A 90-year-old woman, left with a €1,500 legal bill after failing to take down a satellite dish from outside her home, has slammed Dublin City Council for the way it has treated her.
Anne ‘Peg’ Rudd, of St Enda’s Rd, Terenure, Dublin 6, was forced to come to court yesterday after she was summonsed by the council.
She appeared before Judge John O’Neill at Dublin District Court, accused of failing to comply with an enforcement notice issued on May 28 telling her she had to remove “the unauthorised satellite dish”.
He said Ms Rudd “could do without this” at her stage in life, but she had received a warning letter in March and been given extra time to take the dish down.
He said the legal costs seemed high, but he had to take into account that the dish was in contravention of planning laws, inspections had to be carried out, and that legal proceedings had been initiated.
After the case, Anne said she was very annoyed. “I told the judge that the satellite dish was a present for my birthday to replace the old one,” she told RTÉ radio.
Anne, who receives a €240-a-week pension, said nobody from the council ever knocked on her door. Had they called, she said, she would have taken the dish down immediately. She said the council sent her two letters which were “confusing”. She was spared a conviction but was left with a €1,500 bill.
Anne’s daughter, Ann Claxton, said there must be better ways for the council to spend its resources. She branded the letters “a big joke”, but said she was “absolutely sick to her stomach” when she realised the matter would go to court.
To make matters worse, when the family returned to their car after the case, it had been clamped.
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