A Co Wicklow family whose members include a severely disabled child have launched High Court proceedings seeking to prevent a receiver appointed by a financial fund from selling their home.
The action was brought by Joseph and Ann McDonald against Everyday Finance and the Chartered Accountant, Mr Ned Murphy, whom the fund has appointed receiver in the lands of Lakelands, Roundwood, Co Wicklow.
The McDonalds claim the receiver’s appointment last July caused “significant stress” to their family, but in the High Court proceedings they further allege the receiver’s appointment is “an abuse of process”.
The land belonged to Ms McDonald’s late father and mother, who died in 2007 and 2011.
domain of the mother
The McDonalds allege that the defendants’ bid to appoint a receiver over the estate of Mrs McDonald’s late mother, Mary Healy, was brought outside the time limit under the Succession Act 1965 and that the time limit for prescription applies.
The McDonalds claim that for many years they and their family members lived on the 87.5 acre property.
It was once used as a golf course, which was forced to close some time ago, and the land is used for grazing sheep.
The property also consists of several buildings, including the former clubhouse where the McDonalds now reside, their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.
The court heard the clubhouse had been specially adapted to accommodate McDonald’s grandson, who uses a wheelchair and is severely mentally and physically disabled.
Mr. McDonald’s brother also lives in a log cabin on the property.
In their lawsuit, the McDonalds claim that the fund and receiver are seeking to sell the property, which would result in the eviction of all of their family members and render them homeless.
The lands were the subject of a charge made in favor of AIB in 2003 on loans advanced on the property.
In 2013, AIB demanded payment of €690,000 from McDonalds, then sued them in 2013 and 2015.
McDonalds filed a defense and counterclaim to AIB’s actions.
McDonalds says these proceedings are still ongoing as no active steps have been taken to advance the AIB application for several years.
The charge on the property was acquired by Everyday Finance in 2019.
Last July, the McDonalds were informed that Everyday had appointed Mr Murphy as receiver, with a view to selling the property, but had refused requests from their lawyer to provide the claimants with a copy of the terms of the loan agreement entered into in respect of of ownership with AIB.
The McDonalds says Everyday has no right to appoint a receiver to sell the land, due to the fund’s delay in advancing or taking legal action against the estate of Ms McDonald’s late mother.
Mrs. McDonald is the personal representative of her mother’s estate.
Represented by John Kennedy SC, the McDonalds are seeking various orders, including an injunction prohibiting the defendants from selling or taking possession or control of the property.
They are also asking for orders discharging Mr. Murphy as receiver, and that no further appointment of a receiver over the property can be made except with leave of the court.
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On Friday, the matter was briefly mentioned before Judge Siobahn Stack.
The judge, on an ex parte basis, granted McDonalds permission to serve brief notice of the injunction proceedings on the defendants.
The case will return to court later this month.