Monday 9 December 2019

Man suing stepmother over €3.4m Lotto win, resumes before the High Court

Mary Walsh leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts
Mary Walsh leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts

Aodhan O'Faolain

A dispute involving a man and his step mother over a one sixth share of a €3.38m Lotto win has resumed before the High Court.

David Walsh (52), of Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, has brought the action against his stepmother Mary Walsh for a €560,000 share of the €3.38m Lotto win of January 22, 2011.

The third day of the hearing was taken up with what Mr Justice Richard Humphrey's said were technical and procedural arguments.

Mr Walsh is among six signatures on the back of the winning ticket, sold in Ballinasloe.

He claims he is entitled to a one sixth share.

Mr Walsh claims his late father, Peter Walsh, his cousin Kevin Black, Mrs Walsh, and her sons Anthony and Jason Daly, also signed the back of the ticket. 

He claims his signature is among six signatures on the back of the ticket and Mary Walsh and the estate of his late father hold the €560,000 in trust for him.

Ms Walsh (65), of Perssepark, Ballinasloe, who is being sued personally and as personal representative of Peter Walsh’s estate, denies David Walsh was part of a six person syndicate or that she holds €560,000 in trust for him. 

She claims she bought and owned the winning ticket, intended to make gifts from the prize and was advised having the potential beneficiaries sign the back of the ticket would avoid them having to pay tax on those gifts.

The court heard various cheques were sent on behalf of Mrs Walsh to some of those signatories, including a €300,000 cheque to her son Jason; one for £380,000 (about €456,000) to her son Tony, who lives in Wales, and one for €100,000 to Kevin Black.

Ms Walsh claims David Walsh was offered the option of having €200,000 from the Lotto win or the former home of herself and his late father at Knocknagreena.  He opted for the house, she says. 

Mr Walsh, who obtained a €135,000 valuation for the house in 2013, denies that.

On Thursday lawyers for Ms Walsh asked the court to strike out a part of Mr Walsh's claim, on the grounds it was inconsistent with the claim he has made and was prejudicial to her case.

Mr Walsh's lawyers opposed the application.

Mr Justice Humphreys said the strike out application was "quite illogical" and had raised "nothing of substance".

The case continues on Friday.

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