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Author Finally Agrees To Sell Home of Her 'Abuser'

Added to on February 20, 2008

Kathy O'Beirne, whose allegations of sexual abuse against her late father in her autobiography, 'Kathy's Story', upset her siblings, with writer Michael Sheridan outside the HIgh Court

Irish Independent, February 20 2008 by Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

Controversial author Kathy O'Beirne has lost the right to remain in her parents' home for life.

The "mis lit" sensation, who has sold over 400,000 copies of her autobiography, 'Kathy's Story', yesterday reached a settlement with her siblings who have castigated her claims that their late father Oliver subjected them to a life of cruelty and violence.

The settlement was reached following a marathon day of negotiations between the two sides.

And the Irish Independent has learned that the modest ?350,000 Clondalkin home owned by the late Oliver O'Beirne is to be sold and the proceedings divided equally among all his nine children.

Yesterday both sides claimed victory following the five-year legal battle.

Kathy O'Beirne claimed she had been "vindicated" by the offer, which she insists was made by her siblings.

My family have made me an offer I can't refuse," said O'Beirne, who is writing a sequel to 'Kathy's Story' entitled 'The Aftermath'.

"I have a business in Kusadasi, I've two girls to look after, I've an apartment in Dublin, so I'm quite happy with the offer I got."

But the debut author's family claimed that it was their father's wishes had been fulfilled as a result of the deal.

"We are happy that the matter has now been concluded and we all hope to get on with our lives," said Margaret Payne, O'Beirne's sister.

The High Court settlement brings to a close a "sad and complicated" chapter in the family row that engulfed the O'Beirne family following the publication of 'Kathy's Story' in 2005.

In her book, Kathy O'Beirne detailed horrific physical and mental abuse suffered at the hands of her late father.

But the claims were strenuously denied by her brothers and sisters.

In legal proceedings, Eamonn O'Beirne and Margaret Payne, brother and sister of Kathy O'Beirne -- and the executors of their dead father's will -- claimed that he always intended that his family home would be sold after his death and divided equally between all of his nine children.

They began legal proceedings five years ago after Kathy refused to agree to the sale of the house.

Catherine [Kathy] O'Beirne, who claimed that she had been sexually abused by her father, and in the Magdalene laundries, counter claimed that her father had promised she could stay in the home for life.

In his will, Mr O'Beirne left the house to his wife Ann for her life and thereafter to all of his nine children in equal shares. The other members of the family said they were not aware of any such promise by their father to Catherine.

In March 2006, Dublin Circuit Court noted that Ms O'Beirne appeared to have had a troublesome and difficult childhood and had spent some of her years in institutional care.

- Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor


Final Chapter as Father's Will Honoured

Added to on February 20, 2008


Irish Independent, February 20 2008 by Dearbhail McDonald

IN the end, Oliver O'Beirne will have his last wishes honoured. Before he died in 1997, the father-of-nine made a will stipulating that his family home should be sold and the proceeds distributed equally to his children.

The labourer went to his grave oblivious to the fact that one of his daughters, Kathy, would pen one of the most sensational and controversial "mis-lit" books of the decade, which claimed that he was a cruel and violent man who subjected his entire family to a life of harrowing physical and mental abuse.

"He appeared to be a highly religious pillar in the community," wrote Kathy O'Beirne in her global bestseller 'Kathy's Story'.

Kathy revealed how she was abused by a priest, raped at 13 and gave birth to a baby girl who was taken away by nuns in a Magdalene laundry.

But the runaway "autobiography" was soon dismissed as a fabrication by O'Beirne's family and religious orders.

The complaints were significant and the then justice minister ordered a garda investigation.

For Oliver O'Beirne's children, the revelations and "slurs" on his character were too much to bear.

And their distress was compounded when a Circuit Court judge, two years ago, granted Kathy a lifetime tenancy in her father's home, after she explained he had made a verbal promise that the house was hers. The property dispute, like Kathy's Story, has torn the O'Beirne family apart.

They appealed the Circuit Court ruling to the High Court. Yesterday, after a marathon rounds of talks, Kathy O'Beirne and her siblings reached a settlement.

But at least Oliver O'Beirne can rest in peace. His home will be sold and the proceeds divided amongst his nine children.

- Dearbhail McDonald


House Dispute Involving Author is Settled

Added to on February 20, 2008

Irish Times, Feb 20, 2008 by Mary Carolan

A dispute in which the author of a controversial best-selling book claimed she was entitled to remain in her parents' home in Dublin for life has been settled at the High Court on undisclosed terms.

The proceedings were brought against Catherine O'Beirne, author of Kathy's Story, published in 2005, by Eamonn O'Beirne and his sister, Margaret Payne, and arose from a dispute within the family as to whether Catherine O'Beirne was entitled to remain in the family home at Boot Road, Clondalkin, Dublin, for the remainder of her life.

Mr O'Beirne and Ms Payne, as executors of the will of their late father Oliver, had claimed it was always intended by their parents that the house would be divided equally between all of the nine children.

Ms O'Beirne had counter-claimed that her father had told her, in exchange for her looking after her mother, who had health problems, and himself, that she could remain in the house for her life. The Circuit Court ruled that Ms O'Beirne should be entitled to live in the house for her lifetime.

The executors appealed that ruling to the High Court, and the case was due to open yesterday before Mr Justice John Hedigan.

However, just after 4pm yesterday, the judge was told by Barry Hickson SC, for the executors, that an accommodation had been reached on terms which were handed into the court. No details were disclosed.