Judgment reserved in appeal by owners of Lissadell estate


The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on an appeal by the owners of the historic Lissadell estate in Co Sligo against a finding there are public rights-of-way across four routes in the estate.

Barristers Edward Walsh and Constance Cassidy, who bought the estate in 2003, have appealed against Mr Justice Bryan McMahon’s December 2010 judgment dismissing their proceedings against Sligo County Council over the alleged existence of rights-of-way covering an estimated 3.65km, including a route running within a few feet of the front door of the house. They have also appealed his order awarding the estimated €6 million costs of the 58-day case against them.

In opposing the appeal, the council submitted there was ample evidence before the High Court to establish there were rights-of-way, and argued the trial judge adopted a proper, natural and rational inference of rights-of-way.

The case was initiated after the council passed a resolution in December 2008 to amend the Sligo County Development plan to include a provision for “preservation of the public rights-of-way” along certain routes at Lissadell.

The couple claimed there were no rights-of-way, but Mr Justice McMahon ruled four public routes exist and said they should continue to be used only during daylight hours as applied in the past.

Lissadell estate was the home of the Gore-Booth family for 400 years.