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Kildare Observer, November 29th, 1924

Burning of Mullaboden House
Big Building and Furniture Claims
On Saturday last Judge Doyle continued the hearing of malicious damage claims for Co. Kildare in the Courthouse, Naas.
 Lady Bryan Mahon and General Sir Bryan Mahon claimed large sums for the burning of Mullaboden House, furniture, and other property, on 16th February, 1923.
 Mr. Lardner, K.C; Mr. Kelly, B.L. (instructed by Messrs. Brady and Dawson, solicitors), appeared for the applicants; Mr. R. Brown, S..S, for the State; Mr. R. A. Osborne, solicitor, for the Co. Council, and Mr. P.J. McCann, solicitor, for the Naas Rural Council.
Mr. Lardner said on 16th February, 1923, eight men came in a lorry to Mullaboden House, near Ballymore-Eustace, in this county; three of them were dressed in the uniform of Free State soldiers, and one of them in the uniform of a Civic Guard. Four of them, armed, entered the house and piled the furniture, in the centre of the rooms, saturated the lot with petrol, and set it on fire. It was a magnificent mansion, as the photograph (which he handed up to the Judge) would show. Counsel handed to the Judge ground plans of the building after the fire, and of the proposed new building. Continuing, counsel said they would be entitled to go for the whole reinstatement of the mansion, which would cost about £20,000, but they had come to the conclusion to go for a smaller building, and if that met with his lordship’s approval they would make a reduced claim for about £12,000 odd. He would examine Mr. Sheridan, a well-known man in his profession, would given his estimate of the cost of reconstructing the mansion according to plans he had prepared.
Judge-Is it £12,000 odd you are asking me for with a partial reinstatement condition?
Mr. Lardner-Yes. Our full claim would be £20,000 odd, and a further claim for furniture.
Judge- Give me the figures for the two claims?
Mr. Lardner- For furniture £13,609
Judge- And £12,000 odd odd for the building? Yes, my lord.
Mr. George P. Sheridan, architect, was the first witness examined. He prepared the plans showing both the Mullaboden House as it was before the fire and as it will be in the proposed new building. The witness described the reconstruction as proposed. It was prepared to re-use the whole of the servants’ quarters as they existed before the fire. The reduction in accommodation as compared with the old building would be six bedrooms and two rooms on the ground floor. The new rooms mantelpieces, steel grates etc, in the old and they would be simpler in every respect. The money estimate as based on his plans was made by the quantity surveyors.
Cross-examined by Mr. Brown, S.S.-He did not think it would be cheaper to rebuild on the old walls, as they have been injured. He would not say they would be dangerous, except at the tower. He thought it would be cheaper to reconstruct according to his plans that to build on the old walls as they are at present. The servants’ wing is still intact.
Cecil Vincent Montgomery, associate of the Surveyors’ Institute of London, answering Mr. Lardner, described the marble mantelpieces, steel grates etc., in the old mansion. He saw Mr. Sheridan’s plans which would be a simpler style of buildings than the destroyed mansion. His original estimate for complete reinstatement of the old building was £28, 108 odd. That was June, 1923. Subsequently he reduced that figure, in consequence of reduced prices, by 15 per cent, making his net estimate £13, 931 9s. 10 d. To that figure should be added architects fees, cartage, insurance, etc.., bringing the total up to £17, 123 18s. 1d. and there should be £1,000 added for depreciation of the old walls if left standing for twelve months.
Thos. J. Kavanagh, quantity surveyor.

The Kildare Observer of November 29th 1924 reports the continued hearing by Judge Doyle of malicious damage claims for the burning of Mullaboden House, furniture, and other property, on 16th February, 1923.  Our thanks to Roy O’Brien.







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