Mick Hucknall in dispute over rights on Donegal estate


SIMPLY RED musicians Mick Hucknall and Christopher De Margary have clashed with a neighbour over fishing and shooting rights on adjoining estates.

Lead singer Hucknall and sax player De Margary claimed yesterday in Letterkenny Circuit Court that their neighbour John Wilde interfered with their rights and those of their guests on the Glenmore Estate at Welchtown, Ballybofey, Co Donegal.

Mr Wilde retains links to a neighbouring estate across the river Finn at Cloghan Lodge, where he still lives, although he sold it some years ago.

De Margary and Mr Wilde were in court for the hearing, but Hucknall was not present.

Hucknall and De Margary, who are keen anglers, claimed that since they purchased the fishing, shooting and “hereditaments” rights for €1.3 million at Glenmore on August 5th, 2005, Mr Wilde had interfered with their “quiet enjoyment” of those rights.

They said Mr Wilde had also laid claim to the ownership of the rights on Glenmore.

Mr Wilde claims the previous owner of Glenmore, John Mackie, transferred the fishing and shooting rights to his father.

The musicians sought an injunction preventing continued encroachment until such time as a full hearing takes place.

Damian Crawford, for Mr Wilde, told the court his client was expecting a shooting party from France tomorrow.

Judge John O’Hagan described the proceedings as “a fire brigade exercise”. He said the case had “been simmering” since 2005. He added: “It’s likely to take years to sort it out.”

Peter Nolan, for Hucknall and De Margary, said a shooting party was also booked into Glenmore Lodge this weekend.

He told the judge that Mr Wilde had huge areas to use on Cloghan estate but Judge O’Hagan said he would make no order. He said: “I’m not going to make an order as it would only lead to trouble.”

The judge adjourned the hearing for 15 minutes to allow the feuding parties an opportunity to “sort it out”. When the hearing resumed he was told the parties couldn’t reach agreement. Judge O’Hagan adjourned the proceedings until next Friday to give Mr Wilde an opportunity to enter a reply to the claim by Hucknall and De Margary.

The Simply Red members have developed a large tourism business, attracting continental game-sports parties, since 2005. They do not own the land on which they have the fishing and shooting rights. In a statement issued after the hearing, De Margary stressed he and Hucknall had no dispute with the Cloghan Lodge estate or its olders, adding “we have a good working relationship with them”.