Woman, 72, loses action in land row with Government minister

A 72-year-old woman has lost her civil action in a land dispute involving a Government minister and his father.

Diane Whitehead initiated civil proceedings against junior transport minister Alan Kelly and his father, Thomas Kelly, aged 74, after a laneway she used to access her field was blocked.

The 72-year-old, who is originally from London moved to North Tipperary in the late 1980s, after buying a four-bedroomed modern bungalow that overlooks Lough Derg outside the village of Portroe.

She claims access to the lane, which she used to get to her field where horses are kept, was blocked by barriers in 2010, around the time her next-door neighbour, Mr Kelly Jr, began renovating his home. Ms Whitehead sought “unfettered access” to the lane which she claimed she half-owned according to maps she presented to Nenagh Circuit Court.

The Kellys disputed her claim, insisting they own the lane, which has been in the family since the 1930s.

Ms Whitehead, who claimed she used the lane for 20 years to access her field, recalled how she wrote several letters to her solicitor to record what she “regarded as harassment and intimidation”.

She admitted that she had installed a camera pointing at Mr Kelly Jr’s house some years ago, but insisted she was not spying on her neighbour.

Mr Kelly Jr said the camera was upsetting for him and his family and was installed at a time when it was publicly known he was receiving death threats.

Dismissing the plaintiff’s claim yesterday, Judge Petria McDonnell said Ms Whitehead had not established title over the disputed laneway, as the previous owners of her land had abandoned any right to the lane and acknowledged the Kelly’s entitlements to it.


This truck serves as an excellent metaphor for what needs to happen in our education system. A colossal truck needs to barge in front of it.Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: Time to ditch private schools

Sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Is it still ok to just lob the gob after 10 pints?

Nip those winter ailments in the bud with the help of garden bounty. Fiann Ó Nualláin shows you how.Have a berry merry Christmas with the help of garden bounty

Dig a planting hole around three times the size of its pot and around the same depth, loosening the soil around the hole.Your quick guide to planting trees

More From The Irish Examiner