High Court to reserve judgement on West Donegal subsidence case

A High Court judge is today expected to reserve judgement in a case taken by the owners of homes in a West Donegal housing estate which suffers from subsidence because it was built on a bog just over four years ago.

‘Radharc An Seascan’ at Meenmore has 15-houses, mainly used as holiday homes. The insurance company for the Donegal-based engineers/architects employed on the project, who are being sued by the owners, have accepted liability and the case is before the High Court for assessment of damages.

The owners say the subsidence damaged water pipes, central heating, drainage and sewage systems, as well as causing steps to detach from walls and tarmac to sink.

According to the Irish Independent, the houses have become an attraction for anti-social behaviour and illegal dumping, the owners say. They have also been subjected to vandalism and thefts with the heating boilers from most of the houses stolen in October 2011.

The owners sued the builders, O'Kane Developments (Northwest) Ltd, and the engineers/architects, Damien McKay Ltd trading as Damien McKay, Drumany, Letterkenny and now in voluntary liquidation.

Liability for the problems has been accepted by the insurers for McKay and the matter is before Mr Justice Michael Peart for assessment of damages.

Richard Lyons SC, for two of the house owners, also wants the court to decide whether O'Kane's, which the court heard is now a dormant company, should also be subject to any order it makes.

One of the purchasers is also a director of the building company, O'Kanes, who is also suing for compensation.

Paul O'Kane told the court his company was now dormant and even though he was not responsible for what had happened, his reputation had been ruined because he was associated with it.