Judge's wife takes farmer to court over alleged trespass on land

(stock photo)

Court Reporter

The wife of a Circuit Court Judge has brought proceedings against a farmer for alleged trespass on what she claims is her property. 

Felicity O'Kelly, who is married to Judge Eugene O'Kelly, has brought High Court proceedings against John Brew of Tarmon, Kilkee, Co Clare. 

Mrs O'Kelly claims that Mr Brew, who disputes the ownership of a portion of the lands, has been trespassing on the site of a former creamery at Termon West, Kilkee Co Clare which she says she owns.

She claims he has left cattle on the disputed land, which have wandered onto the main road. 

She seeks various orders against Mr Brew including an injunction restraining him from trespassing or interfering with her property, which includes that he remove fencing and locks on the gates to her property. 

She also seeks an injunction requiring the defendant to remove any property including animals located on the lands. 

She also seeks  damages.

On Thursday, Mr Justice Tony O'Connor granted Mrs O'Kelly permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Mr Brew. 

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The Judge, who granted permission on an ex parte (one side only represented) basis, adjourned the matter to later this month. 

Michael Howard SC, for Mrs O'Kelly, said that normally a case like this would be a matter for the Circuit Court.

However, as Judge O'Kelly sat on that division of the courts the action would have to be heard by the High Court. 

Counsel said that the site was purchased by the O'Kelly's some years ago. It is now in the sole name of Mrs O'Kelly.

An issue arose over a portion of the lands with Mr Brew. 

The O'Kelly's made efforts to sort out the dispute, counsel said. 

Mr Brew counsel said had put cattle on the land.  

Matters recently escalated when a lock was placed by Mr Brew on a gate of the lands, counsel said.    

Mrs O'Kelly did not want to come to court but  was left with no option, counsel said.

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