Sisters back in court after bid to buy dad's home is rejected
THREE sisters returned to court yesterday in an ongoing battle over their late father's home, which has nosedived in value from €850,000 since the property collapse.
Dublin Circuit Civil Court was told that Mary French, who still lives with her husband William at 29 St Columba's Road Upper, Drumcondra, Dublin, wanted to buy it for an agreed valuation of €350,000.
But Judge Joseph Mathews heard that Mrs French's sisters, Martina O'Reilly and Brid Slator -- who were appointed to handle the sale and division of proceeds from the family home -- turned down the offer.
Cathal Murphy, counsel for Ms O'Reilly and Ms Slator, said they had obtained an order for possession of the house. And they wanted the couple out of the house by today, in accordance with the court's direction. He said there was a possibility of a higher offer for the property and his clients felt they could not accept the €350,000 bid. They also wanted the house vacant as they did not want it on the open market while Mr and Mrs French were still there, the court heard.
Counsel for Mary French, Declan Wade, said that since a previous court hearing Mrs French had obtained a €350,000 mortgage.
She had made an offer to her sisters but that had been turned down last week.
Mr Murphy told the court that since the last hearing in March the couple had made no effort to find alternative accommodation.
Judge Mathews granted Mr and Mrs French a three-month stay on the possession order until October 1 to see if a sale could be arranged. In the event of the occupants failing to buy it on the open market they would have to give vacant possession to the estate of their late father, Noel Goulding. The court heard the house was worth €850,000 in 2006.
When Mr and Mrs French offered to buy the property they had been met with a civil bill for possession and a demand for rent.
Judge Mathews previously granted possession in March but gave a stay. He assessed outstanding rent owed to her father's estate by Mrs French at €33,600 and directed it be deducted from her share of the proceeds of sale.
Mr Goulding originally left his home in equal shares to his four daughters -- the fourth being Frances O'Connor who lives in Florida.
Ms O'Connor later swapped her share with Ms French for two small sites Mary owned in Florida.