Farmer's signature was 'extraordinary squiggle' contested will case hears
A farmer's signature on a will five days before he died of cancer in his hospital bed was "an extraordinary squiggle" made when he was too ill to do so, the High Court has heard.
Bachelor Michael Buckley (76), from Caim near Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, was not of sound mind when he left his entire 54-acre farm and stock, estimated to be worth between €500,000 to €1m, to his nephew Richard Cooper junior, it is claimed by four of the deceased's siblings.
Joseph, William and Elizabeth Buckley and Teresa Doyle want the court to condemn the will.
Mr Cooper junior, who built his family home on a site on the farm sold to him by his uncle, is opposing the action.
He also denies his uncle was acting under undue influence and lacked mental capacity to make the will.
Mr Buckley died on March 20, 2011, from colon cancer. He had been in extremely poor health for a number of months before he was diagnosed, not eating and losing a lot of weight.
He underwent a major operation which did not improve his condition, was suffering from sepsis, and was receiving palliative care, the court heard.
About a week before he died, local solicitor John Mernagh was asked by Sheila Cooper to go to the hospital to take his will. But Mr Mernagh found him unresponsive and not engaging in a way that suggested he was capable of making a will, Michael Counihan SC, for the Buckley siblings said.