Couple warned they face prison for contempt if they don’t vacate home in Limerick estate

Aodhan O'Faolain

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Aodhan O'Faolain

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Couple warned they face prison for contemp if they don’t vacate home in Limerick estate

The matter came before the High Court this Tuesday

A COUPLE has been warned by a High Court Judge that they face being imprisoned if they do not vacate a house, currently in receivership, in Limerick within two weeks.

Mr Justice Senan Allen gave the warning to Martina Harty and Dermot Calvert who, the court heard, have failed to comply with an order requiring them to vacate the semi-detached house which is located at Mossgrove Avenue, Caherdavin Heights.

The couple, who agreed to leave the house, were brought before the court by several members of the gardai on foot of a motion seeking their committal to prison for being in contempt of a court order made which was made in April 2018.

The motion was brought by Gearoid Costelloe who was appointed receiver by IBRC over the semi-detached house, and more than 25 other properties which are owned by Mr Richard Dineen in 2009, arising out an alleged failure to repay loans taken out by Anglo Irish Bank. 

The loans were eventually acquired by Promontoria Arrow Ltd. 

At the High Court this Tuesday Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, for the receiver, said In late November 2017 locks on the property were changed and the house was occupied by persons who had no entitlement to be there.

Counsel said the property had been leased out by the receiver, whose tenant left after that tenancy expired in late 2017.

Counsel said shortly afterwards Ms Harty was found to be living at the premises, without the receiver's consent.

She had claimed to be the tenant there on foot of a three-year lease granted by Mr Dineen.

It was the receiver's case that neither Ms Harty nor anybody else at the premises had a right to reside there.

The court also heard that Mr Calvert had been in occupation at the premises and that gardai were investigating reports of ongoing anti-social behaviour at the property. 

An injunction was secured in April 2018 by the receiver requiring all those residing at the property to vacate the premises and as well as restraining them from trespassing there.  

Mr Fitzpatrick said the premises, which he said Ms Harty and Mr Calvert were present at, was not vacated, despite the occupants being given a number of deadlines in which to comply. 

As a result, a motion seeking the attachment and committal to prison for being in contempt of the order to vacate the premises was brought by the receiver against Ms Harty and Mr Calvert.

During the brief hearing, Ms Harty and Mr Calvert, who represented themselves, gave sworn undertakings to vacate the property within the next two weeks.  

Ms Harty told the court that she had a lease with and paid rent to the owner of the property, Mr Dineen and said they were “unaware” of the orders previously made by the Court in respect of the house. 

Mr Calvert said he only stayed at the house at weekends.

Mr Justice Allen, in telling the couple that they had to comply with court orders warned them of the “serious consequences” if they did not leave the house within two weeks including possible imprisonment for contempt.

He told the couple they were now aware of the orders previously made by the court. 

The matter was adjourned to a date early next month.