Monday 18 December 2017

Judge evicts family on €1k a week for €20k arrears

A general view of Cushlawn Park inTallaght

Ray Managh

A FAMILY that has not paid rent for the past 18 months is finally to be evicted, a judge has ruled.

Declan Fitzpatrick, solicitor for South Dublin County Council, told the Circuit Civil Court that taxi-driver David McGowan and his wife, Catherine, had previously faced eviction on four occasions but the local authority had always relented.

He said that in January last they had obtained a District Court order for their eviction from 410 Cushlawn, Killinarden, Tallaght, Co Dublin, where they live with their three adult children.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, said today that the McGowans, who owe more than €20,000 in rent arrears, had appealed the order to the Circuit Court.

Mr Fitzpatrick said no rent was being paid and a number of repayment arrangements that had been reached between the council and the McGowans had been broken.

“With a housing waiting list of 10,000 applicants for accommodation the council has to proceed with the eviction,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

Aisling Ni Bhroin, senior staff officer in the County Council’s Housing Department, told the court that Mrs McGowan and her three children had weekly income of €1,180 on top of the undisclosed earnings of her taxi driver husband and the children’s father.

Ms Ni Bhroin said a working daughter had a wage of €542 a week; another working daughter was receiving €262 a week maternity benefit; Mrs McGowan was receiving a weekly disability allowance of €188 and the couple’s son was on a weekly €188 job search payment.

She said Mr McGowan was self employed but had failed to furnish documentary evidence of what he was earning. The weekly rent was €169 which had been reduced from €188 following an assessment.

Judge Deery said Mr and Mrs McGowan had a number of previous evictions cancelled in the past and Mr McGowan had failed to furnish appropriate details of his income.

There were five adults in the house and it had been a year-and-a-half since any rent had been paid despite their receiving money from the state.

“While I have sympathy for Mr McGowan and his wife the order of the District Court has got to be affirmed,” Judge Deery said. He granted the McGowans a four months stay from yesterday on the eviction order.

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