Book tells of Tory Island 'disappeared' house

Wed, Nov 28, 2012, 00:00

A chance encounter on a ferry to Tory Island off the coast of Co Donegal has led to the publication of a unique book.

The House that Disappeared on Tory Island tells the story of a businessman’s battle for justice after his island holiday home was demolished in 1993 while he was working in New Zealand.

When the man returned in 1994, he found in its place a car park and a septic tank for the local hotel. The houseowner, film-maker Neville Presho from Holywood, Co Down, fell in love with the island and its people many years previously and bought the house in 1982.

Despite his attempts to discover the truth behind his home’s demolition, it wasn’t until Presho met author and journalist Anton McCabe on the Tory Island ferry that he began to make real progress.

McCabe put Presho in touch with a solicitor friend and so began a chain of events that saw the film-maker win a High Court battle in 2009.

The court found that hotelier Patrick Doohan had interfered with Presho’s home, which spoiled the view from his Óstan Thóraigh hotel. Presho was awarded €60,000 damages.

The book was launched at the Caisleáin Óir hotel in Annagry, west Donegal, last night by former editor of the Irish Daily Star Michael O’Kane. Author McCabe said, “It is a great story and a true testament to a man’s refusal to give up his fight for justice. Presho (65) was unable to make it to the launch because of ill-health. The book is published by Drumkeen Press.