An unemployed Dublin mother has been told by a judge in the Circuit Civil Court to vacate a house belonging to her former live-in partner and in which she had been living rent free for 22 years.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane said Ita Clarke had been fully aware that former partner airline pilot Ruadhan Neeson, the father of her children, was under extremely severe financial circumstances and that a bank had threatened to repossess the house at Emerald Mews (correct in the Civil Bill), Upper Grand Canal Street, Dublin.
Ms Clarke had denied Mr Neeson was the owner of the house, which has recently been valued at €560,000. She had claimed adverse possession of the property.
Judge Linnane said Mr Neeson bought the house in 1985 for IR£46,000 (€58,000) with a mortgage. When his 10-year relationship with Ms Clarke ended in 1994, he moved out of the house and permitted her to remain with their two children. He had continued paying the mortgage.
He later remarried and changed the house owner’s title to include his then wife. The court heard the couple are now separated but still live under the same roof at in Killiney, Dublin.
The judge said the house had been re-mortgaged over the years. Mr Neeson had been under extreme financial pressure since 2011 and struggled to repay a €454,000 mortgage on the house.
Judge Linnane said a bank had threatened to repossess the house and had even appointed a receiver at one stage. Ms Clarke had been aware of her former partner’s financial position.
Mr Neeson told the court that he at the time had a private jet service business, flying property developers over Europe, but his company went into liquidation in 2008 following the crash.
Allowing Ms Clarke a three-month stay to find alternative accommodation, Judge Linnane said the court proceedings did not “come out the blue” and Ms Clarke had been fully aware of the circumstances.
This story was edited on June 6, 2018.
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