Judge puts €46,000 value on Tory house which 'disappeared'


THE HIGH Court has put a valuation of €46,000 on a man’s Tory Island holiday home which had “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 Tory Island, off the coast of Donegal, Mr Justice Roderick Murphy ruled yesterday.

Mr Presho won his action last July against an adjoining hotel. He alleged trespass and physical damage to the 19th century stone house after it was gradually destroyed while he was living in New Zealand between 1988 and 1994.

Mr Justice Murphy found he was entitled to a new house or its equivalent market value. The case had been adjourned to allow lawyers for both sides make submissions on valuation after the court heard there were significant differences between the parties over the valuation. Mr Presho’s lawyer said their valuer had put it at €60,000 while counsel for the hotel owner said their valuer put it at €11,000 to €12,000.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Murphy ruled, based on the figures presented to him, the correct valuation was €46,000. The judge granted a stay on his finding in the event of an appeal.

Mr Presho had sued Ostán Thoraigh Comhlacht Teoranta, and its owner Patrick Doohan claiming, after he returned home in 1994, he found a car park for the hotel in the place where his house once stood. Mr Justice Murphy ruled Mr Presho was entitled to damages for trespass and interference with his property. The judge said the equitable remedy was the provision of “a comparable dwelling” on Tory Island or the open market value of a comparable dwelling.

The court previously heard Mr Presho’s house was damaged by fire in unexplained circumstances on January 14th, 1993.