A man who broke into a Dublin house 30 years ago has won squatters rights, the Irish Supreme Court has ruled.

The court ruled that Desmond Grogan can continue to live at Enniskerry Road in Phibsboro, Dublin, according to the Irish Independent. It is understood he rents out the property to a number of tenants.

The house originally belonged to Alice Dolan, an 80-year-old barrister who died in October 1981 without ever having made a will. Her husband Patrick had passed away in 1969.

Grogan broke into the house in February 1982 after he learnt about the barrister’s death through his auctioneering job.

Due to the absence of a next of kin, letters of administration of Dolan’s estate were filed and granted to the Chief State solicitor in July 2000.



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As a result, the Chief State Solicitor has become the sole representative of Dolan’s estate and issued Circuit Court proceedings against Grogan in 2002, ordering him to give up possession of the property.

However after being a squatter there for over twenty years, Grogan disputed the State’s right to possession and argued that he has achieved adverse possession or squatters rights, as he had surpassed the 12-year period required for this.

The legal issue was referred to the Supreme Court. The 2/1 majority ruling on Thursday means the State cannot pursue its claim for possession.