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Judge orders gardai to break into ‘illegally’ occupied house

john doe house pic

A JUDGE has ordered gardai to force their way into the home of a dead Church Minister in Newtowncunningham and bring a married couple who are occupying it before tomorrow’s (Wednesday) sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court.

Judge Petria McDonnell made the order after Daniel Green and his wife, again, failed to appear in court. The couple and their children have been living in the home of the late Very Rev Samuel Reede for a number of months.

They moved into the property following the death of the 86 year old Anglican Reverend in 2010.

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It was only last February when estate agents visited the site that they noticed ‘For Sale’ signs had been removed from the property.

The locks of the house had also been changed and a sign saying ‘No Trespassing’ had been placed in the window.

The proceeds from the sale of the house, which had been left to the dead man’s brother Charles, were to be divided between three local charities.

A barrister representing the family of the late Rev Reede, Ms Fiona Crawford, won an order for vacant possession of the lands and the bungalow and an injunction against Green.

Green was eventually brought before the court earlier this year where he claimed he bought the house and had legal documents to prove this.

He has failed to attend court since or produce the documents.

Garda Evan Joyce gave evidence that he and a colleague had called to the house at 8:30 am this morning and stayed there for nearly two hours.

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There was no reply when he knocked, however, a white Ford Transit van was parked outside and the curtains were drawn.

Garda Joyce said they could not tell if anyone was at home and, therefore, were advised not to break down the door.

Judge McDonnell ordered gardai to return to the house today and deliver an open letter notifying the defendants to attend court.

If they did not attend, she said, gardai were authorised to break down the door. If no one was inside, she added, gardai are to secure the house.

The case continues tomorrow.

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