Monday 17 December 2018

Kennedy firm wins court fight over €5.8m land compensation

The judge threw out McDonagh’s claim which meant the six other claims collapsed with it and were dismissed
The judge threw out McDonagh’s claim which meant the six other claims collapsed with it and were dismissed

Tim Healy

A company of businessman Jim Kennedy has won a High Court action over a €5.8m claim over land in south Dublin.

Mairead Smith, and her late husband, Thomas Kevin Smith, of Priorsland House, Brennanstown, Carrickmines, claimed a 1947 legal restriction on building, known as a restrictive covenant, meant they were entitled to a benefit from a sale of adjoining land owned by Jackson Way Properties Ltd (JWPL).

JWPL was awarded €12.8m as part of a compulsory purchase process over land adjoining Priorsland. The Smiths claimed that €12.8m valuation was affected by their claim to the covenant entitlement.

JWPL brought proceedings against the Smiths claiming the covenant was no longer of benefit to them because it was no longer valid or that they had no entitlement to enforce it.

On Friday, Mr Justice David Keane found no persons were entitled to the benefit of the covenant. The judge, outlining the history of the property, said in 1942, stockbroker Thomas Vincent Murphy acquired Priorsland House, a mansion which included stables and 16 acres. He subsequently acquired 127 acres of adjoining land which formed part of the Hinchougue House Estate and in 1947 transferred 108 acres to another stockbroker, John Hugh Wilson, when the covenant was created.

In an affidavit that in 1962, Mr Murphy swore that at the time of the sale of the land to Mr Wilson in 1947, it was verbally agreed between the two men that a covenant which restricts all buildings on the lands be inserted into the deed. The land later passed through a number of owners and was transferred to JWPL in 1994.

After JWPL got its €12.8m award, it had to issue proceedings against Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council seeking enforcement of that award which was when the covenant issue arose.

The Smiths, in 2009, lodged a compensation claim with the council saying their interest in the land which had been compulsorily acquired was €5.8m.

Mr Justice Keane adjourned the question of what orders he should make and costs to next month.

Irish Independent

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