herald

Saturday 26 May 2018

'Get the squatters out of our cottage', siblings ask court

Squatter Sean Fitzgerald pictured leaving court yesterday
Squatter Sean Fitzgerald pictured leaving court yesterday

A sister and brother are trying to evict a group of squatters from their €250,000 Dublin cottage.

Retired nurse Lorraine Lyons and her businessman bro- ther Peter Harte inherited the cottage in Shamrock Street, Phibsborough, from their aunt, Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told yesterday.

The siblings' barrister, Owen Donnelly, told the Circuit Civil Court that they want to sell the property now that house prices are on the rise.

However, agents acting for them had been unable to gain access to the cottage because a group of people, led by a Mr Sean Fitzgerald, were illegally occupying it.

Ms Lyons, of Kangaroo Point, Sylvania, Sydney, Australia, said in a statement submitted to the court that she and her brother were seeking vacant possession of the cottage.

In September 2016, it was found that locks had been changed and Mr Fitzgerald claimed to be squatting in it with a group of other people.

Obstructing

Mr Donnelly said Mr Fitzgerald and a number of unknown people in occupation of the cottage had received warning letters, but had refused to move out.

Ms Lyons and Mr Harte have asked Judge Linnane for orders directing Mr Fitzgerald and all others in occupation to vacate the cottage and restraining them from further trespass or obstructing agents from taking possession of the property.

Mr Fitzgerald told the judge that he was homeless and had nowhere else to live other than in the cottage.

He asked for an adjournment to allow him to deal with the application for vacant possession before the court.

Judge Linnane said she had to check a number of people at the back of the court who had sought to treat the application "as a bit of a joke".

The court had been told that Mr Fitzgerald and others were in unlawful possession of the cottage, and the judge had learned from court documents that the group involved had squatted in other properties and had been ejected by court order.

She told Mr Fitzgerald that she would deal with the matter.

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