The High Court has ruled that a sum of €280,000 given by a Donegal woman to a couple who were formerly her friends was a loan, not a gift.
59 year old Fidelma Kerrigan, of Ballyshannon gave the money to her friends, John and Jacqueline Keenaghan, in August 2010.
The money was part of a sum of €750,000 given to Ms Kerrigan in compensation for injuries she suffered in a road accident in which her father died in 2002.
Two weeks after Ms Kerrigan received the compensation, she gave €280,000 to the Keenaghans.
According to RTE News, Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy said Ms Keenaghan had sought a sum vastly in excess of what the family owed and said if an effort was made to repay the money after Ms Kerrigan’s requests in 2013 and 2014, it was likely the matter would never have come before the court.
The couple claimed the money was a gift which came completely “out of the blue”.
It was used to discharge the couple’s debts of €190,000, finance their children’s education and allow them train as counsellors and psychotherapists.
Ms Kerrigan alleged that Ms Keenaghan told her if she was willing to help in her hour of need, she would pay back every penny.
Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy ruled the money was a loan with no specified repayment date.