Couple left without running water
A couple whose home in Co Wicklow has been without running water since September after a JCB destroyed a pumphouse serving the property have brought High Court proceedings against their neighbours and relatives.
Anthony and Kathleen Hogan, of Mullica Lower, Donard, Dunlavin, have brought the case against Kevin Lawlor Snr, a brother of Ms Hogan, and his son Kevin Jnr, also of Mullica Lower.
Ronan Lupton BL, instructed by Clarke Jeffers Solicitors, for the Hogans, said they believe but they cannot say for certain, that Mr Lawlor Snr demolished the pumphouse.
Since that incident, Mr Lawlor Snr has taken steps to impede anyone trying to restore water supply to the Hogans’ home and erected a steel fence effectively blocking access to the site of the pumphouse, the court was told. Mr Justice Tony O’Connor granted the application for permission to serve short notice of injunction proceedings on the Lawlors and returned the matter to next week.
Right of way
Mr Lupton said the pumphouse was located on Mr Lawlor’s property over which his clients claim to have a right of way.
In a sworn statement, Mr Hogan said his brother-in-law has a “very unpleasant disposition”.
All members of the extended Lawlor family, “if they were honest, live in fear of Kevin Snr” because of his “aggressive and unpredictable nature particularly when he is drunk”, he said.
Mr Hogan said, on the night the pumphouse was destroyed, Mr Lawlor Snr was found by gardaí driving a vehicle at speed across a self-made pathway at the rear of the Hogans’ property.
Mr Lawlor Snr was “very intoxicated” at the time and was taken away by gardaí, he said.
Workers hired by the Hogans were told by Mr Lawlor Snr that “the pump was his” and had “nothing to do with the Hogans” and he would not allow them to approach the site, Mr Hogan said.
Before that incident, Mr Hogan said Mr Lawlor Snr told him in a threatening manner he would demolish the pumphouse, without giving a reason. As well as being a serious nuisance, the incidents had affected the plaintiffs’ health, it is claimed.