Property owner in house charge court challenge
ONE of the first property owners to be prosecuted in connection with the controversial household charge is challenging its constitutionality in the High Court.
Summonses to appear before Judge Mary Devins at Westport District Court have been issued against Peter Anthony Keegan, of Belcare, Westport, Co Mayo.
The summons against Mr Keegan relates to allegedly not making a declaration of the household charge in relation to six units in Westport town.
In a separate development, Mr Keegan has issued a plenary summons in the High Court against a number of people including Environment Minister Phil Hogan, Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
Last month, when the cases came before Westport District Court, Judge Devins asked if they were the first of their kind in the country.
Ward McEllin, solicitor for Mayo County Council, replied: "As I understand it, yes."
Mr McEllin told the court it was an offence to fail to make a declaration and it was a separate offence to fail to pay the household charge.
Separately, summonses were also issued against a married couple, Barbara and Liam O'Malley, with an address at Clooneen, Rosbeg, Westport, Co Mayo, relating to alleged non-declaration in respect of three units in Westport.
The cases were all adjourned until December 20.
Mayo County Council has confirmed it has issued a total of eight summonses in relation to alleged non-payment of household charges and that it also sent 28,641 letters to householders.