Monday 14 October 2019

Couple face jail if they do not vacate house within two weeks, High Court Judge warns

Martina Harty and Dermot Calvert pictured leaving the Four Courts after a High Court action.Pic: Collins Courts
Martina Harty and Dermot Calvert pictured leaving the Four Courts after a High Court action.Pic: Collins Courts Newsdesk Newsdesk

A couple have been warned by a High Court Judge they face being imprisoned if they do not vacate a house, currently in receivership, within two weeks.

Mr Justice Senan Allen gave the warning to Martina Harty and Dermot Calvert who, the court heard, failed to comply with an order requiring them to leave the semi-detached house located at Mossgrove Avenue, Caherdavin Heights, Limerick.

The couple, who agreed to leave the house, were brought before the court by several members of the gardai on foot of a motion seeking their committal to prison for being in contempt of an order made in April 2018 requiring them to leave.

Gearoid Costelloe, who was appointed receiver by IBRC over the house, and over more than 25 other properties owned by Richard Dineen in 2009, brought proceedings arising out of an alleged failure to repay loans taken out by Anglo Irish Bank.

The loans were eventually acquired by Promontoria Arrow Ltd.

On Tuesday Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, for the receiver, said in late November 2017 locks on the property were changed and the house was occupied by persons who had no entitlement to be there.

Counsel said the property had been leased out by the receiver, whose tenant left after that tenancy expired in late 2017.

Counsel said shortly afterwards Ms Harty was found to be living there, without the receiver's consent.

She had claimed to be the tenant there on foot of a three-year lease granted by Mr Dineen.

It was the receiver's case that neither Ms Harty nor anybody else at the premises had a right to reside there.

The court also heard that Mr Calvert had been in occupation at the premises and that gardai were investigating reports of ongoing anti-social behaviour at the property.

Counsel said in April 2018 an injunction was secured by the receiver requiring all those residing at the property to vacate the premises and as well as restraining them from trespassing there. 

The house was not vacated despite the occupants being given a number of deadlines in which to comply.

During the brief hearing, in which Ms Harty and Mr Calvert represented themselves, the pair gave sworn undertakings to vacate the property within the next two weeks. 

Ms Harty told the court that she had a lease with and paid rent to the owner of the property, Mr Dineen and said they were "unaware" of the orders previously made by the Court in respect of the house.

Mr Calvert said he only stayed at the house at weekends.

Mr Justice Allen warned them of the "serious consequences" if they did not leave the house within the two weeks.

The matter will return before the court in early April.

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