Tory Island and Unjust Enrichment – the conclusion

Oyster Pots on Tory Island, by MarsW via FlickrI wrote last April and again last July about the case brought by film-maker Neville Presho, whose holiday home on Tory Island had disappeared in his absence, replaced by a car park for an adjacent hotel. In July, Murphy J held that Mr Presho was entitled to a comparable dwelling on the island or its market value. The matter was adjourned to last week when the judge heard there were significant differences between the sides over what valuation could be put on an equivalent house in Tory. Today, in the High Court, Murphy J awarded Mr Presho €46,000 as damages for trespass and interference with his property (RTÉ news | Irish Times breaking news. Update Irish Examiner | Irish Independent | Irish Times). At an earlier stage in the proceedings, Murphy J had suggested that these damages could be calculated to prevent the defendant’s unjust enrichment, but there is no hint of this in today’s press reports. In the absence of written judgments in this saga, this will probably have to count as another colourful but missed opportunity in the development of the Irish law of restitution for unjust enrichment.