6 July 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A CLAIM for reimbursement of losses in excess of €2.8 million as a result of the disastrous fire at Hope Castle in Castleblayney on November 4th 2010 by way of compensation under the Malicious Injuries Act, was upheld by Judge John O’Hagan at Monaghan Circuit Criminal Court last week in an action in which the applicant was Christopher Haren, 39 Bree, Castleblayney, the legal holder of the tenancy to the property, and Monaghan County Council, as owners of the estate, who were the respondents in the landmark action.
The Circuit Court judge heard that the historic 18th century castle, beside Lough Muckno, which was being operated as an hotel and business establishment by Mr. Haren, was extensively damaged by the fire between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on the date in question.
After the legal submissions by both sides, Judge O’Hagan held that on the basis of the malicious damage proved, the County Council had responsibility for reimbursement of Mr. Haren in relation to the huge losses sustained.
Mr. Hugh Mohan S.C., and Mr. Frank Martin B.L. (instructed by Michelle Flanagan of Messrs Wilkie and Flanagan, Solrs., Blayney) appeared for the applicant and Mr. Patrick Butler S.C., and Ms Niamh O’Carroll B.L. (instructed by Mr. Enda O’Carroll, Carrickmacross) represented Monaghan County Council.
Mr. Haren told the court that three named persons had pleaded guilty to the malicious damage caused and in accordance with Section 5 of the Malicious Injuries Act 1981, the person who suffered damage was entitled to claim compensation from the local authority in accordance with Statute.
In his affidavit Mr. Haren stated the persons responsible for the damage broke in and were engaged in conduct which satisfied the applicable legal criteria for the claim.
In his affidavit the applicant also claimed that if discovered while engaging in the malicious injury, the persons responsible would have “used force against any person who might oppose them at that time”.
Mr. Haren also pointed out that following disputed proceedings in the Circuit Court and …

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