Woman told land she tended is now hers
A bank official's back garden just grew to the size of a hockey pitch when a judge told her the land she had looked after for 12 years was now hers.
Mary Byrne, of Marino, Dublin, told the Circuit Civil Court she maintained an old allotments area leased by Dublin Corporation to her grandfather and passed down to her through her grandparents.
Judge Francis Comerford granted Ms Byrne a declaration that the lands, extending to just under quarter of an acre, were now hers. He said Dublin City Council had missed an opportunity to turn the property into a public amenity.
The court heard the area was a left-over portion of a construction site in 1934 behind the houses and gardens of a development bordered by Brian Road, Brian Avenue and St Declan's Road, in Marino.
It had been Dublin Corporation's intention to grant allotments to residents whose rear gardens abutted the left-over land. Residents failed to show interest in the scheme and Ms Byrne's grandfather was given a tenancy of all of the allotments for a few pence a year.
When he died his widow had taken over tending the plots and the Byrne family had continued possession of it. Subsequently Mary Byrne, the grand-daughter and plaintiff acquired the house, No 33.
Judge Comerford was satisfied Ms Byrne had established the appropriate period of adverse possession. The judge granted Ms Byrne her legal costs but granted a stay on the costs order to facilitate consideration of an appeal to the High Court by Dublin City Council.