Kenny land dispute resolved
Chat show host Pat Kenny has resolved a bitter ownership battle with his elderly neighbour over a disputed patch of scrubland, Dublin’s High Court heard today.
After an appeal for both sides to end the land row, the RTÉ broadcaster and semi-retired solicitor Gerard Charlton struck a deal following a weekend of intense negotiations.
Kenny and his wife Kathy agreed to buy the rocky outcrop known as Gorse Hill from Mr Charlton after both parties entered out-of-court talks.
After the brief hearing, Mr Charlton said both he and his wife Maeve were happy the “debilitating and traumatic” row was over.
“An outcome has emerged and Mr and Mrs Kenny have agreed to purchase Gorse Hill. We are very happy with this outcome,” he said.
“As we wish to bring closure to this very debilitating and traumatic episode in our lives, we will be making no further comment.”
The deal was struck after former Attorney General Rory Brady SC agreed to act as mediator and held 10 hours of talks on Sunday.
Outside the court, Mr Kenny said the entire episode had been deeply distressing for his family.
He said that assertions made in court by counsel for the Charlton family would have been utterly rebutted.
“Some people who were not in court may have thought that this was a David and Goliath battle,” said Mr Kenny.
“It was not. It was a dispute between us and a neighbour who is a successful and experienced solicitor and owner of properties.”
In an eight-minute statement, Mr Kenny told reporters that Ms Justice Maureen Harding Clark’s visit to Gorse Hill and other relevant properties was crucial to an understanding of claims made by the parties and, in particular, the position he adopted.
“Her wisdom in suggesting mediation set in train the resolution of this difficult and upsetting case,” he said.
“We wish that mediation had taken place much earlier.”
Mr Kenny said his legal team approached Mr Brady on Saturday to act as mediator.
“He proved to be a rock of common sense and helped guide us to a point of honourable compromise,” he said.
“He listened at great length to each side.”
The broadcaster added: “Gorse Hill has provided our family and, in particular, our children with security and privacy for the last 17 years and has been maintained as a wildlife sanctuary by us during that time.
“Following the settlement brokered by the mediator, we are delighted that it will continue to do so.
“Above all, we wish that our children can return to the normal life that they enjoyed before this dispute began.
“The entire episode has been deeply distressing for all of us and, more than anything, we want to put it behind us.”
Mr Kenny refused to disclose the sum he paid for the site in the exclusive Dalkey area.