Couple settles suit over demolition of farmhouse

A couple whose home was razed to the ground without any prior notice when a dual carriageway was being built between Limerick and Nenagh has settled a damages action in the High Court.

Couple settles suit over demolition of farmhouse

However, the High Court case continues to determine who is responsible for the demolition and who pays damages.

Brian and Mary O’Shaughnessy have been living in rented accommodation after their two-bed home, described as an old Irish farmhouse, at Annaholty, Birdhill, Co Tipperary, was demolished and the site cleared on September 6, 2006.

Ms O’Shaughnessy told the court that when she decided to collect post at the house which they were renovating, and so had no slates or furniture, on September 6, 2006, “the house was gone”.

Initially she thought she was “at the wrong place”. The court has already heard she went to neighbours, who told her it had been demolished between 11am and 3.20pm that day.

When the case was called before Mr Justice Donald Binchy yesterday he was told the couple had settled their action and were “out of the case”. However, the action is to proceed between the defendants to determine which is liable for the demolition.

The couple had sought damages for alleged negligence from parties including Limerick County Council and the National Roads Authority. They also sued RPS Consulting Engineers Ltd and EGIS Route Scetauroute SA (a joint venture in the name of RPS Scetauroute JV), which were contracted to build the carriageway, and Midland Fencing Ltd, which was subcontracted by the joint venture and carried out the demolition.

The defendants all deny negligence. Limerick County Council/NRA, the joint venture, and the subcontractor have served each other with notices of contribution and indemnity saying the other defendants were responsible for what happened.

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