Sunday 25 February 2018

Woman (89) loses temper at lawyer who asked why she is suing her daughter

The house in Gildea
The house in Gildea
Nora Kelly at Letterkenny courthouse yesterday.

Greg Harkin

AN 89-year-old woman swore twice at a lawyer during a bad-tempered court outburst when she was asked why she was suing her own daughter.

Nora Gildea said she was "f***ing" not listening when asked about the legal claim she is making to land in Co Donegal.

Mrs Gildea is suing her daughter, Nora Kelly, for the ownership of two fields and a "wreck of a cottage" in the townland of Upper Correnagh, near Letterkenny.

Mrs Kelly is counter-suing to establish her rights to the property which was left to her by her uncle, William John Kennedy, in his will in 2007.

Her brother Dan Gildea is taking a separate case against his sister, Mrs Kelly, claiming ownership of a shed.

Another brother, Chris Gildea, is claiming rights to all the lands left to Mrs Kelly, including the plots claimed by his mother.

At Donegal Civil Circuit Court yesterday, sitting before Judge Mary Faherty, Mrs Gildea objected on several occasions to being questioned about the fall-out with her daughter.

Peter Nolan, barrister for Mrs Kelly, asked mother-of-nine Mrs Gildea why she was taking the case. "I don't want to f***ing hear about her; I don't want to f***king hear her name," replied Mrs Gildea, her daughter sitting just two metres away.

Under the terms of the will, Mrs Kelly received just over 20 acres of land whilst her brother Jack Gildea received more than 40 acres.

Mr Nolan asked Mrs Gildea why she wasn't taking a legal action against her son Jack.

"Because he never bothered me," she replied.

Mrs Gildea also admitted going on to her daughter's land in April 2012 to put six of her heifers there in breach of a court injunction.

"Yes I did that," she said, "and yes I'd do it again, so I would."

Asked again why she was taking the case, Mrs Gildea replied: "Sure it passes the day, I'm here for the craic."

She insisted that her brother William Kennedy had "no right" to leave the land in his will as it belonged to her late great uncle.

Mr Nolan separately put it to Chris Gildea and his brother-in-law James McMonagle that they had attacked Mrs Kelly's daughter Fiona on their land at 11.30pm on April 11, 2012.

The witness insisted, however, that he didn't know there was an injunction at the time and he had gone to the land late at night to feed horses.

"It was Fiona Kelly who attacked me. They were sitting on top of Chris and punching him and calling him an old bastard," Mr McMonagle told the court.

Chris Gildea told the court that he had grazed sheep on all of William Kennedy's lands from 1971.


He admitted he was seeking ownership of all the lands left to his sister Nora in the will, but not the acreage given to his brother Jack.

He said he was seeking ownership of the same plot his mother was making a claim to.

He said he already owned 60 acres "and a wee bit more would do no harm".

Mr Nolan told him: "You should go into politics Mr Gildea, because you are incapable of giving a straight answer."

The case is expected to conclude today.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News