herald

Friday 23 June 2017

Lotto-fight man says stepmother 'laughed' at him

David Walsh, who is suing his stepmother for €560,000 Picture: Collins
David Walsh, who is suing his stepmother for €560,000 Picture: Collins

A man has told a court his stepmother "laughed at me" when he asked her, some months after his father's death, for a one sixth share of a €3.38m Lotto win.

"She laughed at me and said I got the house and that was that," said David Walsh.

He denied suggestions that there was no basis for his claim to a cut of the substantial win of January 2011.

He agreed he had not contributed to the €12 cost of the winning ticket, but denied he had falsely claimed it was his father's because he was dis- appointed he got nothing in his father's will and all was left to his stepmother.

Birthday

The numbers used on the ticket reflected birthdays of his father's siblings and other dates of significance to his father, he said.

Mr Walsh (52), of Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, was being cross-examined in his High Court action against his stepmother, Mary Walsh, for a €560,000 share of the €3.38m Lotto win of January 22, 2011.

His is among six signatures on the back of the winning ticket, sold in Ballinasloe. The court has been told the other signatures were Mary Walsh, her late husband Peter Walsh, his nephew Kevin Black and Ms Walsh's sons Jason and Tony.

Ms Walsh (65), of Perssepark, Ballinasloe, denies David Walsh was part of a six-person syndicate that won the €3.38m prize or that she holds €560,000 in trust for him.

She claims she bought and owned the winning ticket, intended to make gifts from the prize and was advised that having the potential beneficiaries sign the back of the ticket would avoid them having to pay tax on those gifts.

The court heard that various cheques were sent on behalf of Mrs Walsh to some of those signatories, including a €300,000 cheque to her son Jason; one for £380,000 (about €456,000) to her son Tony, who lives in Wales, and one for €100,000 to Kevin Black.

Ms Walsh claims David Walsh was offered the option of having €200,000 from the Lotto win or the former home of herself and his late father at Knocknagreena and opted for the house. Mr Walsh, who obtained a €135,000 valuation for the house in 2013, denies that.

Earlier, Mr Walsh told his counsel, Dervla Browne, that his solicitors received a letter from the National Lottery in August 2013 confirming he was a member of a six-person syndicate that won €3.38m.

Under cross-examination by Michael Delaney, for Ms Walsh, he denied he never verbally raised with Ms Walsh the issue of getting a share of the Lotto win.

Opportunistic

He said he raised the issue with her three times after his father died on December 26, 2011. On the third occasion, around May 2012, she laughed at him, said he got the house and that was that, he said.

He denied he was asked to sign the ticket when it was contemplated that he might get a monetary gift out of the Lotto win and said there was no such discussion.

It was not true to say he did not get a gift because he opted for the house and was now making an "opportunistic" claim.

He denied he was disconnected for years from his father after his parents separated in the 1980s.

The case resumes on January 26.

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