A man has to pay his ex-lover $ 15,000 plus expenses in a dispute over a credit union loan repayment.
Always the Circuit Civil Court heard that Hanna Kelly, of Ardrahan, Co. Galway, took out a loan to finish and furnish her ex-partner’s house, believing they were engaged.
Ms. Kelly, a mother of five, also told Judge Raymond Groarke that her ex-partner Michéal Geraghty of Knocknamanagh, Craughwell, Co. Galway had promised to include her name on his home’s title deeds.
Mr Geraghty, a father of six, denied both claims, saying he never asked or intended to marry Ms. Kelly, a former fitness trainer, as he was already married.
The court heard that the former couple had an “all over again” relationship that began in 2004 and ended in October 2012 via text message.
During this time they lived together at times in houses in Gort, Ardrahan and Craughwell.
When asked for details by James Fahy BL, Mr. Geraghty’s attorney, “where, when, or how” they got engaged, Ms. Kelly said she couldn’t remember.
In her testimony, she said that Mr. Geraghty proposed to her several months after they got together and they exchanged Claddagh rings as a token of their commitment.
However, Mr Geraghty said the rings were exchanged as part of a Christmas present and that he never wore his.
He also said that he was still legally married at the time.
Mr Geraghty said that after his legal separation in 2008, he decided to build a house next to his former marriage home in order to maintain access to his daughter with special needs.
However, Ms. Kelly claimed they intended to build the house together and cited that as the reason she secured a $ 26,000 credit union loan.
She told the court that the loan was only in her name as Mr Geraghty believed he would not get approval as he was not a member of the credit union and had no loan history.
The loan was taken out in July 2008 and a repayment of € 94 per week over a period of eight years was agreed.
The money was used to complete the construction, which was largely carried out by Mr. Geraghty, who is a builder by trade.
However, the court heard that the couple’s relationship broke down several times over the next few years and they only lived together in the house for a short time.
Ms. Kelly provided the court with 118 repayment receipts totaling 12,440 euros.
She claimed she personally paid more of the debt, but could not find the receipts.
She also said she did tiling, painting, and various earthworks which, along with the loan, came to € 17,446.
Following one of their breakups, Ms. Kelly informed the court that she had contacted Mr Geraghty’s attorney and found that she was not named on the title deeds and felt abandoned.
Mr Geraghty claimed that he had repaid the loan in full except for € 890, which, adding the fines, was € 40,984.
He said he would give Ms. Kelly money weekly to repay the loan and that it was always his debt, not hers.
When their relationship ended in 2012, Ms. Kelly stopped repaying the loan and Mr. Geraghty took full payment, which was settled in May 2018. Judge Groarke ruled in Ms. Kelly’s favor and sentenced Mr. Geraghty to pay € 15,000 plus € 2,500.