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Are these the worst neighbours in the country?

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  • Are these the worst neighbours in the country?

    Hi everyone! Am I the only person with neighbour problems in Ireland? I was referred to this site by the Intelligent Horsemanship discussion group, where I'd started a thread about my neighbours from hell.

    My problems started when I moved from Co. Galway and bought an equestrian property in Co. Tipperary four years ago. While some neighbours are, and always have been, lovely, there is a group of four, including my immediate neighbours, who have been avowedly hostile from the start, because i am a "foreigner". These neighbour have persistently attempted to block rights of way across their land and since then have literally stolen a lane that, according to my solicitor, incontrovertibly belongs to me. How can you steal a lane? Well they have erected a large heavy gate across it and have fixed it with lots of barbed wire. Whenever I go to try to remove it the man of the house rushes out and is abusive. I find this frightening as these neighbours have guns and have shot at my stables and also while I am riding in my fields, scaring the horses. People who have been to my place while the neighbours have been shooting have been terrified (they simply open their front door and fire). Matters got worse when I wrote them a very polite letter asking them to be more considerate with their guns. Since then, they have tried to run me off the road in their cars, they have deliberately accelerated past my daughter when she has been riding her pony, their 17 year old daughter has indecently exposed herself to a group of 10 year old children who were riding with us (!), and yesterday their brother in law deliberately broke a tape across my avenue where some of my horses were grazing and (unbelievably) chased them on to his brother's lawn (this was seen by my daughter) then back onto my land, and they are now attempting to claim damages for the lawn. Meanwhile, my horses have been terrorised and traumatised (one of them was too scared even to go in through the gate to her field).

    I have involved both solicitors and the police, but I'm sure you all know how impossible it is to prove anything. I would love to sell up and move but my property is devalued by the neighbours and the boundary dispute. Meanwhile I am having to compile a file of incidents in the hope of getting them prosecuted for criminal harassment, but it's a horrible way to have to live.

  • #2
    Hi ferelith and welcome

    I'm not in Ireland so I don't know anything about Irish law, but surely the garda will do something

    Maybe you should invest in camcorder or install some cctv equipment, catch them in the act, as it were.

    They sound like extremely dangerous people. Do any of your other neighbours have problems with them? If so maybe you could get together and form an action committee.

    You have my complete sympathy, I think your problem is one of, if not the worse I've heard. Hopefully any Irish members might be able to give you more fitting advice.

    Good luck, I hope things get better, if feel the need to rant, just go to the rants folder, you'll get a lot of support and sympathy, I can assure you. Take care

    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


    • #3
      HI Misty,

      Thanks for the suggestions.

      I'd love to install a camcorder/cctv but don't know where I could fix one to on a country laneway. Also, it would have to cover a large area (several fields). Other neighbours do have problems with this family but try not to antagonise them. They don't actually live next door, so it's easier for them to simply stay out of the way. For example, this family have put a cattle crush across a public right of way and padlocked it to keep another neighbour from using the RoW to get to his fields. This neighbour, instead of confronting them, has simply diverted the RoW across his own land to get access at a different point.

      I have involved the gardai and they know this, so that makes me feel a little safer, but I am constantly worried that my fences will be damaged (I have found sheepwire from one cut, and left to fall out into the field - really dangerous for horses) and my horses hurt. The guards have told me to report every incident, however trivial, to them.


      • #4
        The guards have told me to report every incident, however trivial, to them.[/b]

        I expect this is so they can build up a profile of the situation. It's something I advise anybody with an NFH to do, most times anyway.

        It must be awful to have this family of bullies so close. It just goes to prove that NFH are EVERYWHERE Yours are just a little more dangerous than others

        Good luck and don't let the *******s get you down, sooner or later they'll get their comeuppance.

        "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


        • #5

          This is one of the few postings that upsets me terribly due to the fact that animals are involved here.

          Like Misty I too don't know much about Irish law - but I do know that these partiuclar Irish people think they are above it.

          I am concerned here that these people have guns and I have limited knowledge of gun law in this country let alone Ireland but, I would imagine that beings the police are very much concerned in asking about every incident to be reported it would suggest that they are intent on keeping a close eye on things. I think every police force whether it be Ireland (Southern) or the UK are taking a very active stance with gun misuse and crime.

          I can not imagine how you are feeling it must be nothing short of horrendous for you. These people sound like a law unto themselves. Do you know how long they have lived at their property for ?

          By far and away you are not the only person with problems in Ireland - as you say yourself your other neighbours have problems too but appear to be letting them get away with it. That is the problem they have allowed them to do it and you have come along and standing up to them bullies hate this.

          I am hoping Badger might have some additional knowledge on this. He is fairly technical and he might be able to offer you more in the way of constructive help.

          In the meantime you could try Ask Jeeves and typing in Irish Law and see what it comes up with. I am a bit out on a limb with this one simply because the lrish law is not something I have a clue about.

          I shall go off and have a look at that site and see what I can find for you.


          • #6
            I have just had a look around on Jeeves and under Irish law you are signed up to the Human Rights Act and there a sites linked to both British and Irish Law, so it could be that although the laws are along the same lines there are different areas of the Irish Law that only apply to Ireland. A bit like Scottish law is different to English law in certain respects.

            There is quite a lot there that you can have a look at, it might be useful for you.

            But I am very worried about these goons running about with shotguns.

