News Courts

Saturday 18 August 2018

'Anti-social' couple ordered to vacate Dublin apartment

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Aodhan O Faolain and Ray Managh

A HOUSING association has secured a High Court injunction requiring a couple with four children to vacate an apartment due to alleged anti-social behaviour.

The orders were obtained by the Sophia Housing Association against Derek Smith and Elena Hinchon who, the court heard, have been tenants at one of the associations' apartments at Cork Street in Dublin 8.

The housing association secured orders from Mr Justice Donald Binchy including an injunction requiring the couple and their family to vacate the apartment as well as an order preventing them from intimidating or threatening the association's staff or agents.

The court heard that the couple, who lived in an apartment on an upper floor of the complex, had in recent weeks engaged in anti-social activities including threatening members of the association's staff that work on-site.

Barra Faughnan, counsel for the association, said that one member of staff believed that someone on an upper floor had just missed her with spittle.  In other separate incidents Items such as nappies and a bottle of milk were thrown from the balcony of their apartment, counsel said.

He told Judge Binchy that a pineapple had been thrown from the upper floor, and had landed on a path used by children living at the complex. Security staff had to be hired to protect people at the complex, and the Gardai had been called over the incidents.

Mr Faughnan said the association, which provides accommodation for those on the margins of society, had no choice other than to seek the injunctions because of fears it has for the health and safety of its staff, members of the public and other residents of the complex due to the couples recent behaviour.

He said the association had previously obtained an adjudication from the Residential Tenancies Board requiring them to vacate the apartment, which had not been appealed.  The couple, who have been living at the complex since 2016, did not appear at the High Court nor were they legally represented at the hearing.

In his ruling granting the injunctions, Mr Justice Binchy said the association was entitled to the orders it had sought.  Noting that the couple have young children and that Ms Hinchon is pregnant, the judge said he was placing a 28 days stay on the execution of the order requiring the family to vacate the apartment.

The matter will return before the court in October.

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