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Lotto winner sued by her stepson bids to take ex-operator to court


Mary Walsh. Photo: Collins

Mary Walsh. Photo: Collins

Mary Walsh. Photo: Collins

A woman who was taken to court by her stepson for a share in a 2011 €3.3m Lotto win wants to sue the former operator of the National Lottery for alleged negligence, the High Court heard.

Mary Walsh ultimately settled proceedings brought against her by her stepson David Walsh after she lost in the High Court.

She claims she was given negligent advice following the win by the then operator of the Lotto, An Post National Lottery Company, which went into voluntary liquidation in 2014.

Ms Walsh alleges she was given certain advice by a representative of the National Lottery when she went to collect what she claims were her winnings.

She claims she was advised that if she wished to make gifts to anyone, those persons should sign the winning ticket if those gifts were to be exempted from taxation.

As a result, she claims that she and five others, including David Walsh, signed the winning ticket.

That resulted in the proceedings being brought against her by Mr Walsh, and the court also heard that she is the subject of proceedings from another signatory of the winning ticket, Kevin Black, who is her late husband's nephew.

In her proposed action, Ms Walsh claims certain advice given by the operator was negligent, as she alleges the full implications of that advice were never explained to her.


The An Post National Lottery Company went into liquidation after another entity was awarded the licence to operate the National Lottery.

Represented by John Shortt SC, Ms Walsh is seeking permission to sue the former operator.

The application, which was before Ms Justice Teresa Pilkington, is opposed.

Represented by Garret Byrne Bl, the company argues that the application for permission to sue it should have been brought when the proceedings were initiated in 2016.

In reply, Mr Shortt said his client, who changed solicitors from the time the claim against the Lottery operator was first lodged, should be allowed to bring her claim.

The judge reserved her decision, and said she hoped to give it as soon as possible.

In 2017 Mr Justice Richard Humphreys ruled that Ms Walsh had to pay Mr Walsh €560,000 plus his legal costs after finding her stepson was a part owner of and entitled to a one-sixth share of a winning ticket purchased in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, in January 2011.

Ms Walsh appealed to the Court of Appeal. In 2018 the court was informed that the action was "resolved entirely".

Mr Walsh, of Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe, had sued Ms Walsh, of Monksland, Athlone, Co Roscommon, arguing he was entitled to his share of the win.