E.N. v R.N.

Judgment Date01 January 1990
Date01 January 1990
Docket Number[1988 No. 885 S.]
CourtHigh Court

High Court

[1988 No. 885 S.]
E.N. v. R.N.
R.N. and M.C.

Cases mentioned in this report:—

B.L. v. M.L. [1989] I.L.R.M. 528.

Campion v. Cotton (1810) 17 Ves. 263.

Heavey v. Heavey (1974) 111 I.L.T.R. 1.

Pettitt v. Pettitt [1970] A.C. 777; [1969] 2 W.L.R. 966; [1969] 2 All E.R. 355.

Ramsden v. Dyson [1866] L.R. 2 H.L. 129.

Husband and wife - Matrimonial property - Husband's estate insolvent at time of death - Wife seeking a declaration of interest in husband's property - Wife contributing no money towards acquisition - Whether wife entitled to beneficial interest by reason of indirect financial contributions - Whether wife entitled to beneficial interest by reason of her work in the home as wife and mother - Married Women's Status Act, 1957 (No. 5) s. 12 - Consitution of Ireland, 1937, Article 41.

Constitution - Family - Position of woman in the home - Work by woman as wile and mother - Family home - Whether contribution of wife to welfare of family gave rise to interest in family home - Constitution of Ireland, 1937, Article 41.

Special Summons.

By special summons issued on the 2nd November, 1988, the plaintiff commenced proceedings claiming a declaration that she was entitled to a beneficial interest in premises known as 71, Leinister Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6, which beneficial interest did not form part of the insolvent estate of W.N., together with an injunction restraining the defendants from dealing with the claimed beneficial share.

The matter was heard before the High Court (Barron J.) on the 17th and 18th January, 1989.

The plaintiff, a widow, brought proceedings seeking a declaration that she had acquired during the lifetime of her husband a beneficial interest in the family home.

The defendants were the executors of her deceased husband's insolvent estate.

The family home had been purchased in 1966 out of funds provided entirely by the husband and was registered in the husband's sole name. In that year £5,000 was raised by way of mortgage by the husband, an architect, to convert the house into bedsitter flats. The plaintiff was responsible for these flats, the rental income of which repaid the mortgage. In addition, the plaintiff, a registered nurse, worked part-time in her profession from 1983, and applied her earnings towards family purposes.

The plaintiff based her claim on the direct and indirect financial contributions provided by her earnigs and management of the nat business, and on her work in the home as wife and mother.

Held by Barron J., in declaring that the plaintiff was entitled to a beneficial interest in the family home, 1, that the plaintiff's claim to be entitled to a share in the family home by virtue of her contributions towards the welfare of her family was not sound in law and was not established by Article 41 of the Constitution.

B.L. v. M.L. [1989] I.L.R.M. 528 not followed.

2. That a distinction must be drawn between contributions made by the plaintiff which contributed towards the payment of a loan and contributions which did not do so.

3. That since the plaintiff had contributed...

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5 cases
  • L.B. v Ireland, Attorney General and by order P.B
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 7 July 2006
  • M.C v B.S
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 17 June 2008
  • B.L. v M.L.
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1992
    ...v. Murphy [1962/3] Ir. Jur. Rep. 77. Murray v. Diamond [1982] I.L.R.M. 113. N. v. K. [1985] I.R. 733; [1986] I.L.R.M. 75. E.N. v. R.N. [1990] 1 I.R. 383. National Provincial Bank v. Ainsworth [1965] A.C. 1175; [1965] 3 W.L.R. 1; [1965] 2 All E.R. 472. O'Reardon v. O'Reardon (Unreported, Hig......
  • E.N. v R.N.
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1992
    ...of the flats. Her claims based on direct contributions to the family fund and on Article 41 of the Constitution were rejected (see [1990] 1 I.R. 383). On appeal by the wife to the Supreme Court it was Held by the Supreme Court (Finlay C.J., Hederman, McCarthy, O'Flaherty and Egan JJ.), in a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • The Family Home: Constructive and Resulting Trusts in Irish and English Law
    • Ireland
    • Trinity College Law Review No. II-1999, January 1999
    • 1 January 1999
    ...equality has been considered by the Supreme Court in McKinley v. Minister for Defence [1992] 2 IR 333 and W. v. W [1993] ILRM 294. 32 [1990] 1 IR 383, (HC), Barron J., [1992] 2 IR 116, (SC). 33 Finlay C.J. quoted with approval from the judgment in W v. W. [1981] ILRM 202: It is not expressl......

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