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Architect can sell €790,000 Killiney home after breakdown of 20-year romantic relationship, judge says


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A judge has told a Dublin architect he may sell a €790,000 house he co-owns in Killiney, Co Dublin, with a former lover six years after their relationship broke up.

Judge James McCourt made an order in the Circuit Civil Court today granting Thomas Murphy, of Newtown Business Enterprise Centre, Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow, a declaration that he is entitled to a 100pc legal and beneficial interest in the property.

Barrister Joan Walsh, who appeared with Michael Sheil Solicitors for Murphy, told the court that he had been in a 20-year relationship with Deirdre Melly of Inver, Killiney Road, Killiney.

They were joint registered owners of Corrigmere House, Violet Hill, Church Road, Killiney although they had never lived together there.

He had always resided at a separate property.

Murphy told Judge McCourt he had bought the house in 2011 as a development opportunity and had registered it in both his and Ms Melly’s name.

He said it was subject to a mortgage of about €260,000 and he wished to sell it to realise his investment.

He said he had got into difficulties over the past few years and was not working at the moment.

The mortgage had fallen into arrears of about €15,000.

He had made some payments towards the mortgage and added that Ms Melly had not made any financial contribution.

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She had contributed nothing at all.

Murphy said that in 2016 the relationship had broken down and over the last three years he had been attempting to negotiate with Ms Melly.

He said the property, which he claimed had never been a family home, was currently vacant.

“The defendant has not engaged with me in any way at all,” he said.

Ms Walsh told Judge McCourt that while there had been correspondence between Michael Sheil and Partners, Solicitors for Mr Murphy, and Ms Melly she had not engaged with them and Mr Murphy was seeking judgment in default of defence.

Judge McCourt granted Murphy a declaration that he was the legal and beneficial owner of the property and also made an order for the sale of the house, directing the County Registrar to deal with all documentation relating to the sale in the event of non co-operation by the defendant.

Judge McCourt also granted Mr Murphy an order for the legal costs of his application to the court.

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