Wednesday 13 December 2017

Woman in bitter Donegal land dispute with family wins case

Nora Kelly
Nora Kelly

Greg Harkin

A WOMAN sued by members of her family over a 20-acre plot of land in Co Donegal today won her legal action in the Circuit Civil Court.

Nora Kelly, from Correnagh, Letterkenny, also had injunctions banning her mother Nora Gildea and brothers from entering her property made permanent.

In an hour-long judgement at Letterkenny court today, Judge Mary Faherty dismissed claims by 89-year-old Mrs Gildea and her two sons Christopher and Daniel to various plots of land and buildings.

Christopher Gildea had claimed adverse possession of two plots of the land and ownership through tenancy of a third piece, a seven acre plot known as The Craft Field. Judge Faherty said all the claims had "bordered on the audacious."

His mother's claim to The Craft - which included 'a wreck of a cottage' - was also dismissed as was a claim by Dan Gildea to a shed near his home in the same town land.

Mrs Kelly had been left the land by her late uncle William John Kennedy in his will when he died in 2007. She had cared for him for the last 15 years of his life.

Speaking outside court Mrs Kelly told the Irish Independent: "My life has been made hell by this and I am worried that it isn't over yet.

"My uncle Willie John was an absolute gentleman and if he were alive today, he would have been gutted that my own mother,  his sister, would put me through this.

"We hope to move on with our lives."

Judge Faherty ordered Mrs Gildea and Mrs Kelly to pay their own costs in the case. However she ordered Dan and Christopher Gildea to pay 50pc of their sister Mrs Kelly's costs.

She also urged the family to settle their differences.

Peter Nolan, barrister for Mrs Kelly, had likened the case to John B Keane's novel 'The Field'.

His client, he said, had "been nothing short of hell for the past six years."

Judge Faherty signed an order forcing the Gildeas to remove cars, rubbish, dogs and tools from a shed and lands. She said this must be done within three weeks.

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