New estate dispute settled

 

The descendants of the Earl of Kilmorey returned to the High Court in Belfast yesterday to settle a dispute over a valuable bronze statue in the grounds of the family estate at Mourne Park House, Kilkeel, Co Down.

In an earlier disagreement over heirlooms from the estate, Ms Marion Russell (33), great-grand-daughter of the earl, spent a week in prison last September when she refused to reveal their whereabouts.

Ms Russell has been involved in a long-running feud with her sister, mother and brother over the disposal of the family legacy.

In January they reached agreement in which Ms Russell was given the house and one-third of the surrounding land. An auction of the contents has been arranged for next Monday and Tuesday.

But yesterday Ms Russell returned to court to prevent some items, including a statue of the earl, valued at between €30,000 and €45,000, from being sold. Also on her list was a statue of Ulysses, a sundial and book-cases made for the house.

Her lawyer, Mr Frank O'Donoghue QC, told the court there was a dispute on whether these items were fixtures.

Mr Michael Lavery QC, acting for her mother, Ms Julie Ann Anley, her sister Ms Bonnie Horsman and her brother Mr Philip Anley, said the auctioneers believed enormous damage would be done to the sale if these items were not included.

After adjourning the hearing for further discussions, both lawyers reported that a list of items agreed as fixtures had been drawn up, and that the statues would be auctioned subject to the permission of the environmental heritage protection authorities.

Afterwards Ms Russell confirmed that she would be bidding for items at the auction, including the family Bible.