Mother takes son to court for return of money


AN 89-year-old Mayo woman who said she had £17,000 in chocolate sweet tins around the house took her son to court for return of the money after it was claimed that it had been lodged in the bank in his name.

Mrs Ellen McHale, of Mucknagh Parke, Castlebar, said that following the death of her husband in 1995, she had kept all her savings from her pension and that of her husband in various places around the house, which she lived in with her eldest son, James.

In later years she decided to collect it together, she said. In the presence of a witness, a daughter she had counted £17,000.

"My son James got one of those bank cases with a number lock and I was enticed to put the money in this case and lock it and leave it in the attic. I had £17,000 in it. I am positive, certain, sure of that," she said.

Mrs McHale said that her son agreed she could get money from the case whenever she needed it. However, when she went to retrieve the money and the case after she moved in with her daughter following an accident, she said, her son refused to give it to her.

Mr Bernard Madden, counsel for Mr James McHale, argued that his client claimed there was just £10,000 in the case and that the money was safely in the bank.

Judge Harvey Kenny was told there had been a settlement.