Woman returned home from funeral to find belongings on porch, High Court told

The woman claimed that she arrived home from her grandmother's funeral, to find a padlock on the gate of the house where she had lived with her
Woman returned home from funeral to find belongings on porch, High Court told

A woman has claimed before the High Court that she arrived home from her grandmother's funeral on Thursday to find a padlock on the gate and black bags containing personal belongings sitting on the porch.

Holly Cristaldo, who says she lived at the house at Killaspic, Kilchrist, Loughrea in Co Galway with her husband and two children, was carer for her grandmother Eileen Edge until her death on December 13th last.

The court heard there had been a dispute over the 2017 transfer of ownership of the house to Ms Edge’s daughter Susan McNamara and that Ms Edge had brought proceedings against Ms McNamara seeking that it be transferred back.

Ms Cristaldo wants the court to order that Ms McNamara of Tooloobaun, Killtullagh, Athenry, Co Galway, deliver up possession of the house to her and not interfere or occupy it, as well as the return of personal effects and assets.

She claims Ms McNamara did not attend her mother's funeral and CCTV fitted at Killaspic showed Ms McNamara at the house on Thursday with a van parked outside and entering the property.

Grandmother's will

Ms Cristaldo says she is one of three executors to her grandmother's will, as well as one of its beneficiaries.

She made an application for injunctive relief on Friday, with only her side represented, to Mr Justice Senan Allen.

The judge said however he was not going to grant an interim order until the other two executors to the will have been notified. He granted leave for Ms Cristaldo lawyer's to issue a notice of motion to that effect, returnable to next week.

Cormac Ó'Dúlacháin SC, for Ms Cristaldo, told the court the application was made in the context of existing proceedings between the late Ms Edge and her daughter Susan over the transfer of ownership of the family home at Killaspic in 2017.

Ms Edge challenged that transfer and that case has to be dealt with yet. If successful, it would mean the ownership would be transferred back to the deceased and therefore the beneficiaries of her will, the court heard.

Status quo

Counsel said he was aware that in law Ms McNamara is the registered owner, but in circumstances where the transfer to Ms McNamara is being challenged, and where she has her own residence elsewhere, the status quo should be preserved by the court.

"If she wanted to take possession there was a civilised way of going about it rather than the methodology adopted", he said.

Mr Justice Allen said that as presented, it looked like an application to restore Ms Cristaldo and her family to the house in which she was a guest of Ms Edge until she died.

It was not an application in circumstances where there was a risk that damage would be caused. He was not prepared to make an interim order but gave leave to bring a motion notifying the other executors.

In the proceedings by Ms Edge against Ms McNamara and a firm of solicitors, she sought orders that her daughter deliver up possession of the house to her granddaughter Holly.

Ms Cristaldo is asking the court to substitute her name in those proceedings for the purpose of now pursuing them as well as orders in relation to delivering up possession of the property and of personal effects.

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