Saturday 25 November 2017

New owner of Huston's old home in bitter land dispute with neighbour

Enda and Ian Quinn after the hearing yesterday
Enda and Ian Quinn after the hearing yesterday
Neighbour David Corbett
The former home of director John Huston in Galway, which is at the centre of the dispute

Tim Healy

THE new owner of the former home of legendary film-maker John Huston claims he has been subjected to a campaign of intimidation and harassment by a neighbour in a dispute over land boundaries.

Yesterday, the High Court ordered neighbour David Corbett to remove allegedly defamatory signs which Ian Quinn says he can see from his new home at St Clerans House, Craughwell, Co Galway.

St Clerans was owned by Huston from 1954 to 1971.

After changing hands a number of times, it was bought in 1997 by American actor and chat show host Merv Griffin, who converted it into a hotel. The hotel closed in 2008.

Earlier this year, the 12,000sq ft manor house and adjoining 43 acres were bought by Mr Quinn, chairman of medical devices company Creganna, for use as a family home.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy told Mr Corbett yesterday that unless he removes signs stating "photography of children prohibited", from his neighbouring property by 4pm today, he would have to come back before her to face possible committal to prison for contempt of court.

Mr Corbett claimed he had erected the signs because Mr Quinn and his associates had been "hiding in the bushes" taking photographs of his family, including of his eight-year-old son.

Mr Quinn insisted he had never taken any photos of children but had taken pictures of the signs "for the record".

He claimed the signs were libellous by innuendo and had prompted questions from visitors to his new home.

Earlier this year, Mr Quinn, his wife Enda and their company St Clerans House Ltd, sought a High Court injunction against Mr Corbett and his parents, Thomas and Margaret Corbett, seeking to prevent interference with the Quinns' enjoyment of their property.

Last month, the Corbetts consented in court to non-interference orders but in the last week or so, a campaign of intimidation began with the "no photography of children signs" being erected, the court was told.

Mr Corbett, who was representing himself, said he had contacted the gardai about Mr Quinn's alleged behaviour.

Mr Quinn denied ever taking any pictures of any child.

Ms Justice Laffoy adjourned the case to January.

Irish Independent

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