Michelle Morrison’s Dublin home privacy action settled

A legal action by the wife of singer Van Morrison over alleged interference with privacy at her Dublin home as a result of works at a neighbour’s house has been settled, the High Court heard.

In October 2010, Michelle Morrison got leave from the court to challenge Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council’s alleged failure to protect her family’s privacy when it granted planning permission for works on a neighbour’s house in Dalkey. A full hearing of the case has been pending since then and the case was before the court on a couple of occasions in relation to disclosure of documents and legal costs.

Yesterday, Eamonn Galligan SC, for Ms Morrison, told High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns that, following talks, the case could be struck out with no order as to costs which means both sides pay their own legal bills.

Ms Morrison, of Kilross House, Sorrento Rd, Dalkey, wanted the court to overturn the council’s decision to accept that redevelopment work done at Desmond and Mary Kavanagh’s neighbouring Mount Alverno home had complied with planning permission. The council had denied her claims. The Kavanaghs were notice parties in the case and had also disputed her claims.

Ms Morrison had claimed that, without proper landscaping — and, in particular, the replacement of trees — her home’s rear garden was overlooked by the Kavanagh property. She asked the court to quash a notice issued by the council certifying certain works were in compliance with the planning permission.

She also claimed that before accepting that compliance notice, the council failed to take into account a number of unauthorised amendments to previous permissions granted for the Kavanagh property, described by Ms Morrison’s counsel more than three and a half years ago as a 7,500 sq ft “Celtic Tiger-type house”.

Without the replacement of a number of trees, a gangway-style balcony in the Kavanaghs’ home seriously overlooked the Morrisons’ garden, while a large number of first floor windows in Mount Alverno also intrude on her family’s privacy, it was claimed.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna, who heard the application for leave to bring the case over a number of days in summer 2010, at one point urged the parties to consider talking. He remarked: “This case is going to cost somebody an awful lot of money.”


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