Warring neighbours begin court battle to decide layout of boundary hedge

Warring Neighbours Begin Court Battle To Decide Layout Of Boundary Hedge
The neighbours of Begona Alvarez O’Neill accuse her of being responsible for the removal of an old hawthorn hedge. Photo: Collins
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Ray Managh

Two neighbouring families, who have been warring for six years over what was described as the boundary between their “beautiful seaside homes”, took the first steps on Tuesday in a scheduled six-day battle to decide the layout of a hawthorn hedge that disappeared.

The dispute has trudged on before six judges, one of whom told both families a court order for the building of a wall similar to that proposed by US president Donald Trump on the US-Mexico border was becoming more attractive to the Circuit Civil Court so “they wouldn’t even have to look at each other.”


The initial proceedings taken by the late 97-year-old Evelyn Malone involved an alleged threat of assault on her by workmen with a chainsaw, which was vehemently denied.

The late Evelyn Malone pictured in a wheelchair leaving the Four Courts in 2018. Photo: Collins

Ms Malone, who owned 72 Dublin Road, Sutton, Dublin, died in April 2019, seven months after launching legal proceedings against Begona Alvarez O’Neill and Lucita Pascual Sanmiguel, of Mullaghmore, 73 Dublin Road.

Barrister Shane English, who appeared with Gore and Grimes Solicitors for the Malone family, told Judge Jennifer O’Brien it had already been agreed by Judge John O’Connor that the late Evelyn Malone be replaced in the proceedings by her two daughters, Renee and Jacqueline Malone, as plaintiffs in the case.


Senior counsel Richard Lyons, who appeared with barrister Robert O’Reilly and James Wall Solicitors for defendants Alvarez O’Neill and Lucita Pascual Sanmiguel, asked Judge O’Brien to rule that an alleged agreement reached between two opposing surveyors for the parties was valid.

Mr Lyons, who produced satellite images of the old hawthorn hedge prior to its demolition, said that if the court ruled in his clients’ favour on the validity of that signed agreement, the proceedings would end there.

Mr English said the Malone sisters would be seeking to establish that Ms Alvarez O’Neill had been responsible for the removal of the old hawthorn hedge following neighbourly relation becoming strained and difficult over the position of the boundary.

He said they would be denying that any agreement had been reached between the parties at any stage.

Judge O’Brien, having read part of the transcript of an earlier hearing and having heard evidence by a chartered surveyor on the part of the defendants state in cross-examination by Mr English that an agreement had not been concluded, ruled there was no settlement agreement in being and the scheduled six-day hearing would have to go ahead.

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