            I'll tell you this I would be putting a bit of pressure on my local force about the fact that they appear to be misusing them and causing you to have fear for your life ! Surely the Garda can confiscate them !

            I think we could do with a professional on this point. Misty does your husband know much about the Irish Police and gun ownership at all by any chance ?

            I would be inclined to go CCTV on your home and horses - are the stables near your house ? You need to get evidence against them. They sound like a load of scallys.


            • #7
              If its any help here some info I have got off Ask Jeeves under the heading Irish Gun Laws :-

              The current gun laws were made in 1925, only a couple of years after the Civil War, when a large number of guns and rifles were in circulation,'' he said in a statement.

              Under current regulations, a gun can be obtained at 16-years-old without any training or test of competence, and police must give a reason for refusing a licence.

              The law only deals with arms held legally and not with the unknown numbers held by paramilitary groups.

              Higgins said the Firearms Act fails to stipulate what qualifications should be necessary to own a gun and only cites some possible exclusions.

              He said the law should stipulate that licence-holders be bona fide members of gun clubs and have three-yearly medical reports on their fitness to hold a licence.

              We still have a long way to go to rid our society of the type of people who carry out atrocities with guns, but we can make a start by ensuring that it is exceptionally difficult for them to get their hands on those instruments of death and carnage,'' Higgins said.[/b]
              There may actually be a grain of truth in what they are saying in that the Irish Firearms Act was basically designed to prevent civil revolt, not nutters getting hold of guns.

              However, to suggest it is lax is unbelievable. Ireland has the toughest laws in Europe, if not the world.

              Anything vaguely handgun shaped is prohibited. Centrefire semi-auto rifles are banned. Rifles over .27" in calibre are banned. Firearm Certificates have a Irish L100 licensing fee, and a seperate FAC is required per gun. Licenses have to be renewed yearly.

              All guns require an FAC - even air rifles.

              There may not be a requirement to be a member of a club or a training requirement expressly written into the law, but to get a license without being a member of a club is next to impossible.[/b]

              Check this out with your local Garda and see if your neighbours have licences for their firearams !


              • #8
                Hi there I finally got to the Irish forum! No you are not alone - rest assured. First time I heard of females exposing themseleves - maybe I live a sheltered life. It sounds as if you are in a very stressful situation. and under a lot of tension most of the time. I know the feeling. I wanted to recommend that if you want to wade through the law, all the statutes are on the site and it is possible to search them as a preliminary to solicitors. Its not too bad but requires patience. I did not get much help from the Gards with my problem in Dublin, but keep on keeping them informed. Have you involved the local veterinary service? they generally take a dim view of anything involving hostility and animals. I agrree about the tough gun legislation, but like much legislation it tends to be ignored. All the best and don't give up!

                Hermes, Dublin


                • #9
                  HI Everyone,

                  Thanks for all the replies. I haven't logged on in ages because I foolishly assumed there wouldn't be any responses! The neighbours have continued to harass me and the horses. Last weekend, while I was away, they cut the wire for the mains fencer and also locked my dogs in an outhouse (presumably to stop them barking while they were doing it). Meanwhile my solicitor informs me that he gave me the wrong advice in relation to the lane, and that in fact they own half and are entitled to prevent me from using it. I know I can instruct other solicitors to sue him for negligence (I very clearly asked him if he was sure to be sure that it was my lane and told him that the neighbours would make my life hell once they'd received a letter from him) but it's not exactly where I want to be going at the moment. I'm also waiting to hear from the local Co.Co. about ownership of the road that crosses my fields (if it's mine, which the roads engineer says it is, they haven't got a leg to stand on when it come to breaking the tape I put across it while my horses are grazing the land on either side). A Garda is due to come up today to take a formal statement. He thinks there is enough evidence to prosecute for ciminal harassment.

                  Thanks for all the support. I'll update you as and when anything happens.

                  Hermes, I'm sorry the gardai weren't much use re your problem. Maybe rural ones will have more time to help?



                  • #10
                    Hi Ferelith,

                    I feel so sorry for you. You must be worried sick about your

                    horses and dogs. What crazy people you have as neighbours

                    to just shoot out of the front door! Surely that is reckless use

                    of a firearm. Can't you get some independent witnesses to give

                    statements to the police? Someone could get killed.

                    Can't the neighbours be forced into mediation by the local

                    authorities? Even an attempt to make some agreement would

                    show some goodwill on your side which may help you later.

                    I empathise with you on the car swerving. We have sufferred that

                    and it is very unnerving. Car swerving could drive an inexperienced

                    driver off the road or into hitting someone by taking evasive action.

                    I would be telling the police all this. It is very dangerous behaviour

                    and indicates your NFH is one of the type who thinks they can

                    do what they like and doesn't care about the consequences to other

                    people or animals.

                    Melanie :ban: :nfh1:


                    • #11
                      Hello Ferelith

                      I have just been reading through and must admit that in your situation I would be terrifed and shaking in my boots.

                      I only hope that your situation gets better and very soon!

                      As for what they have done to your daughter whilst riding, have they no respect for anyone? Considering what I've read, they sound as though they know exactly what they are doing and really need to think seriously about the consequences of their actions, but typically NFH don't do this

                      I wish that I could help in some way :sad: I know that any advice you may get from this site will be good, and I will look out for your updates regularly

                      Good Luck and very best wishes to you, your family and all your animals :clover: :clover: