Model maker: Ex sent abusive texts

The maker of a replica of the Titanic, the ownership of which is at the centre of a legal dispute between two ex-lovers, claims he received threatening and abusive texts from his ex-partner.

Model maker: Ex sent abusive texts

Last month, Carmel McGrath, who claims she paid the costs of building the 16ft-long replica, secured a High Court injunction restraining Hungarian national Zoltan Panka from selling the model vessel.

She claims Mr Panka took the model without permission from her home at Glenview Park, Dillons Cross, Cork, while she was away.

She feared that Mr Panka would sell the model, estimated to be worth up to €70,000, which she claims is jointly owned by the pair.

However, in a sworn statement to the court Mr Panka disputes her claims, and says he received a number of abusive messages from her after leaving her home with the model. She has denied that claim.

Mr Panka denies any commercial relationship between the two concerning the model or that he intended to sell the model.

Yesterday, when the matter was mentioned before the High Court, Mr Justice Sean Ryan ordered that the current location of the model be disclosed to Ms McGrath’s lawyers.

Arrangements are to be made so the model, believed to be in Carrigaline can be inspected, the Judge said.

The judge adjourned the matter to a date later this month when Ms McGrath’s application for possession of the model will be heard.

In his affidavit, Mr Panka, who is residing at a homeless shelter in Cork City, said he lived with Ms McGrath from 2009, and contributed 50% of his earnings as a tiler to her household.

He said model ship building was a family hobby and he spent up to 2,000 hours working on the replica, which is not completed.

He said the model is not worth “a fraction of the value” put on it by Ms McGrath. He also estimates that Ms McGrath paid €2,000 out of the €8,000 spent to date on the model. The rest he spent himself.

Mr Panka added last July he was kicked out of her home because she believed he became involved with another woman.

He left without most of his belongings and was rendered homeless. Despite this, last August he agreed to mind her house when she was on holidays.

During this time he received some pleasant and some not so pleasant texts from her. He decided their relationship was over, and left her home with his belongings and the model ship. After this he received “a litany” of threatening and abuse text messages.

Previously, the court heard Ms McGrath went to the Gardaí after the model was taken from her home. She attempted to contact Mr Panka about the matter, but denied any text messages she sent were in any way threatening or abusive.

More in this section

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence

Home Delivery


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.