'Disappeared' house valued at €46,000


The High Court has put a valuation of €46,000 on a man’s Tory Island holiday home which “disappeared” while he was abroad.

Film maker Neville Presho, from Holywood, Co Down, is also to receive the costs of his lengthy legal battle over the destruction of his house on the island off the coast of Donegal.

Mr Presho won a High Court action last July against an adjoining hotel for trespass and physical damage to his 19th-century stone house on Tory Island after it was gradually destroyed while he was living in New Zealand between 1988 and 1994.

Mr Justice Roderick Murphy ruled that Mr Presho was entitled to a new house or its equivalent market value.

The matter was adjourned to last week when the judge heard there were significant differences between the sides over what valuation could be put on an equivalent house in Tory.

Cormac O’Dulacháin, for Mr Presho, said their valuer had estimated €60,000 for such a house but Séamus Ó Tuathail, for the hotel owner, said his side’s valuer had advanced a figure between €11,000 to €12,000.

Mr Presho sued Ostán Thoraigh Comhlacht Teo and its owner Patrick Doohan, alleging that after he returned home in 1994, he found a car park for the hotel in the place where his house once stood.

The court heard Mr Presho’s house was damaged by fire in unexplained circumstances on January 14th, 1993. It was gradually removed in the following nine months and when Mr Presho returned from New Zealand in July 1994, there was no trace of it.

The judge found Mr Presho was entitled to damages for trespass and interference with his property.