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Man faces 35 years paying off court costs

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James Breen

James Breen

James Breen

IT will take a Wexford man 35 years to pay off €21,000 in court costs following a civil action brought against him by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General.

James Breen, of 10 Devereux Villas, Wexford town, was before the circuit court last week to answer the claim which alleged he had failed to satisfy the court he was not able to pay the debt of €21,278.59 in one sum or by individual instalments.

Judge Karen Fergus ordered a payment of €50 a month.

Solicitor Brendan Curran, for the State, told Wexford Circuit Civil Court, that proceedings brought by Mr Breen had been struck out on May 20, 2011, by Judge Gilligan.

As part of the strike out proceedings, the court ordered the defendant to pay the costs of €21,278.59.

He also said that on May 14, 2012, the State solicitor's office wrote to Mr Breen with a request for payment. He also said that Mr Breen assumed he could come to an agreement regarding paying by instalments.

Ultimately said Mr Curran no instalments were paid. The matter had come before Judge Gerard Haughton in the district court when Mr Breen had a prepared statement of means handed in giving evidence of his remuneration.

Mr Curran said an instalment order of €25 per week was sought, but Judge Haughton ordered an instalment of €15 per week. James Breen told the court that the applicants bringing the case already had a lein on Mr Breen's property which had not been brought out in court.

Mr Curran said there are a number of judgement orders on Mr Breen's property which is a separate issue to this application.

Judge Fergus told the defendant that 'the bottom line is that you owe the money. How is it going to be paid? What can you pay?'

Mr Breen responded by offering pay €5 a month, however, the judge replied that such an amount is 'derisory'.

'Well €10 then. 'f I won the Lotto I would pay him off. I would say €10 per month to give me a chance. I have two horses and two dogs. I have to look after them or I would be up here and you giving out to me if they were neglected,' said Mr Breen.

Judge Fergus said they would have to compromise and ordered a payment of €50 a month.

Mr Curran said there are also €300 costs for the day.

Judge Fergus said she would order the payment of €150 costs to be paid within six weeks. She also said that the first instalment would be due seven days after the service of the order.

Wexford People