Tuesday 20 March 2018

Damages claim after a 'Room to Improve' revamp settled for€100k

The house in Rathcoole before the renovations
The house in Rathcoole before the renovations

Jane O'Faherty and Ray Managh

A woman whose South Dublin home featured on RTÉ's 'Room to Improve' programme has settled her damages claim against presenter architect, Dermot Bannon; the show's producers and the firm that carried out works on her property.

It has emerged that architect Bannon admitted he made a crucial measurement error on the first day of renovating the home on the hit RTÉ show.

The house after the renovations carried on on ‘Room to Improve’
The house after the renovations carried on on ‘Room to Improve’

The star architect, who is one of the most sought-after in his trade, made the comments while working on the house in Rathcoole for the RTÉ show.

The revamp eventually led to a High Court damages case, where the homeowner received a settlement of €100,000.

Mary Moore, the owner of the Rathcoole property, sued Mr Bannon and a number of other team members after claiming she was forced to pay out for remedial work to repair damage caused by the project.

The home, which was featured on the architect's hit RTÉ show in 2009, went under works at a cost of €100,000.

Dermot Bannon with Mary Moore
Dermot Bannon with Mary Moore

The episode documenting the transformation Mary Moore's three-bed home originally aired in 2009, when it was described as "one of the most challenging problems probably ever presented on 'Room To Improve'."

The redevelopment proved difficult from the outset, after Mr Bannon admitted that he had made a mistake in his measurements of the house on the very first day.

"I got the dimension wrong on day one, so now I always come here with apprehension," he said while visiting the home on the programme.

Mr Bannon's design for the house was described as "one of the most unusual and interesting" Mr Bannon had ever come up with.

"By the time it's finished Mary's house will be no ordinary semi-d," he said at the time.

Ms Moore first sought the show's help in a bid to renovate her home and reduce noise from the nearby N7 road.

She had been living in the house for over 20 years, and did not wish to move away from her local community.

At the time, Ms Moore said she realised she wanted to "revamp [the house] and embrace new ideas".

Later in the episode, it was revealed that a problem with the window order delayed the schedule by two weeks.

Ms Moore brought High Court proceedings seeking damages against a number of parties including Bannon who trades as Dermot Bannon Architects.

She also sued Kelly O'Connell Developments Ltd, of Timahoe, Co Laois, the principal contractor who carried out works on her home that featured in the show; a director of the contractor, Brendan O'Connell and Coco Television Productions Ltd, the company which produces 'Room to Improve.'

The claims were denied.

The case briefly came before Ms Justice Caroline Costello during a vacation sitting of the High Court yesterday who was told by barrister Peter Shanley, who appeared with solicitor Raymond Quinn for Ms Moore, that the action had been settled.

He said that €100,000 had been lodged into court by Mr Bannon, Mr O'Connell and Coco TV in February.

Mr Shanley said that while it was Ms' Moore's case the amount lodged did not cover what was required to carry out the necessary remedial works on her home she had agreed to accept the €100,000 by way of settlement.

In order to obtain payment out of monies an application had to be made to the court, counsel said.

Ms Moore was unavailable for comment when contacted, and RTÉ said that it would not be commenting on the matter.

Irish Independent

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