Updated: 21/01/13 : 06:34:46
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Lissadell Supreme Court Appeal Starts Today

The Supreme Court appeal by the owners of the Lissadell estate in Co Sligo against the rejection of their claim that no public rights of way exist across certain routes in the estate will get underway this morning (Monday) at 11am.

The appeal has been taken by barristers Constance Cassidy and Edward Walsh against the High Court judgment of Mr Justice Bryan McMahon in December 2010, which dismissed their proceedings brought against Sligo County Council concerning rights of way.

They are also appealing an award of costs of about €6 million against them of the High Court proceedings, which ran for 58 days.

Ms Cassidy and Mr Walsh bought the estate in 2003 for €4 million and spent €9.5 million restoring it. The council passed a resolution in December 2008 to amend the county development plan to include a provision for the “preservation of the public rights of way” along certain routes at Lissadell.

In July 2012, it was indicated to Mr Justice John MacMenamin that the appeal, getting underway now, could take up to 10 days.

The High Court ruled in the Council's favour in December 2010 after the new owners contested the decision made by a majority of Sligo County Council members on December 1st 2008 re rights of way claimed to exist through the Lissadell Estate.

Millions of euro have been lost annually in tourist revenue, following the cessation of public access to the restored building and gardens.  

Concerts in July 2010 featured Westlife and Leonard Cohen and there were plans to have the Canadian superstar return along with a host of international groups and performers.

Lissadell House was the ancestral home of the Gore-Booths, of the poet and feminist leader, Eva Gore-Booth and her sister, the 1916 leader, Madame Markievicz.

Constance Markievicz was later the first women ever elected to the British House of Commons and the first female appointed as a Minister in an Irish Cabinet.

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