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Woman seeks proceeds of sale of house from man she claims is her husband

The woman is in the process of having the marriage recognised and registered in Ireland.

A WOMAN IN her mid-twenties has claimed before the High Court that she is entitled to a share of the proceeds of sale of a house she shared with an Irish businessman aged in his late 60s she says she married several years ago.

The court heard that the woman claims that the parties, who cannot be named for legal reasons, got married following religious and civil services in her native country, which is outside of the European Union, when she was aged in her early twenties.

The court heard that the man has challenged the validity of their marriage.

The woman, represented by John Temple BL, says that she met the man when he was in her home country.

The non-EU national woman who is now aged in her mid-twenties said she found the man to be loving and kind towards her.

They were married a few months after being introduced to each other.

However, she claims that the man began dating other girls, some as young as 13 or 14 years of age, a short time after they married.

While polygamous unions are recognised in her native country, she claims the man’s actions placed a considerable strain on their relationship.

Arising out of that she claims that the two reconciled and re-located from her home country to Ireland where they have resided for the last few years.

While things were good for a period, she claims that problems in their relationship re-emerged.

She claims that things between them deteriorated after she found him lying naked on his bed while he was on a videocall to a woman who she said was also naked.

She claims he began removing internal locks from doors was arrogant towards her, shouted at her to leave the house and locked all the external doors and windows so she had no way to leave the property for days.

On an other occasion she alleges that she heard the man talking via another videocall to his former wife, again while naked, who she said is younger than the plaintiff.

She claims that in that conversation he said that he was making a fool of the plaintiff, was doing nothing for her and that he kept her passport locked away.

She eventually left the family home and was offered a place to stay by a family.

She also claims that she obtained a protection order from the District Court against the man after he started sending her several unwarranted and inappropriate communications.

During those hearings the man claims that their marriage was not recognised in Ireland.

At the High Court John Temple BL for the woman said that she had successfully taken an action in her native country’s Supreme Court to have their marriage recognised there.

She is in the process of having the marriage recognised and registered in this jurisdiction by the Irish Circuit Court.

She claims that after learning of the decision of the courts in the woman’s native country the man decided to sell the family home in Ireland.

She claims that property, falls under the 1976 Family Home Protection Act and could not be sold without her consent.

Last week the High Court granted the woman an ex parte injunction preventing the man from selling the house until she consents.

She also secured an order preventing the man’s solicitor from releasing the proceeds of any sale to anyone, including the applicant, until her application to have the marriage recognised in Ireland has been completed.

The matter was briefly mentioned before Justice Eileen Roberts during today’s sitting of the High Court.

The judge was informed by Temple that the house had been sold.

His client had no issue with this as the sale appears to have been completed before the order was granted against the man, but she was concerned about the proceeds of the sale.

The man was aware of the court’s order and in an email to the woman’s lawyers had said that the proceeds of sale remain with a solicitor who the man claims is representing him.

Counsel said that while the solicitor named by the man in the email was of the highest integrity and “beyond reproach” his client was concerned that they were yet to hear anything from that particular solicitor.

Counsel said that there are fears that anything the man says have to be taken “with a grain of salt”, and was neither present nor represented in court when the case was called on.

Justice Roberts noted the applicant’s concerns.

She adjourned the matter, with the order to remain in place, to a date later this month.

The judge also expressed the court’s desire that formal contact be made with the man’s solicitor before the case is next mentioned before the court.

Aodhan O Faolain