High court reporters
A Co Wicklow family whose members include a severely disabled child has launched High Court proceedings aimed at preventing a receiver appointed by a financial fund from selling their home.
The action has been brought by Joseph and Ann McDonald against Everyday Finance and chartered accountant Mr Ned Murphy who the fund appointed as receiver over lands at Lakelands, Roundwood, Co Wicklow.
The McDonalds claim the receiver's appointment last July has caused "significant stress" to their family, but in High Court proceedings further allege that the receiver's appointment is "an abuse of process."
The lands were owned by Mrs McDonald's late father and mother, who died in 2007 and 2011.
The McDonalds allege that the defendants' bid to appoint a receiver over the estate of Mrs McDonald's late mother, Mary Healy, have been brought outside of the time limit allowed under the 1965 Succession Act and the Statute of Limitations applies.
The McDonalds claim that for many years they and family members have lived on the 87.5-acre property.
It was formerly used as a golf course, which was forced to close some time ago, and the lands are used for sheep grazing.
The property also consists of several buildings including the former clubhouse where the McDonalds, their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren now reside.
The court heard the clubhouse has been specially adapted to cater for the McDonald's grandson, who uses a wheelchair and is severely mentally and physically disabled.
Mr McDonald's brother lives in a log cabin also on the property.
In their action the McDonalds claim that the fund and the receiver are seeking to sell the property, which would result in all of their family members being evicted and made homeless.
The lands were the subject of a charge made in favour of AIB in 2003 over loans advanced in respect of the property.
In 2013 AIB made a demand for payment of €690,000 from the McDonalds, and then issued proceedings against them in 2013 and 2015.
The McDonalds entered a defence and counterclaim to AIB's actions.
The McDonalds claim that those proceedings remain extant as no active steps have been taken to progress AIB's claim for several years.
The charge over 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 their solicitor’s requests to furnish the applicants with a copy of the terms of the loan agreement entered into in respect of the property with AIB.
The McDonalds claims that Everyday is not entitled to appoint a receiver to sell the lands, because of the fund's delay in advancing or taking proceedings against the estate of Mrs McDonald's late mother.
Mrs McDonald is the personal representative of her mother's estate.
Represented by John Kennedy SC the McDonalds seek various orders including an injunction restraining the defendants from selling or taking possession or control of the property.
They also seek orders discharging Mr Murphy as receiver, and that no further appointments of a receiver over the property can be made except with the permission of the court.
The matter was briefly mentioned before Ms Justice Siobahn Stack on Friday.
The judge on an ex-parte basis, granted the McDonalds permission to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on the defendants.
The case will come back before the court later this month.