To the good people of Castlebar, with no discernible handle on their true property rights, as to whether they live on land owned by the Lucan Estate or not and if they have/have not freehold, or are bound by the 999 year leasehold/ground rent agreement, they should, perhaps, take a modicum of interest in this latest ruling by the High Court in London.
After the passage of 42 years since the disappearance of the last Lord Lucan [John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan (born 1934, missing since 1974, presumed dead; death certificate issued February 2016] the hereditary line has been re-established with the current 8th Earl and there is a now a legitimate Lord Lucan & Lady Lucan back on the scene. To what extent they intend to pursue any entitlements, they believe they may have in Castlebar, remains to be seen.
The notorious 3rd Earl, who wreaked havoc around Castlebar with evictions, during the famine years on a massive scale was known as the ‘exterminator' which engendered much loathing. Historians will be able to correct me, but it was he who set up the leasing and ground rent schemes legacy that exist until today.
Since 1974 nobody has had the legitimacy to pursue collection of ground rents etc as proof of the existence or absence of the 7th Earl Lord Lucan was not fully sealed. There were Trustees of the Estate, along with the law firm Coutts who administered the will of the 7th Earl and state appointed Official Solicitor during the declared bankruptcy and custody battles, who all sought to unravel things against a background of serious estrangement between the Countess of Lucan and the now, newly appointed Lord Lucan, her son.
Needless to say, Castlebar ground rent owning tenants were left unbothered during this period.
The Countess of Lucan (wife of the disappeared) who was pictured in the media out and about in London this week, has written in some detail on her version of events in the run up to 1974 murders and since and these provide some insight to the complexities and notoriety of this case.
For Castlebar folks who may have concerns, there are plenty of resources such as National Archives, Land Registry, County records etc that will guide them on who owns what, relevant covenants and entitlements, any deregistration by proprietor of a lordship title etc
The Lord's right (Manorial rights) to hold fairs and markets and graze his geese on The Mall or whatever are no longer easily exercisable.
For anyone considering they might have attained some property rights by ‘Adverse possession' or ‘Custom and practice' whereby you used, traversed or enjoyed access to a property for x amount of years you thereby gained some entitlement, as used to be the case.
The case of Lissadell House versus Sligo County Council was an example of how complex property rights, informal arrangements and access can become.
As a final note, for any legal battles ahead with Castlebar residents, it might be useful to know that the new Lord Lucan was represented in his lengthy and finally successful High Court battle to get his title, by Michael Bloch QC, an eminent barrister who happens to be married to Lady Camilla Bingham QC, sister of Lord Lucan. This George Bingham, in recent years married a wealthy heiress, Anne-Sofie Foghsgaard. She founded a shooting club in Scotland, where her father, used to own the £25 million Spott Estate in East Lothian, observers say that she is a driving force behind the regaining of the title and that she is keen to assume the title. This very last line of information is not independently corroborated.
I must conclude as there is case that has just come in....... of a horse who wishes to assume the title 'Shergar' !