Second day for Senator’s action with contractor over plumbing billJuly 26, 2012 - 7:00am
The civil case brought by a contractor against Fine Gael Senator, Fidelma Healy Eames, and her husband, has been adjourned until today for a further two witnesses to give evidence on their behalf.
Michael Allen claimed that he was paid only €13,000 of the €28,840 he quoted for plumbing and heating works before he was thrown off the job at the Eames’ refurbished home in Maree, Oranmore, in 2009.
He told Galway Circuit Court yesterday that the Senator was also anxious to have their garage turned into offices for Fine Gael, with the inclusion of a boardroom upstairs. The couple strongly disputed Mr Allen’s claims.
“Michael (Eames) came to my (new) house to look at my windows, he was thinking of getting the same supplier,” Mr Allen said.
“He had a walk around the house and saw the plumbing work, and asked for a quote. He came back three or four times and asked would I do the job.”
Mr Allen said that while he had initially refused, as he thought the size of the project would be too much for him, he gave a quotation for labour in writing – agreeing with Mr Eames for a payment of €10,000 for the first fix, the same amount for the second, and the balance on completion.
“Michael only gave me €7,000 – I felt he was fobbing me off, paying when he felt like it, and not what we agreed,” he said.
The court heard that Mr Allen received a cheque for the additional €3,000 when he met Mrs Healy Eames at Tuam Plumbing and Heating, where she was to choose sanitary wear. He said that she ordered €13,000 worth of fittings for the house.
However, the Jacuzzi bath chosen by her for the en-suite subsequently did not fit the space allocated – which was already plumbed.
He said that the interior designer hired by the couple suggested installing the bathroom in the area assigned for the walk-in wardrobe instead. “I was told where to put it; I had to work around that,” Mr Allen said.
The court heard that he could not quote to make the changes, as he first needed to buy the additional items required for the job.
“I gave Michael a roundabout figure of about €1,431 for time, labour, and materials,” he said.
“There was always a bit of haggling (with the price), but the price is the price. Whatever it costs to do, it costs to do.”
Mr Allen said that he received a further €3,000 from the couple on October 27 2009, after the heating system was ‘up and running’.
The action continues today (Thursday).
Read full report in today's Connacht Tribune.