Elderly woman loses claim to land in dispute with daughter

Friday 14 June 2013 22.11
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Nora Kelly was left 20 acres of land near Letterkenny by her uncle
Nora Kelly was left 20 acres of land near Letterkenny by her uncle
Judge Mary Faherty at Letterkenny Circuit Court rejected claims to the land by mother and two sons
Judge Mary Faherty at Letterkenny Circuit Court rejected claims to the land by mother and two sons

An 89-year-old woman who sued her daughter for possession of land left to her by an uncle has had her claim dismissed by Letterkenny Circuit Court.

Nora Gildea had taken the case against her daughter Nora Kelly.

Ms Kelly had been left 20 acres of land near Letterkenny by Mrs Gildea's late-brother William John Kennedy, who died in 2007.

Two of Mrs Gildea's sons, Christopher and Daniel, had also challenged Mrs Kelly's right to the land, but their claims were also rejected by Judge Mary Faherty.

Christopher Gildea had sought possession to all the land left to his sister Nora.

He said he had raised sheep there since 1971, but the judge said his claim bordered on the audacious.

Daniel Gildea had claimed possession of a shed and a small parcel of land. He said he used to run a car park business from the shed.

But the judge said she did not accept this to be the case and Mr Gildea and others used the shed in tandem with William John Kennedy.

Nora Gildea claimed she was entitled to seven acres of the farm known as "The Craft Field" and said she bred horses there, but the judge said there was no evidence of this and rejected her claim.

Nora Kelly said she was relieved that it was now all over and said she believed that it had come to this because she was a girl and the land had been left to her.

Ms Kelly took a counter-action against her mother and brothers seeking to confirm her ownership of the lands left to her in the will.

During the case the court heard claims of intimidation by both sides of the family.

Counsel Peter Nolan, for Ms Kelly, likened the case to the play The Field, saying that if author John B Keane were alive "he'd be here in Donegal writing about this".