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grace period Dublin family given three weeks to enter defence over planning dispute with Dublin County Registrar

The couple and their daughter have become embroiled in a dispute with Rita Considine

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A retired Dublin couple and their daughter have been given three weeks by Judge James McCourt in the Circuit Civil Court to allow them enter a defence in a planning dispute involving their next door neighbour Rita Considine, the Dublin County Registrar.

Considine’s solicitor Chris Horrigan, of Blake Horrigan Solicitors, told Judge McCourt today that the three weeks grace period had been agreed with the legal representative of defendants Michael, Anne and Sinead Flanagan.

Michael and Anne Flanagan, of Home Farm Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, live next door to Ms Considine. The couple’s daughter, who lives at Glasilawn Avenue, Glasnevin, Dublin 11, is the beneficial owner of her parents’ home and is the third defendant in proceedings initiated by Considine.

Considine, described as a barrister and public office holder, is seeking injunctions against the Flanagans restraining them, or their agents, from trespassing on her property or carrying out any unauthorised development at the house.

She is also seeking a court order compelling the Flanagans to carry out their development works strictly in accordance with a planning permission and a declaration that they are not entitled to interfere with her property.

In an equity civil bill Considine claims that in 2019 she agreed not to object to planning permission for an extension to the Flanagan home on the understanding she would make observations relating to any concerns arising from the planning application.

In return for Considine’s agreement the defendants had allegedly given an undertaking there would be no trespass on her property and that the development works would be conducted entirely within the curtilage of the home.

The agreement, she alleges, included protection of a mature hedge on her property and that new windows would not overlook her home.

In June 2021 demolition and excavation work had commenced at Flanagans and, she alleges, construction work was in breach of planning permission in that it trespassed onto her property. Considine also alleges that in July of that year her boundary wall cracked and was pushed onto her property. The damage had been acknowledged and repairs and reinstatement promised.

Considine claims the Flanagans failed to repair and reinstate the boundary and garden wall and instead, allegedly removed the wall in its entirety together with its foundation. She also alleges excavations under a concrete path had been carried out to within about six inches of her gable wall. The path had allegedly been left in a dangerous and hazardous condition and her patio had been damaged as well as a mature Leylandi hedge and its roots.

Judge McCourt in allowing, with the consent of the parties, three weeks to facilitate the entry of a defence to the proceedings by the Flanagans, said the issues appeared to the court to lend themselves to mediation.

A representative of Hennessy and Perrozzi Solicitors, Swords, on behalf of the defendants said it was his intention to bring a motion in which he would seek, on behalf of his clients, to have the proceedings referred to mediation.

Ms Considine was granted an order for her legal costs of having to bring the motion seeking judgment in default of a defence. Her solicitor Mr Horrigan said execution of the costs order would be stayed until determination of the proceedings.

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