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Q: irish inheritance laws ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: irish inheritance laws
Category: Family and Home > Families
Asked by: blackshadow05-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 15 Mar 2006 14:27 PST
Expires: 14 Apr 2006 15:27 PDT
Question ID: 707725
My father owned property in Ireland, He was born there and left in the
early ninteenfifties. I believe by Irish law, altho not born in
Ireland ( I am canadian)I am an Irish citizen. My fathers family
(sisters and husbands,and their children) have built houses, several,
as many as 6 I believe on this property.My father always said he still
owned it,,as he passed away many years ago when i was young, I cannot
ask any details. My question is, Do i have any claim to this land?
Where would the title be?? The land in question is in foynes, county
limrick, Ireland. I will try to answer any questions you may have.
Subject: Re: irish inheritance laws
Answered By: scriptor-ga on 15 Mar 2006 16:04 PST
Dear blackshadow05,

Since inheritance issues are very complex and difficult questions with
many things depending on the individual circumstances, it won't be
possible to provide a definitive answer. But I will try to provide you
useful guidelines that will help you get answers to your three core

- Is it generally possible that you have any legal claims to your late
father's land?

- Where is the land title lodged?

Before I come to these two points, some notes about the question
whether or not you're Irish. Having read a summary of Irish
inheritance laws, I don't think that your nationality would be
important to determine if you have a claim to the land. But just in
case it is important to you, here are the basic facts from an official
Irish source [1]:

"If either of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your
birth, then you are automatically an Irish citizen, irrespective of
your place of birth (unless it was one of the special conditions
relating to birth outside Ireland).If you were born outside Ireland to
an Irish citizen who was himself or herself born in Ireland, then you
are an Irish citizen."

This means that it is absolutely possible that you may rightfully
consider yourself an Irish citizen. For details, please refer to this

Now to the main questions:

- Is it possible that you have any claim to the land? 

It is possible, but this depends on the circumstances in your
particular case. According to Irish inheritance law [2]:

"Unlike a spouse, children have no absolute right to inherit their
parent's estate if the parent has made a will. However, if a child
considers that he/she has not been adequately provided for, he/she may
make an application to court. (...) If a person dies without having
made a will or if the will is invalid for whatever reason, that person
is said to have died "intestate". If there is a valid will, but part
of it is invalid then that part is dealt with as if there was an
intestacy. The rules for division of property on intestacy are as
* spouse but no children - spouse gets entire estate
* spouse and children - spouse gets two-thirds, one-third is divided
equally * between children (if a child has already died his/her
children take a share)
* parents, no spouse or children - divided equally or entirely to one
parent if only one survives.
* children, no spouse - divided equally between children (as above)
brothers and sisters only - shared equally, the children of a deceased
brother * or sister take the share
* nieces and nephews only - divided equally between those surviving
* other relatives - divided equally between nearest equal relationship
* no relatives - the state"

If your father died without a will, and if he really owned the land to
his death, you should be entitled to claim inheritance. However, this
is only the general image. What looks so simple may prove much more
complicated due to circumstances unknown to me or even you. Should the
land represent a considerable value, it may prove appropriate to
consult an Irish lawyer specialized in inheritance issues.

You may also find the information provided by the Irish Probate Office useful:

- Where can the land title be found?

There is compulsory registration of titles in Ireland. Irish property
records are kept by the Land Registry office. The records include,
among other data, the names and addresses of every Registered Owner of
a property and can be can be inspected by anyone on payment of the
prescribed fee. For detailed information, please refer to the websites
of the Land Registry:

In case you want to contact the Land Registry's local office in County
Limerick (responsible for the town of Foynes) to inqire according to
your particular needs, here is contact information:

Land Registry Office
Cork Road
Phone: +353(0)51-303000
Fax: +353(0)51-303003

I hope that this information will be helpful for you!
Best regards,


[1] Irish citizenship through birth or descent

[2] What Happens the Deceased's Estate

Land Registry and Registry of Deeds

Request for Answer Clarification by blackshadow05-ga on 16 Mar 2006 19:01 PST
can you provide the name and email of such a lawyer???,,,land issues???

The info was very informative ,thank you.

Clarification of Answer by scriptor-ga on 17 Mar 2006 09:29 PST
Dear blackshadow05,

I'm glad to know that the information I provided is useful for you.
Since I'm not located in Ireland, it's not easy for me to recommend a
law firm; but here is a small choice of three law firms, one of which
you may want to contact for further guidance:

John Glynn & Co. Solicitors
Law Chambers
Village Square
Telephone: + 353 (0) 1 451 5099
Fax: + 353 (0) 1 451 5120
E-mail :

Dermot P. Coyne Solicitors
Liffey Bridge House
1 Main Street
County Dublin
Tel: +353-(0)1-6281000
Fax: +353-(0)1-6281231 

Paul W. Tracey Solicitors 
24 Marlborough Street 
Dublin 1
Tel: +353-(0)1-874 5656 
Fax: +353-(0)1-874 5550 

Best regards,
Subject: Re: irish inheritance laws
From: myoarin-ga on 17 Mar 2006 05:25 PST
If I may, I would suggest that you start by contacting the Land
Registry Office in Waterford.  This is what a lawyer would have to do,
for an additional expense.

Also, despite what your father said, there could be a valid reason for
his losing ownership of the property.  In the States, this would be
for non-payment of property taxes.  Ireland had a "Residential
Property Tax" until 1997.
From what Scriptor posted, it is possible that the land was inherited
and that the siblings had undivided interest in the parcel (just a
speculation to show the possibilities).

Good luck!

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