THE TURBULENT nature of the relationship between a house owner and her former tenant was put on show in the District Court last week.
An application under the Police Property Act cast Judge Gerard Haughton as the man to decide who was the rightful owner of a series of items including a parasol, bedside lamps, a fishing rod, a trolley and a couple of drills.
Landlady Bernadette Judge insisted that the items were all hers and had been left in the house at Knocknaskeagh in The Harrow. Tenant Michael Fortune - now resident at 58 Madeira Woods in Enniscorthy town - pointed out that none of them was included on the inventory agreed when he and his wife moved into the property. He too claimed ownership.
She maintained that the Fortunes stole garden furniture, Christmas decorations, ornaments which had belonged to her deceased mother and other items from the house. He accused Ms. Judge of making the couple's life hell and claimed that she owed him €1,250.
'I've got the picture - the two of you don't get on,' observed Judge Haughton amidst laughter in the Gorey courtroom. The one matter the opposing sides agreed on was that the rod was designed for beach fishing. However, he said the accompanying net was for landing the catch on the strand while she was adamant that it was suitable only for use in a garden pond.
Michael Fortune produced a receipt that purported to show that he had acquired some of the pieces from a second-hand shop in Galway. However, the judge pointed out that Fortune's name did not appear on the document and Garda Inspector Pat Cody said that the numbers shown were not a phone number.
The inspector offered to produce the disputed goods for the court after the lunch break but Michael Fortune was not keen to remain in court. He explained that his wife's father was dying and a tearful Sylvia Fortune said she did not want to listen any more to 'this woman'.
The judge decided that he would wait until December 5 before reaching his verdict in the hotly disputed case, adjourning to that date in the hope that the parasol, the trolley, the fishing rod and the rest will be available on that day for him to inspect.