Couple told to vacate property in receivership or face prospect of jail for contempt

Martina Harty and Dermot Calvert pictured leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts

A High Court Judge today warned a couple they face being imprisoned if they do not vacate a house in Limerick currently in receivership within two weeks.

Mr Justice Senan Allen gave the warning to Martina Harty and Dermot Calvert who the court heard had failed to comply with an order requiring them to vacate a semi-detached house located at Mossgrove Avenue, Caherdavin Heights, Limerick.

The couple, who agreed to leave the house, were brought before the court by several members of the Gardaí on foot of a motion seeking their committal to prison for being in contempt of a court order made in April 2018 requiring them to leave the property.

The motion was brought by Gearoid Costelloe who was appointed receiver by IBRC over the semi-detached house, and more than 25 other properties owned by Mr Richard Dineen in 2009, arising out an alleged failure to repay loans taken out by Anglo Irish Bank.

The loans were eventually acquired by Promontoria Arrow Ltd.

At the High Court today, Andrew Fitzpatrick SC for the receiver said In late November 2017 locks on the property were changed and the house was occupied by persons who had no entitlement to be there.

Counsel said the property had been leased out by the receiver, whose tenant left after that tenancy expired in late 2017.

Counsel said shortly afterwards Ms Harty was found to be living at the premises, without the receiver's consent.

She had claimed to be the tenant there on foot of a three-year lease granted by Mr Dineen.

It was the receiver's case that neither Ms Harty nor anybody else at the premises had a right to reside there.

The court also heard that Mr Calvert had been in occupation at the premises and that Gardaí were investigating reports of alleged ongoing anti-social behaviour at the property.

Counsel said in April 2018 an injunction was secured by the receiver requiring all those residing at the property to vacate the premises and as well as restraining them from trespassing there.

Mr Fitzpatrick said that the premises, which he said Ms Harty and Mr Calvert were present at, was not vacated, despite the occupants being given a number of deadlines.

As a result, a motion seeking the attachment and committal to prison for being in contempt of the order to vacate the premises was brought by the receiver against Ms Harty and Mr Calvert.

During the brief hearing, in which Ms Harty and Mr Calvert represented themselves, the pair gave sworn undertakings to vacate the property within the next two weeks.

Ms Harty told the court that she had a lease with and paid rent to the owner of the property, Mr Dineen, and said they were "unaware" of the orders previously made by the Court in respect of the house.

Mr Calvert said he only stayed at the house at weekends.

Mr Justice Allen, in telling the couple that they had to comply with court orders warned them of the "serious consequences" if they did not leave the house within two weeks including possible imprisonment for contempt.

He told the couple they were now aware of the orders previously made by the court.

The matter will return before the court in early April.

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