Cancer patient owes €12k in rates to Limerick council

David Hurley


David Hurley


Cancer patient owes €12k in rates to Limerick council

Limerick City and County Council is seeking a decree for €11,846

A JUDGE has sought medical certificates in the case of a landlord who allegedly owes almost €12,000 in commercial rates to Limerick City and County Council

The local authority has initiated court proceedings against the man who owns a premises at Catherine Street in the city centre.

Solicitor Will Leahy said commercial rates have not been paid since 2011 and that the total amount outstanding is €11,846.

The defendant, who told Limerick District Court he is suffering from terminal cancer, said the property has been vacant since a previous tenant went out of business due to the recession.

“The tenant closed due to the crash,” he said adding that he is living above the former retail premises.

Mr Leahy accused the owner of the property of not engaging with the council saying he has a “semi-militant attitude”.

He said the premises is a shop “for all intents and purposes” and that the rates are “owing a due”.

Judge Aeneas McCarthy was told there is a legal mechanism which enables commercial properties to be “decommissioned”  but that has not been availed of by the defendant.

This, Mr Leahy said, would remove the liability for commercial rates on the property.

The defendant, who represented himself in court, also challenged the legality of the proceedings against him.

However, Judge McCarthy ruled the local authority was, as a matter of law, entitled to demand rates relating to the property.

When the man indicated he was suffering from severe pain and was finding it difficult to put forward his defence, Judge McCarthy adjourned the matter to early next month requesting that medical certificates be produced.

The council was granted one decree against another business on the outskirts the city while more than 30 other cases were either adjourned or struck out.