Siblings seek to remove ‘squatters’ from Dublin 7 cottage
Court told Sydney-based pair want to sell Phibsborough house left to them by an aunt
Seán Fitzgerald told Judge Jacqueline Linnane he was homeless and had nowhere to live other than in the cottage on Shamrock Street in Phibsborough. Photograph: Collins Courts.
A sister and brother, who live in Australia, have asked a judge to clear their €250,000 Dublin cottage of a group they say are squatting in the property.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard in the Circuit Civil Court on Monday that the owners, retired nurse Lorraine Lyons and businessman Peter Harte, who both live in Sydney, were unable to gain access to the cottage on Shamrock Street, Phibsborough.
Owen Donnelly, counsel for the siblings, told the court they were left the cottage by their aunt and wanted to sell it now as house prices are on the rise. Agents acting on their behalf had been unable to gain access to prepare the property for sale because a group of people had illegally occupied it, the court heard.
Ms Lyons, of Kangaroo Point, Sylvania, Sydney, in a sworn statement, said she and her brother were seeking to recover vacant possession of the cottage. In September 2016, it was found that the locks on the house had been changed and a Seán Fitzgerald had claimed to be squatting in it with a group of individuals.
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 of the property to vacate it and restraining them from further trespass or obstructing their agents from taking possession of the property.
Mr Fitzgerald told Judge Linnane he was homeless and had nowhere else to live. He asked for an adjournment to allow him to deal with the application for vacant possession before the court.
Judge Linnane said it appeared some individuals at the back of the court had sought to treat the application as a bit of a joke. The court was told that Mr Fitzgerald and others were in unlawful possession of the cottage and she had learned from court documents that the group involved had squatted in other properties and been ejected by court order.
She told Mr Fitzgerald she would deal with the matter on Thursday and that he could inform the unidentified squatters in occupation with him that the application would go ahead then. He could contact any solicitor he wished to in the meantime, she said.