THE woman hired to restore a well-known West Cork landmark has had her assets frozen by the courts.
Anne Oakes, (otherwise ‘Juliana Mary Thornton’), who was brought on board for the restoration of the iconic Castle Freke near Clonakilty in 2005, was the subject of a High Court hearing recently.
The court heard that Stephen Evans Freke, who is the brother of Lord Carbery, hired Ms Oakes, who had previously overseen the restoration of the family’s Rathbarry Castle nearby. She had also worked on the acclaimed renovation of actor Jeremy Irons’ Kilcoe Castle near Skibbereen.
Following a dispute about money spent on the renovation of the abandoned Gothic mansion, Mr Evans Freke successfully sought an order restraining Ms Oakes from shifting her assets abroad, and requiring her to remove her property from the Stable Cottage at Rathbarry Castle.
He had already secured an interlocutory injunction in mid-July, and this followed an existing Circuit Court order in which he got a judgment mortgage against two properties she owns.
Under the High Court order made on July 30, Ms Oakes must keep assets worth up to €1.07m in Ireland, and she is not allowed to sell two specific properties in this country, and a property in Drome, in the south east of France, of which she is a part-owner.
The order remains in place until a full hearing takes place later this year. The court also froze a number of bank accounts in her name – three euro accounts at Permanent TSB Clonakilty, two more accounts (one sterling, one dollar) in the same branch, along with ‘all bank accounts’ held in her name at the Ulster Bank in Bandon.
The court ruled that the decision would not prohibit Ms Oakes ‘from spending €8,000 a month towards her ordinary living expenses’ or spending up to €20,000 in discharge of her debt to Lisavaird Co-Op.
‘Before spending any money the defendant [Ms Oakes] must tell the plaintiffs’ solicitors from where the money is to come – but not how it is to be spent,’ the ruling added.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice Gilligan, also ruled that Ms Oakes could engage someone, on dates to be agreed, to have access to the Stable Cottage at Rathbarry Castle, to remove her personal belongings, including a Persian rug, show jumps and arena harrow.
The imposing Castle Freke, which looks out on Rosscarbery Bay, west of Galley Head, now lies partially renovated, but incomplete.
Mr Evans Freke applied to the court in his own name, and on behalf of his investment company, Bodice Property Corporation. Mr Evans Freke was born in Meath but currently lives in the US Virgin Islands, and runs several venture capital firms. He is the youngest son of the late Peter Evans Freke, the 11th Lord Carbery.<
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