The mother of Patrick Quirke, who was convicted yesterday of the murder of Bobby Ryan, contacted RTE radio’s Liveline programme in 2005 to advise people to get independent legal advice when transferring land or a business.
In the call, which was rebroadcast today, Eileen Quirke explained that she was upset because her son had “got possession” of the family home after her husband of 40 years had died. Prior to his death her husband had transferred the family farm to his son Patrick.
“The farm was transferred with the agreement that the house would be in my name, the person refused to put the house in my name, so I am left after what I would consider a very happy marriage...When my husband died, I was left with nothing apart from the widow's allowance.”
When asked who got everything, she said “my son”.
She went on to say: “It is astonishing that yesterday you had a chequebook that was worth something, today you have a cheque book that's worth nothing. You'll probably say ‘what a foolish person to sign up to these things’ and I was with hindsight.
“It was an agreement, a transfer, while he (husband) was alive, the solicitor (who was brought to the house by Patrick), came out to the kitchen and said to my husband ‘do you want legal advice of your own’ and he said ‘no we're dealing with our own, we'll be alright.’
Mrs Quirke explained that she had said that she wanted the house in her name. “The solicitor said that would be no bother, it would cost about €1,000 to take it off the map, so all the years down along I tried to get it taken off, but no, it would not be given to me.
“You would think that everybody would have their own house, but it is not so in a lot of the farming community.”
She was asked if her son wanted her out of the house. She replied: “No. I'm living in the house. There's no question of me going out, but it's not mine. I have no collateral if I wanted to go into a nursing home or anything like that. You're left with nothing, just nothing.
“There was a lack of clarity in the way a will or agreement or a transfer is written up. It is all baloney as far as I'm concerned.”
She added that her husband was 69 when he died. “All I wanted was the house in my own name. I think everybody is entitled to their house.”
Joe Duffy queried what her son had said when she asked him to sign over the house. “Oh no way, no way.”
On the surface “everything is grand”, she said, but they “just about get by”.
Her other children were devastated by what had happened. “We never thought anything would ever happen like that. But they were all educated, they've all good jobs.
“He did say if you end up in a nursing home I'll try and let the house and that money can go towards paying for you. That was fair enough I suppose.
“If I had pursued it within the due time I would probably have got the house I was told. My advice to anybody is please get your own legal advice and make sure that you know what you're signing up to.”
Presenter Joe Duffy said that the show had contacted Mrs Quirke who is still living in the house and said that the situation had improved.