Senior judge sued over alleged debts on luxury property
A SENIOR High Court judge has been sued over alleged debts relating to a property in Dublin.
Mr Justice Seamus Treacy, one of Northern Ireland's most high-profile judges, and his wife Viviane have denied they owe outstanding refurbishment and architectural bills.
The couple have counter-sued for damages as a result of alleged faults in the works, including what they described as "the saga of the Jacuzzi" and problems with plumbing and sewerage.
The Circuit Civil Court heard the case relates to a house the couple bought in Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co Dublin.
The court was told that the works included the erection of a €348,000 extension to the rear of the property, including alterations and renovations.
Architect Boris de Swart, of Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin, is seeking fees of €12,500.
Meanwhile, builders Michael McQuillan, of Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, and Patrick Haverty, of St Sylvester Villas, Malahide, Co Dublin, are suing the couple for just under €50,000.
Mr Justice Treacy and his wife sat through several hours of legal argument yesterday, before Judge Jacqueline Linnane put the proceedings back for case management and extension.
The couple claimed they had experienced serious difficulties on a number of weeks they had stayed in the house and had lost thousands of euro from a potential rental.
Following preliminary issues raised by barristers Annette Kealy, for the architect, and Deirdre Byrne, for the builders, Judge Linnane said the case would seem at the least to last for a week.
She said that while the works had been carried out almost 10 years ago, and legal proceedings not served until 2009, all parties had been dilatory in bringing the matter first to the High Court and then the Circuit Court.
Judge Linnane adjourned the proceedings back for case management before the County Registrar and advised both sides to "define and focus" their approach to the case.