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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 26 May, 2020
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Squatters who 'broke into' pensioner's home ordered to vacate premises by Wednesday

Peter Herron claimed to have a legal right to live in the property because he had possession of it.

A MAN WHO, according to a judge, broke into an old age pensioner’s house and has been living there with a group of friends since October last, was today ordered to get out by Wednesday at noon.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane said in the Circuit Civil Court that Peter Herron, by changing the locks on the property at 109 Connaught Street, Phibsborough, Dublin, had broken in.

Barrister Joe Smyth, counsel for the 80-year-old pensioner Noel Kavanagh, told the court that Herron and a group of people living in the house had refused access to the gardaí.

Herron, against whom proceedings had initially been taken out in the name of John Doe, described himself as a filmmaker and claimed to have a legal right to live in the property because he had possession of it.

‘This is illegal’

“The fact is that the defendant broke into these premises and it appears to have been pre-planned,” Judge Linnane said.  “This is illegal and he is a trespasser and has broken the law.”

The judge said he had continued to cause worry and distress to Kavanagh who was in his eighties and in ill-health.  She said Kavanagh’s belongings in the property had been interfered with.

Judge Linnane told Smyth, who appeared with Mackey O’Sullivan Binchy solicitors, that Kavanagh had a right to recover his property for which, since the break-in, there had been insurance implications.

The court granted an interlocutory injunction directing Herron and all others in occupation to vacate the house by Wednesday and ordering them to cease their occupation by noon of the same day.

Judge Linnane also made an order for possession in favour of Kavanagh and adjourned the issue of damages to a full trial of the proceedings.  She granted Herron time to enter a defence and directed the court orders be served on the gardaí.

The judge told Smyth that copies of her orders could be served on Herron and others in the house by posting them through the letterbox or, if it was sealed, by affixing them to the front door.

Judge Linnane told Herron his filmmaking might be limited internationally if a formal complaint was made to the  gardaí or the DPP and a successful conviction was obtained against him.

Herron, who told the court Kavanagh’s belongings had been safely stored, represented himself with the help of a McKenzie friend.

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Ray Managh

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