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Work on GAA pitch ended in flooded house

DUBLIN GAA club Kilmacud Crokes is liable for damages caused by flooding to a couple's home and garden which neighbour the Leopardstown club's lands, the High Court has ruled.

Nigel and Frances Grennan, of Torquay Road, Foxrock, claimed that as a result of clearing and compacting of the club's pitches in 1998, their garden was repeatedly flooded and their home also damaged.

The club denied the flooding was the result of works carried out by them.

In a reserved judgment, Mr Justice John MacMenamin ruled the club was liable for the nuisance and negligence caused to the Grennans. The court will assess damages later.

The judge said the 1998 works changed the relationship between the two properties when the level of the club's land was altered. As a result the Grennans suffered serious flooding during heavy rain in 2000 when water came into the house causing major damage.

Despite this and a number of other occasions when the garden was flooded, nothing was done by the GAA club for a number of years, the judge said.

In 2004, the club built what was called a "berm wall" on its lands to deal with the problem but it was "ineptly constructed", he said.

It was not only substandard but put in the wrong place with the effect the trapped water, and its effects, were brought far closer to the Grennan's garden, he said. It was also not in accordance with the specifications set by an engineer engaged by the Grennans. Had it been, it would surely have been a significant step toward ending the matter, the judge said.

Faced with demands from the Grennans that the problem would only be solved by an underground water storage tank, costing hundreds of thousands, the club's instinct was to "bury its collective head in the sand," the judge said.

The Grennans had not taken any steps to prevent the flooding by building a retaining wall like one of their neighbours had done. This issue must be explored in any hearing on the damages, the judge said.