Man to pay €12,000 to plumber in unpaid fees, case against Senator Fidelma Healy Eames dismissed

Thursday 26 July 2012 19.39
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Michael Eames was ordered to pay €12,412 in unpaid fees
Michael Eames was ordered to pay €12,412 in unpaid fees
Oranmore plumber Michael Allen is to be paid €12,412 over work to this house
Oranmore plumber Michael Allen is to be paid €12,412 over work to this house

Galway Circuit Civil Court judge has dismissed an action taken by a plumber against Senator Fidelma Healy Eames but ordered that her husband pay over €12,000 in unpaid fees.

Judge Rory McCabe ruled in favour of Michael Allen receiving over €12,412 in unpaid fees owed to him by Michael Eames.

The judge added that it had not been unreasonable to sue Ms Healy Eames as the dispute was over work carried out at her house.

In a statement published on her website, Ms Healy Eames said she was “pleased that the judge dismissed the case against me and that the case has now come to an end.

“The judge also reduced the claim against my husband Michael Eames for a significant sum, in excess of €10,000. We are satisfied with the outcome.”

Ms Healy Eames and her husband Mr Eames were taken to court over claims by the tradesman that they owed him thousands of euros in unpaid fees.

Mr Allen first took an action against the couple in 2010 when he sued them for almost €36,000.

He had received €13,000 to date but claimed there was still €23,000 outstanding when he asked to leave the site.

In 2009 Mr Allen claimed he signed a contract to carry out work on the new Eames family home at Maree Oranmore.

He said the price agreed for the plumbing and heating of the three storey residence was valued at €28,840.

Mr Allen said Senator Healy Eames also wanted the garage turned into a Fine Gael office and boardroom but work was halted in a dispute over costs.

Judge Rory McCabe said at the outset of this case that if Mr Allen had been unfairly let go from the job then he was entitled to recuperate costs.

However, Mr Eames rejected the claim that the tradesman had been taken off site.

He said this was his own decision.

The two men strongly disputed the price agreed and the nature of the original contract.

Mr Allen came off site before Christmas 2009.

When it was put to him that he had not been doing a good job, that he was not a qualified plumber and that he had never priced a house before, Mr Allen retorted that he ran a reputable plumbing and heating business and that Gerry Slattery worked for him.

If Mr Slattery's work was good enough for the Eames family, then so too was his.

In court today, Gerry Slattery said he was paid cash by Michael Eames for completing work on the house.

Mr Allen said he had done everything through the books, paid his taxes and VAT and felt he had been undercut.

Mr Eames rejected these claims and told the court he had invited Mr Allen back on site and offered to pay him more money.

In court today Ms Healy Eames said she was only involved in the cosmetic work in the house with interior designer.