Irish Republican News · August 23, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
‘Landlords’ attempt return after 90 years

A County Sligo community is reeling after English-based ‘landlords’ staked claim to property that the original owners left almost a century ago.

Several locals in the villager Rosses Point received a solicitor’s letter telling them they had 28 days to hand over property to people they had never met.

The letters come from shareholders of the original owners of the property ground rent, the Middleton Estate, most of whose family departed Ireland up to 90 years ago.

Although the leases appeared to have been abandoned, in the 1970s, locals traced Middleton family members across the globe, and reached a deal.

But some did not clinch agreement, leaving uncertainty over the ground on which their homes was built, which is in one of the most valuable locations in the north-west.

A number of homeowners have now received solicitors’ letters in July with the 28-day notice purporting to be from shareholders of the Middleton estate.

One of those involved in Devon-based vicar, the Reverend Guy Chave-Cox, and his wife Heather, who claims descent from the Middleton family.

The letter claimed the homeowner was “wrongfully in possession” of Middleton Estate property. It threatened proceedings without further notice if the property wasn’t surrendered. That means, with the 28-day notice, proceedings against some householders could start today.

One local businessman said: “People are quite concerned where this is all going to lead. I know of one woman who actually cried when she received a letter claiming somebody else owns her property.”

Solicitor Joe Carter, who represents a number of people who received legal letters, said the issue was resolved to most people’s satisfaction in the 1970s, and it is at least 35 years since anybody paid ground rent.

“Nobody knows who these people are who have arrived on the peninsula. They are trying to lay some claim to the ground rents that were unresolved.”

We have a favour to ask

We want to keep our publication as available as we can, so we need to ask for your help. Irish Republican News takes time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe it makes a difference. If everyone who reads our website helps fund it, our future would be much more secure.

For as little as £1, you can support Irish Republican News – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

© 2010 Irish Republican News