Retired garda finally agrees to vacate barracks
A RETIRED garda who has been lived over his former barracks for a nominal rent has given an undertaking to vacate the premises after a protracted dispute with the State.
Michael O'Donoghue has until February to leave the garda barracks in Glenbeigh, Co Kerry, where he was stationed before his retirement.
He gave an undertaking through his solicitor at Killorglin District Court last Thursday that he would hand over vacant possession of the house by February 1.
The court heard that he needed until then to vacate the accommodation at Keelnabrack Lower, Killorglin Road, Glenbeigh, which adjoins the garda barracks but has a separate entrance.
Mr O'Donoghue had been served with a civil summons by the chief state solicitor, David O'Hagan, on behalf of the Commissioner of Public Works on June 29.
This followed three demands from the State for Mr O'Donoghue to cede possession of the garda property on July 19 and September 1, 2010 and again on January 24 this year.
Yesterday, Mr O'Donoghue declined to comment when the Irish Independent called to him at the house in the picturesque south Kerry village.
Two dogs, a Boxer and a Shih Tzu-type breed, although kept within the perimeters of an electronic fence, didn't encourage visitors.
Mr O'Donoghue did not reveal his identity when approached, retreated into the house and did not subsequently re-emerge.
The retired garda is one of 13 former members of the force and the second in Co Kerry who, following their retirement, have failed to vacate accommodation provided for them by the State.
The Office of Public Works, which owns all garda buildings, had initiated the civil action against Mr O'Donoghue but it is understood that a number of other similar cases could also result in legal proceedings.
Retired garda Ciaran Clancy continues to occupy the garda barracks in Ballyferriter in west Kerry, despite owning another property in the village which he has rented out.
Mr Clancy is due to appear before a sitting of Dingle District Court later this year in relation to the matter.
In court documents lodged by the Commissioner of Public Works, it is claimed that Mr Clancy "refused or omitted to quit and deliver up possession of the house" at Gort Mor in the Gaeltacht village.
The case had come before a sitting of the court in March but was adjourned.
The case against Mr O'Donoghue was adjourned until February 9 next for mention only.