Ex-model's High Court bid to save her home

Jennifer Fitzgerald, of Xanadu, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin, leaving court yesterday(Mon) after the Circuit Civil Court ordered her vacate her home and hand back the keys to the bank. Pic: Collins Courts

By Ray Managh

Artist and former model Jennifer Fitzgerald has decided to mount a High Court challenge to the granting by the Circuit Civil Court of a re-possession order for her exclusive home on Sorrento Road, Dalkey.

Ms Fitzgerald has appealed the order of Judge Jacqueline Linnane directing her to give back the keys of her luxury home to London-based finance house Tanager Limited, which took over Bank of Scotland's mortgage book.

Judge Linnane was told on October 10 last that Fitzgerald's former husband, Colin Hayes , had signed an agreement to the bank re-possessing the house.


The court had been told there was an outstanding debt of €1.8m on the property, including €200,000 arrears and that nothing had been paid off the mortgage since 2010.

Judge Linnane rejected as "simply untrue" a sworn claim by Fitzgerald that she had not freely and legally given her consent to the raising of mortgages by her then husband.

She had told the court she had been forced by Hayes "under duress" to sign documents retrospectively agreeing to the 2005 mortgage and to his raising a second mortgage with Bank of Scotland in 2007 for investment purposes with her home up as security.

The judge said Ms Fitzgerald's signature to the agreements had been given in the presence of and witnessed by a solicitor who had given her independent legal advice.

The court heard that the property had been valued in 2005 at €1.9m and the initial mortgage had been taken out for €1,125,000.

Fitzgerald, who had been made a notice party to the bank's application for possession, stated the property was originally held in their joint names but that in September 2005 her husband had transferred it into his sole name.

Judge Linnane said on October 10 that the bank had comprehensively shown that Ms Fitzgerald's consent had been freely given and that she had been fully legally informed.

She granted the bank possession of the house and awarded costs against Ms Fitzgerald, giving her three months in which to vacate the premises.