Mayo priest awared 27% of Donegal home he shared with former lover

courtA Co Mayo curate has been awarded 27% of a Donegal home he once shared with a former Franciscan friar, with whom he was in a relationship.

Ballina-based Father Gabriel Rosebotham had claimed he is entitled to half ownership of Rose Cottage, Letterbarra near Donegal town.

However, Hugo Crawford, who still lives in the house, is disputing his claim.

Donegal Circuit Court heard that the relationship between the two men began in the 1980s when they were both members of the Franciscan Order in Dublin.

They moved to Donegal in 1994. Fr Gabriel was in the Franciscan friary in Rossnowlagh but Mr Crawford had left the order and he bought Rose Cottage.

Fr Gabriel told Judge Keenan Johnson that after their relationship ended they agreed to have the house valued, sell it and split the proceeds 50:50. But Mr Crawford said this was not agreed.

Mr Crawford rejected claims by Fr Gabriel that he regularly repaid the loan, paid bills, bought groceries and furniture, and was entitled to half ownership of the house.

Today, Judge Keenan Johnson said that he had calculated ownership of the property based on the amount of money he believed each party had contributed to it.

Fr Gabriel was awared 27 per cent of a home with Mr Crawford getting a 73 per cent share of any future sale.