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Buachaill
Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10172
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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A neighbour leaving my farm through a boundary gate onto a

Customer Question

Customer: A neighbour leaving my farm through a boundary gate onto a public road and pulling the gate to but not securing it with the chain provided for the purpose. There are two gates he can choose to use, the main one over a cattle grid and a side gate. His right of access is not in dispute. He has an agricultural access and claims his 10 year old child cannot reach to close the gate with the current 'loop closure' over the gate post. He runs a riding school and is well aware that horses can pull gates open as well as push them, just as they can undo sliding bolts! If my horses escape onto the public road I am liable. The Garda say it is a Civil matter. This man has over several months messed with my gate closure with no reason given leaving the gate insecure in relation to animals leaving the property. In the last few days he has moved my property, throwing things left in preparation for work into the hedge on two occasions, cutting a rope securing another item of property which has no relation to the access, and leaving the gate unsecured - he told the Garda the gate was closed - he did not tell them he was failing to make it horse secure. He is a tenant of the lady who owns the land he uses. Is he entitled to leave my boundary gate unsecured? Is this solely a Civil matter? There is a long list of issues with this man, parking his tractor outside my window and leaving it whilst he walks forty metres to open a boundary gate onto the rented land, calling me 'Queenie', damaging my property, driving at me with his tractor and pushing me with it, then when I tried to speak to him pushing me into a drain saying'excuse me'. What action can I take to protect myself from his behaviour? I have spoken to and written to his Landlord and have documented the rights and responsibilities of using the access, standard for any prescriptive access - right to cross, stay on track, keep gates closed at all times. The Landlord has either not addressed the tenant's behaviour or has been ignored. I have provided the Landlord with video security footage of the tenant throwing something at and hitting one of my horses, stopping outside the front window of the house, leaving the boundary gate open and listed several other incidents. I have years of incidents logged, some hand held video footage and security camera footage - put in because of this man. I live with a chronic illness and a heart condition. Stress is not recommended. I feel helpless and under attack on my own property where I should feel secure and safe. What can I expect of the Garda and what action can I take without running up a huge legal bill? I am happy to spend a sensible amount to ensure my safety, peace and enjoyment of my own land and home.
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.

1. Whilst this question is presented as one of leaving a gate open what is going on here is subtle campaign of harassment and intimidation. Harassment is a tort or civil wrong for which you can get an injunction or money damages. Intimidation is a tort for which there are similar remedies.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.

2. Pushing you into a ditch or with a tractor is an assault for which there is an injunction or damages. Calling you a homosexual slur like "Queenie" is also intimidation. It is blatantly discriminatory.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.

3. My first instinct is that you should issue legal proceedings against this person and seek an injunction preventing them from using the accessway without a lock on it. Also you should get a harassment injunction preventing this person from coming within 100 metres of you. Make it difficult for this person to continue to intimidate and harass you.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.

4. Be aware that harassment is also a crime under Part 13 of the Criminal Justice Act for which an Anti Social BEhaviour order can be granted. However, because this intimidation and harassment is subtle and there has been no "flashpoint" incident, the Gardai are reluctant to act. They only want to act in clear cases. So you should use civil action.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.

5. Essentially, the landlord does not want to act, because his money comes from this tenant. The landlord wishes the problem would go away. So you should use your legal remedies to force this tenant out. Make it difficult for him to continue to use the land near you and force him out.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.

5. Use the law to engage in your own campaign of harassment and intimidation of this tenant. Bully him legally. What he is doing is contrary to law. So be clever and force this person out. See a good solicitor who will do a little research and use the law to force this person out. Get a barrister's opinion and harass this person in return.

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