Saturday 7 December 2019

Brothers lived almost rent-free for 10 years, says judge, as she orders them out of €650,000 house

Legal challenge: David Darcy arrives for the court hearing. Photo: Collins Courts
Legal challenge: David Darcy arrives for the court hearing. Photo: Collins Courts

Ray Managh

Two brothers have lost their home after a court heard they made only two payments totalling €1,600 in the 10 years since they bought the €650,000 property.

David and Mark Darcy have been left with a mortgage debt that has spiralled to almost €1m, the Circuit Civil Court was told.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane granted so-called vulture fund Promontoria (Oyster) Dac a possession order against the brothers. The judge told barrister Eoghan Keane, counsel for Promontoria, that she would award legal costs against both brothers.

Mr Keane had stressed the need for a costs order following a highly contested application by the fund to recover the property at Foxfield Grove, Raheny, Dublin.

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Mr Keane, who appeared with Dylan Byrne of HJ Ward Solicitors, said that the Darcy brothers had opposed Promontoria's application for a possession order since the case had come to court almost four years ago. Judge Linnane said the brothers now owed €991,000 on their mortgage, including €351,479 of arrears on repayments.

The judge stated they had effectively lived rent-free in the property since 2009.

"Someone who is renting and paying only two months' rent in 10 years would not be allowed to remain there," she said.

Roisin Burnside, counsel for the brothers, said Mark Darcy had in recent years become blind and was now living with his parents.

She said David Darcy, who was still living with his family in the property, had become unemployed after the financial collapse in 2009 but had been working for the past year.

The court ruled that David, his wife and two children could spend Christmas in their home. Judge Linnane granted the couple and Mark Darcy a stay on her order until March 1, 2020, to allow the couple time to put their affairs in order and find other accommodation.

Ms Burnside said David Darcy had twice asked Promontoria to accept settlement agreements but these had been refused.

Ms Burnside asked for the court to allow David Darcy to remain in his home while recent personal insolvency considerations were progressed, explaining that he had found himself in a "quagmire of debt".

When the possession order was granted, Ms Burnside asked the court not to make a punitive costs order against him but Judge Linnane refused.

Irish Independent

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