Linnane said Mr Neeson, an airline pilot, bought the house in 1985 for IR£46,000 (€58,000) with a mortgage. When his 10-year relationship with Ms Clarke ended in 1994, he moved out of the house and permitted her to remain with their two children. He had continued paying the mortgage.
He later remarried and changed the house owner's title to include his wife, Vivienne Neeson. The court heard that the Neesons are now separated but still live under the same roof at Carraig Grennane, Killiney Avenue, Dublin.
Judge Linnane said a bank had threatened to repossess the house and had even appointed a receiver at one stage. Mr Neeson had been under extreme financial pressure since 2011 and struggled to repay a €454,000 mortgage on the house. Ms Clarke had been aware of her former partner's financial position through various correspondence sent by him and by his solicitor, EM Nagle.
Mr Neeson told the court that he at the time had a private jet service business, flying property developers to Europe, but his firm went into liquidation in 2008 after the economic crisis.
He claimed that he had over the years paid maintenance and utility bills for the Upper Grand Canal Street house. He had been the only contributor to the mortgage.
In 2011, he had asked Ms Clarke to pay some rent to help recover the mortgage. She had applied to the Social Welfare for rent allowance but her application had been turned down.
The court heard that in 2012, EM Nagle wrote again to Ms Clarke outlining its client's financial situation and informing her that the rent for the property had been valued at €1,200.
The court heard Mr and Ms Neeson issued court proceedings after Ms Clarke failed to pay rent. Mr Neeson said he had delayed the matter to allow their two children, now aged 30 and 23, to complete their studies and move out of the house.
Ms Clarke denied Mr Neeson had paid utility bills.
Judge Linnane said she was satisfied Mr and Ms Neeson were the owners of the Upper Grand Canal Street property and she granted them an order for possession.
Allowing Ms Clarke a three-month stay to find alternative accommodation, Judge Linnane noted that the court proceedings did not "come out the blue".