A Co Galway woman has been awarded €37,000 at Galway Circuit Court in damages sustained as a result of a hate mail campaign of harassment.

Eileen Nestor of Prospect, Gort, a mother-of-four, was shocked when she discovered that the letters had come from the home of her one-time close friends, Nora Connolly and her husband Oliver of Rindifin, Gort.

She sued the couple after gardaí submitted a file to the DPP but no prosecution ensued. 

Her GP gave evidence that her health had deteriorated as soon as the letters started arriving in 2003.

She suffered from depression and eventually a nervous breakdown. She had to give up her job in 2005.

Gardaí conducted an investigation and traced the source of one letter to a computer linked to a phone line registered in the name of Oliver Connolly. 

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said he was satisfied the letters emanated from the Connolly home but the purpose of the correspondence was far from clear.

The effect was to belittle and demean Ms Nestor and to invade her home in a malicious fashion.

He did not know if it was done because of jealousy or hatred, but he  was of the view that he was compelled to make an award at the higher end of the circuit court scale.