Couple with no running water believe relative ‘demolished’ pumphouse

Anthony and Kathleen Hogan claim Kevin Lawlor Snr impeding efforts to reconnect supply

A couple whose home in Co Wicklow has been without running water since September after a JCB destroyed a pump house serving the property have brought High Court proceedings against their neighbours and relatives.

A couple whose home in Co Wicklow has been without running water since September after a JCB destroyed a pump house serving the property have brought High Court proceedings against their neighbours and relatives.

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A couple whose home in Co Wicklow has been without running water since September after a JCB destroyed a pump house serving the property have brought High Court proceedings against their neighbours and relatives.

Anthony and Kathleen Hogan, of Mullica Lower, Donard, Dunlavin, have brought the case against Kevin Lawlor Snr, a brother of Ms Hogan, and his son Kevin Jnr, also of Mullica Lower.

Ronan Lupton BL, instructed by Clarke Jeffers Solicitors, for the Hogans, said they believe but they cannot say for certain, that Mr Lawlor Snr demolished the pumphouse.

Since that incident, Mr Lawlor Snr has taken steps to impede anyone trying to restore water supply to the Hogans’ home and has erected a steel fence effectively blocking access to the site of the pumphouse, the court was told.

Mr Justice Tony O Connor granted the ex parte (one side only represented) application for permission to serve short notice of injunction proceedings on the Lawlors and returned the matter to next week.

Right of way

Mr Lupton said the pumphouse was located on Mr Lawlor’s property over which his clients claim to have a right of way. In a sworn statement, Mr Hogan said his brother in law has a “very unpleasant disposition”.

All members of the extended Lawlor family, “if they were honest, live in fear of Kevin Snr” because of his “aggressive and unpredictable nature particularly when he is drunk”, he said.

Mr Hogan said, on the night the pumphouse was destroyed, Mr Lawlor Snr was found by gardaí driving a vehicle at speed across a self-made pathway at the rear of the Hogans’ property.

Mr Lawlor Snr was “very intoxicated” at the time and was taken away by gardaí, he said.

Workers hired by the Hogans were told by Mr Lawlor Snr that “the pump was his” and had “nothing to do with the Hogans” and he would not allow them to approach the site, Mr Hogan said.

Before that incident, Mr Hogan said Mr Lawlor Snr told him in a threatening manner he would demolish the pumphouse, without giving a reason.

Mr Hogan said Mr Lawlor Snr has been aggressive to the Hogan family and once, while intoxicated, kicked in their door and stormed down to their bedroom. Mr Lawlor Jnr has also been aggressive towards the Hogans including calling to their home and ringing the doorbell of their home in the early hours of the morning, Mr Hogan said.

‘Kindness of others’

Mr Lupton said his clients have done all they can but are unable to resolve matters with the defendants and have had to rely on “the kindness of others” concerning water.

They have to shower in their son’s house and collect rainwater in drums and from a local stream so they can flush their toilet, he said.

The Hogans are seeking various injunctions including restraining the defendants harassing them and directing they allow them access to their lands and over the right of way and provide immediate access, and all reasonable assistance, to reconnect the water supply to their home.

As well as being a serious nuisance, the incidents had affected the plaintiffs’ health, it is claimed.

Mr Lupton said his clients had taken legal steps but a person who attempted to serve a legal letter on the defendants had been intimidated and threatened by Mr Lawlor Snr.

The server’s vehicle was also followed by a jeep, containing the Lawlors, driven at speed, counsel said.

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