Siblings secure court order preventing sister from dissipating part of €665,000 family home proceeds

Three sisters granted injunction stopping England-based sibling from reducing assets in Republic below €135,000 pending hearing of dispute

Three siblings have obtained a High Court order preventing their sister from dissipating part of the proceeds of the family home which was sold for €665,000.

Jacqueline Byrne, Patricia Hyslop and Kathleen Kerrigan claim their sister Anne Grant Arnold fraudulently procured title to the house at Casino Road, Marino, Dublin 3, by having title transferred into her name before their mother died in Anne’s UK home in June 2021.

On Tuesday, the three sisters were granted an injunction by Mr Justice Liam Kennedy preventing Anne from reducing her unencumbered equity in cash or other assets in this jurisdiction below €135,000 pending hearing of the entire dispute between them.

The judge also rejected an application by Anne to dismiss their proceedings as having no basis or being brought too late.


The house originally belonged to their father Patrick who died intestate in 1990, meaning that his five children, including a brother who is not involved in the litigation, were entitled collectively to a one-third share in the estate.

The other two-thirds went to their mother, Mary, who became the registered owner of the house after a grant of administration on her husband’s estate was obtained in 1999.

In 2007, the house was transferred to the joint names of Mary and Anne, who now lives in Hyde Tyning, The Knapp, Minchinhampton, Stroud, Gloucestershire. In a 2017 will, Mary said her wish was that Anne would inherit the property.

Then, in August 2018, Mary transferred the entire ownership to Anne.

When the house went on the market after their mother’s death, the three sisters brought proceedings against Anne, represented by senior counsel Andrew Walker and Liam Bell, instructed by Dermot McNamara & Co Solicitors.

The three claimed they had an equitable interest in the property and that Anne fraudulently procured title to it.

Anne denied the claims and asserted that her sisters signed disclaimers saying they had no interest in their father’s estate before it was registered in their mother’s name.

The judge said the three sisters denied signing disclaimers.

Their solicitor brought in a handwriting expert who concluded it was probable that Patricia had not signed one and it was strongly probable that Kathleen had also not done so, he said. The expert could not conclude regarding Jacqueline’s disclaimer.

The judge said that while Anne later admitted she had prepared all the disclaimers for execution, an earlier affidavit she swore gave the impression that they were prepared by, or at the instigation of, the solicitor dealing with the estate and that he had corresponded with the siblings to secure their agreement.

The judge said Anne provided minimal detail as to the circumstances of the disclaimers.

She also did not sufficiently explain her change of stance when the handwriting expert provided his report or the failure of previous correspondence and affidavits to exhibit the belatedly produced documentation.

He said Anne did not explain her role in meetings or communications with the lawyer handling her father’s estate.

Although she previously denied any involvement, she now admitted that she drafted the disclaimers, apparently along the lines of the Post-it note, the judge said. She also did not explain why Jacqueline, who lived close by, did not also attend the meetings with the solicitor handling the father’s estate.

In relation to a denial by Kathleen that she “knowingly” executed a disclaimer, Anne “belatedly volunteered” that she accompanied her mother to Derry to visit Kathleen and that she was present when the disclaimer was signed, he said.

The judge said she did not furnish details of the meeting, how and why it was arranged, or how the document was explained to Kathleen. There was also no reference to independent legal advice.

The three sisters say that the original transfer was fraudulent, tainting subsequent transactions. They also say that when their mother and, subsequently Anne, became the registered owners they held their (three sisters) respective interests on trust.

The judge said he considered that such a claim “is arguable as matters stand”.

The sisters also have an arguable position that key facts only became known to them at different stages between 2019-2021.

“Indeed, the defendant’s controversial role in the disclaimers only emerged during these applications,” he said.

The three sisters were not asserting a right of recourse against the entire €665,000 proceeds. The judge thought it sufficient to stipulate a figure of €135,000 below which assets should not be reduced pending trial.