Wife of Van Morrisson settles her legal action

Michelle Morrison had sued over alleged privacy infringements over building work

Michelle Morrison:  had sought orders overturning Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council’s decision to accept redevelopment work at neighbouring home in Dalkey, Co Dublin. Photograph: Collins Courts

Michelle Morrison: had sought orders overturning Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council’s decision to accept redevelopment work at neighbouring home in Dalkey, Co Dublin. Photograph: Collins Courts

Fri, Feb 21, 2014, 20:16

A legal action by the wife of singer Van Morrison over alleged interference with privacy at her Dublin home as a result of works at a neighbour’s house has been settled.

In October 2010, Michelle Morrison was granted leave by the High Court to challenge Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council’s alleged failure to protect her family’s privacy when it granted planning permission for works on a neighbour’s house in Dalkey.

A full hearing of the case has been pending since then, but it was before the court a number of times in relation to issues concerning disclosure of documents and legal costs.

Eamonn Galligan SC, for Ms Morrison, told the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, that the case could be struck out with no order on costs.


Redevelopment work
Ms Morrison, Kilross House, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, had sought orders overturning the council’s decision to accept redevelopment work at Desmond and Mary Kavanagh’s neighbouring “Mount Alverno” home complied with planning permission.

The council and the Kavanaghs, who were notice parties, both disputed her claims.

Ms Morrison claimed that, unless there was landscaping and the replacement of trees, her home’s rear garden was overlooked by the Kavanagh property. The council, in accepting a planning compliance notice, failed to take into account unauthorised amendments to previous permissions granted for the Kavanagh property, she claimed.

Without replacement of a number of trees, a “gangway” balcony in the Kavanagh’s home overlooked the Morrison’s rear garden, while a large number of first-floor windows in Mount Alverno also intruded on her family’s privacy, it was claimed. Overlooking of her driveway and front living room had already been caused by works to the entrance of Mount Alverno, it was argued.

The court heard the Kavanaghs had proposed providing replacement screening between the properties using shrubs. Ms Morrison’s experts argued semi-mature canopy trees were required to match those which were removed.

Planning permission for the Kavanagh works was granted following a Bord Pleanála appeal in August 2009 and, the following September, the council accepted a submission from the Kavanaghs as to compliance with the planning permission, the court heard.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna, who heard the application for leave to bring the case in summer 2010, had at one point urged the parties to consider talks, remarking: “This case is going to cost somebody an awful lot of money”.