Man (74) contests compulsory order payment

 

A 74 year old man told the High Court yesterday that a county council was delaying proceedings and if there were further delays he "might be gone" by the time the court heard his claim.

Mr Sean Henehan (74), from the Square, Fethard, Co Tipperary, claimed Tipperary (South Riding) County Council compulsorily acquired the only piece of land he ever owned, a garden of bone third of an acre. He alleged he was paid for the land but not for a two storey house on it.

Mr Henehan, who uses, crutches, conducted his own defence in an application by the council that the court strike out his legal action since it did not, disclose a reasonable cause of action or that it was vexatious and frivolous.

Mr Michael MacGrath, for the council, said Mr Henehan's property was one of several acquired at Barrack Street, Fethard. An inquiry in 1992 affirmed the compulsory purchase order.

An arbitrator in March 1994 awarded Mr Henehan £10,000 and costs. He conveyed his interest in the property last June. Mr Hehenan claimed the demolished house belonged to him.

Mr Henehan told Mr Justice Barr the property was wrongly described in the documentation as a plot of ground. It was a garden of 0.3 of an acre and a two storey house he used as a store.

The authorities, in granting him compensation, had not taken the house into consideration.

Mr Justice Barr said the essence of the case was whether the arbitrator took into account that the area was not merely 0.3 of an acre of land, but had buildings on it.

He adjourned the hearing to June 10th to allow the arbitrator to, submit an affidavit together with the documents and reports on which he based his assessment.

Mr Henehan said he issued his summons in October last year. The council replied and asked him to submit a statement of claim. They did not put in a defence and six months later brought the application for dismissal.