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Thursday 14 November 2019

Wall-out war - neighbours battle over €5,000 repair bill for brick boundary between their gardens

Elizabeth Dennehy built reinforced wall to prop up the old one
Elizabeth Dennehy built reinforced wall to prop up the old one

Two neighbours are locked in a legal battle after a row over payment for repairs to a shared wall between their gardens.

The dispute resulted in Elizabeth Dennehy, of Chalfont Avenue in Malahide, taking a claim in the Small Claims Court against Kathleen Martin of Hanlon's Lane.

The row relates to repairs carried out to the wall built 35 years ago at the end of each neighbour's garden after it partially fell into Ms Dennehy's property.

Swords District Court heard the total cost of the repairs stood at €5,050.

Ms Dennehy is making a claim of €756 against Ms Martin as part of the wall is at the back of her garden.

However, when Judge Dermot Dempsey heard that a new wall reinforcing the old one had been built in Ms Dennehy's garden, he refused to grant a decree and ordered Ms Dennehy's engineer to come to court.

Ms Dennehy told Judge Dermot Dempsey: "I was advised to prop the wall so it wouldn't fall further."

She told the court Ms Martin had agreed to pay her share of the repairs and handed into court an engineer's report.

Ms Dennehy said the engineer recommended building a reinforced wall on to the party wall.

Ms Martin told the court she agreed to pay her portion of the repairs, but she said that after some time had passed a new wall was built in Ms Dennehy's garden.

"My issue is that I wasn't consulted," said Ms Martin.

"I was shocked when she asked me to pay €756. I have no problem paying for the cost of repairing the wall, but not building a new one."

She said the new wall comes up nine inches above the original, which is still there.

"This has created a ledge and it's dangerous," said Ms Martin.

Decree

When asked by Judge Dempsey whether the reinforced wall is in the exact same place as the existing party wall, Ms Dennehy said: "It's a few inches out."

Judge Dempsey told Ms Dennehy: "It is built on your property, so it is your wall.

"Is this the way neighbours carry on fighting over a wall?

"It is not a party wall any longer. You have built a new wall on your own property to protect the other wall."

The judge said if the old wall was knocked down and a new wall was built in its place, he would grant a decree.

However, he ordered Ms Dennehy to "bring in your engineer to court. I am not accepting the report".

He adjourned the case until December 17.

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