Breach of promise in Naylor v Maher farm case
Breach of promise and 'Proprietory Estoppel'
Naylor v Maher --  IEHC 408
This case concerned a legal challenge by 57-year-old William Naylor to a will written by Mr Michael Hoare in 2006, who he believed to be his stepfather, but who during the course of the trial was proved to be his father.
In the 2006 will, Mr Hoare left his 120ac farm at Derrylahan, Roscrea, Co Tipperary to his daughter Jean Maher, the defendant, who nursed him prior to his death.
However, Mr Hoare had made a will in 2005 in which he left the 120ac to the plaintiff, Mr Naylor. William Naylor claimed he was entitled to the lands on two grounds.
The first was that in the 1970s, he and Mr Hoare had agreed that if Mr Naylor carried out work on the farm and provided services both on the farm and to Mr Hoare personally for minimal pay then he, Mr Hoare, would make a will leaving the 120ac to Mr Naylor.
Mr Naylor claimed that from around 1973 onwards, Mr Hoare told him several times that Mr Naylor was working the lands for himself and that they would "one day be his".
Mr Naylor worked on Mr Hoare's farm from a very young age, starting with rearing calves and pigs and moving to milking the cows by the age of 13.