Judge’s wife sues farmer for alleged trespass in dispute over property

Aodhan O Faolain

Reporter:

Aodhan O Faolain

At the High Court on Thursday Mr Justice Tony O'Connor granted Mrs O'Kelly permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Mr Brew

At the High Court on Thursday Mr Justice Tony O'Connor granted Mrs O'Kelly permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Mr Brew

THE wife of a Circuit Court Judge has brought proceedings against a farmer for alleged trespass on what she claims is her property. 

Felicity O’Kelly, who is married to Judge Eugene O’Kelly, who served on the bench at Limerick District Court for a time following his appointment as a judge, has brought proceedings against farmer John Brew of Tarmon, Kilkee, Co Clare. 

Mrs O’Kelly claims that Mr Brew, who disputes the ownership of a portion of the lands, has been trespassing on the site of a former creamery at Termon West, Kilkee Co Clare she owns.

She claims Mr Brew has left cattle on the disputed land, which have wandered onto the main road. 

She seeks various orders against Mr Brew including an injunction restraining the defendant from trespassing or interfering with her property, which includes that he remove fencing and locks on the gates to her property. 

She also seeks an injunction requiring the defendant to remove any property including animals located on the lands. 

She further seeks orders for damages against Mr Brew.

At the High Court on Thursday Mr Justice Tony O’Connor granted Mrs O’Kelly permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Mr Brew. 

The Judge, who granted permission on an ex parte basis, adjourned the matter to a date in June. 

Mrs O’Kelly’s counsel Michael Howard SC said that normally a case like this would be a matter for the Circuit Court.

However, as Judge O’Kelly sat on that division of the courts the action would have to be heard by the High Court. 

Counsel said that the site was purchased by the O’Kelly’s some years ago. It is now in the sole name of Mrs O’Kelly.

An issue arose over a portion of the lands with Mr Brew. 

The O’Kelly’s made efforts to sort out the dispute, counsel said. 

Mr Brew counsel said had put cattle on the land.  

Matter recently escalated when a lock was placed by Mr Brew on a gate of the lands, counsel said.    

Mrs O’Kelly did not want to come to court, but counsel said she was left with no option.