Councillor granted leave to challenge eviction

Saturday 07 June 2014 12.12
The High Court heard Mr Brady believes the action was taken against him due to his activism as a local representative
The High Court heard Mr Brady believes the action was taken against him due to his activism as a local representative

A Wicklow County Councillor and his wife have been granted leave by the High Court to challenge an eviction order issued over an attic conversion to their local authority home.

John and Gayle Brady, who have five children, have been threatened with eviction from their home at Kilbride Grove in Bray where they have lived for 13 years.

The court heard Mr Brady believes the action had been taken against him due to his activism as a local representative.

He claims his role has brought him into dispute with council officials on a number of local issues including the death of two fire fighters in Bray.

The High Court was told his family has been caught in the crossfire of action he believes is driven by "personal animosity" held by council officials towards him.

The court was told the couple converted the attic of the house ten years ago to accommodate their growing family.

They did so in the belief that they had permission from the council and many other houses had been similarly converted and had been designed for such work to be carried out.

Senior Counsel Cormac Ó Dulacháin told the court that last year the house was the subject of a "random inspection" when an official from Bray Town Council arrived at the house and went straight upstairs to inspect the attic.

He said the official left after four minutes and the couple was later issued with a letter stating the work was a fire hazard and was in breach of building regulations. 

They were instructed to apply for retrospective permission to retain the work.

A dispute ensued over the engagement of a professional architect with the council insisting any professional engaged must have indemnity insurance of €6.5m.

The couple was later asked to remove the stairs and the impasse continued, in March last they were served with a notice to quit.

In a sworn statement, Ms Brady said she was "devastated" by the development.

Judge Bronagh O'Hanlon today granted leave to the couple to bring a legal challenge to the eviction notice.

The application was made on an ex parte (one side only) basis. 

The case returns to court next week.