‘John Doe’ finally appears in court

A man known only as John Doe was arrested and brought before a Donegal court on Monday amidst claims he has illegally occupied the home of a dead Church of Ireland minister.

Gardai were forced to make their way into the home of the man at Newtowncunningham, just before 5pm on Monday evening.

It followed an order by Letterkenny Circuit Court for him to appear before Judge John O’Hagan.

Gardai revealed they found the man as well as a woman and two children at the address.

When he arrived at court the man was asked by Judge O’Hagan who he was and the man replied “Who do you say I am?”

The man, wearing jeans and a grey jumper, eventually told the court his name was Daniel Greene.

The court was told on a previous occasion that the house belonged to the Very Rev Samuel Reede who passed away at the age of 86 in October 2010.

The cleric, known as Dean Sam, had served the Anglican in east Donegal for community for 50 years and had been Dean of St Eunan’s CoI Cathedral in Raphoe.

In his will, Dean Sam left his small retirement cottage in the townland of Rooskey, 2km from Newtowncunningham, to his brother Charles.

And in January this year estate agents began the process of selling the property, with Charles deeming that all proceeds should go to local charities in Co Donegal.

However Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court heard that on February 6 this year ‘for sale’ signs were removed from the property.

Barrister Fiona Crawford, acting for Charles Reede, said that two weeks later an estate agent found the locks had been changed. A sign stating “no trespassing” had been placed in the window.

Ms Crawford won an order for vacant possession of the lands and bungalow and an injunction against ‘John Doe’.

At the latest hearing in Letterkenny, Judge John O’Hagan deemed the numerous notices given to John Doe were valid.

He held ‘John Doe’ in contempt of court and ordered him to leave Dean Sam’s home.

The court was told that the house had been purchased by Mr Greene for €58,000 and that a €2,000 deposit had been paid but that this had been returned to him when it was discovered the house was not actually eligible to be sold.

Mr Greene claimed that he had purchased the house from Charlie Robinson estate agents.

Judge O’Hagan asked the man if he had taken out a mortgage but the man said he had bought the house with his own money.

The Judge asked if he had title deeds to the house and the man said he had but that they were in Dublin.

He adjourned the case until August 13th to allow Mr Greene to show his papers in court.

And he warned the man once known as John Doe that he had to obey the court: “If there is an order to put you out then out you have to go.”