A YOUNG Askeaton couple, who have been prosecuted by Limerick City and County Council, for failing to remove a caravan illegally parked on a housing estate in the town, have been ordered to pay costs totalling. €2,704.34 or €1,852.17 each.
The couple, Peter and Savannah Harty, Lismakeera, Askeaton have also been fined €250 each.
At a court sitting last March, Judge Mary Larkin was told that the couple had been served with an enforcement notice on April 12 last year to remove the caravan.
They were given a week to remove the caravan and when they failed to do so, a prosecution followed. The caravan was on a piece of ground owned by the council in the middle of Lismakeera Estate and was still there. The council was under pressure to have it removed, council solicitor Will Leahy said.
When Judge Larkin asked why it hadn’t been moved, Liam Carrol BL for the Hartys, said Ms Harty was expecting a child and they had nowhere else to go. He asked for a further adjournment.
When the case again came back before Judge Larkin last week, Mr Carroll said the caravan was still on the site but was now out of sight.
“It is not the unsightliness of the caravan that is at issue here,” the judge said.
Mr Carroll said his clients had attended a clinic in March where they were told they could get HAP assistance of up to €650 for rent. “Their child is now born,” he said, but they were still looking for a house.
Mr Leahy told the judge he was not happy with the efforts made by the Hartys to obtain housing.
They were, he said, very resistant to any address outside Askeaton and not willing to entertain a house in any other part of the county.
“They are in correspondence with prospective landlords,” Mr Carroll said, handing in photographs of screen-grabs. There is difficulty, he said, in obtaining HAP accommodation.
“Evidence is what I want,” the judge said. “I don’t want to be told more of the same since June 2018.We are no further advanced.”
She convicted and fined both Peter and Savannah Harty and refused the request not to impose costs. She ordered them to comply with the order of April 2018 and remove the caravan.
Recognizance with leave to appeal was fixed at a cash bond of €250.