Limerick Circuit Court
A WEST Limerick man has been warned he will go to jail if he does not carry out urgent remedial works at a house he previously owed, within a week.
Denis Lynch who has an address at Abbey Court, Rathkeale this week gave a sworn undertaking, at Limerick Circuit Court, to carry out the works at the vacant house by next Tuesday, November 15.
He was before the court to defend legal proceedings relating to the house which is located in a rural part of County Limerick at Ballykenry, Ardagh.
The legal action has been initiated by pharmacy manager, Rose Ryan who lives with her young daughter in a cottage adjoining the derelict house.
Ms Ryan, who was previously awarded €26,000 in damages by the court, is seeking to have the house made “pest proof”, “damp-proof” and structurally sound as a matter of urgency.
On Tuesday, Elizabeth Mullins BL told the court the conditions of the derelict house, which has been vacant for some time, are causing problems for her client, who bought her cottage in 2008.
She said while some works have been carried out in recent months in accordance with a court order, doors and windows are still exposed.
The house, she added, is attracting pests such as mice and rats.
Court documents submitted on behalf of Ms Ryan state the defendant’s failure to maintain the property has created a nuisance and has “substantially interfered with the plaintiff's use and quiet enjoyment” of her home.
The documents also state that the condition of the house “has caused and continues to cause distress, damage, loss, expense and inconvenience,” to Ms Ryan.
Judge James O’Donoghue was told the vacant house was transferred into the ownership of a daughter of Mr Lynch in March of this year and solicitor Michael O’Donnell said she has “taken over the whole show”.
Mr O’Donnell asked that the proceedings be adjourned for a month to allow her to complete the necessary works.
However, Judge O’Donoghue noted she is not before the court and he commented that he was not willing to entertain any excuses or ‘long-fingering’ of the matter, which has been before the court for some time.
“Unless he (Denis Lynch) remedies this pronto, he is going to be in difficulty with this court,” he said.
The judge added that the condition of the house, as portrayed in a booklet of photographs submitted to the court, is a “disgraceful health hazard”.
After Mr Lynch took to the witness box and gave a sworn undertaking to carry out the works, the judge warned he will go to jail for contempt if they are not completed within seven days.
He adjourned the matter for review on Tuesday next, November 15 for review,
In doing so, he commented: “It has to be put into a proper state.”