Thursday 22 March 2018

Gun seized after threat made during 33-year land dispute between families, court told

Gordon Deegan

Gardai had to seize a gun from a man after he threatened he would use it to sort out a long-running neighbours' dispute over a right of way, a court heard yesterday.

At the High Court, sitting in Ennis, Co Clare, Irene Crowe said that in 2004 her neighbour Noel Broggy "threatened to use his gun. He was going to use his gun to sort out this problem for once and for all".

Ms Crowe -- who is mother of local Fianna Fail councillor Cathal Crowe -- said: "Gardai went to Noel Broggy's home and he admitted that he made the threat and they took his gun from him and to this day, he is not allowed to hold a gun."

The court heard yesterday that the dispute between the Crowes and the Broggys goes back 33 years to 1979 when the Crowes bought a 1.5-acre plot for a family home beside the Broggys in the Meelick area in south-east Clare.

Noel Broggy of Derrymore, Meelick, is appealing a 2004 Circuit Court ruling that no right of way exists at the site, restraining him from trespassing on Michael Crowe's land.

Counsel for the Broggys, Joe Revington, said: "They have used this ancient right of way for generations and Broggys have lived there since the 1600s."

Mr Revington said that he would produce in court 11 different witnesses to say that the Broggys used the right of way.

After being told an outline of the case by counsel for the Crowes, Pat Whyms, Mr Justice Michael Hanna remarked: "This all began shortly after I was called to the Bar and here I am a High Court judge, contemplating retirement. People are still fighting over a strip of land."

Ms Crowe, of Knockroe, Meelick, said that Noel Broggy initially objected to the Crowes building a home in 1979 claiming that he had a right of way on a private road on the lands.


Ms Crowe said that her husband, Michael, had fallen in love with the place and they secured planning permission for the home.

Mr Whyms said that Mr Broggy issued legal proceedings in 1979 over the disputed land and the case was settled out of court, though it did not deal with the issue of the right of way.

Ms Crowe said: "Mr Broggy was very angry around that time. He threatened to shoot my husband, Michael. He pulled a driver off a JCB doing work on the land."

Ms Crowe said that after she reported Mr Broggy threatening to shoot her husband, a local garda had to wrestle Mr Broggy away from the Crowes' property.

She added: "We have always been very afraid of the Broggy family. The reason we built the second driveway was for safety and nothing else. We were dealing with a very angry man."

She said that there had been relative peace until 2000 with the Broggys when they started to clear the boreen with machinery and dumping material on the Crowes' land.

Mr Revington said that Mr Broggy would say "there is no truth whatsoever" to the claim that he tried to drive Ms Crowe off the road.

The case continues today.

Irish Independent

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