Injunction prevents council from evicting family


A Dublin family has secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing South Dublin County Council from evicting them from their home of almost 30 years.

David and Catherine McGowan, who live with their three adult children and two grandchildren at Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, fear they are in danger of imminent eviction due to a dispute over rent arrears, the court heard.

The house is subject to a tenancy agreement between the council and the McGowans since they moved in 28 years ago. The council claims there are rent arrears of €23,740. It secured a warrant for possession earlier this year.

Senior counsel Conleth Bradley , for the family, said they disputed the council’s assessment of arrears and contended that it erroneously computed the family’s income for rent assessment purposes.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy granted a temporary injunction preventing the council and the county sheriff evicting the family.

The injunction was granted on an ex parte basis (one side only represented) and the matter was returned to next week.

The family has also brought proceedings against Ireland and the Attorney General claiming section 62 of the 1966 Housing Act, on foot of which the council moved to secure the possession order, is unconstitutional.

In seeking the injunction, Mr Bradley said the family had many friends in their home area. While they had had arrears in the past, they always tried to remain up to date and had taken out loans “to secure a roof over their heads”.

The family was contending that the council had incorrectly assessed the amount of rent due and refused to engage with them concerning the proper calculation of rent due.

The assessments did not take into account that for 18 months between 2008 and 2009, two of the adult children were not living at home and therefore not contributing to the household’s income then, he said.

If evicted, the family feared there was no prospect they would be accommodated together, Mr Bradley said.