A nanny who hit the headlines eighteen years ago when she told the High Court she had been paid in nice underwear rather than money when she worked for a supermodel is at the centre of a row that has seen a precious pet go missing for the last two years,
Joy Fahy from Batterstown, who unsuccessfully sued the late Cranberries singer, Dolores O’Riordan over alleged breach of contract is at the centre of a family storm over a fourteen year old Irish labrador that has been missing for two years
Fahy worked as a nanny for O’Riordan and has also minded the children of U2 drummer Larry Mullen and supermodel Elle McPherson., and the dog, Woofie, belongs to her sister Carolyn.
In 2004 Joy sued O’Riordan and the singers husband, Don Burton, Fahy alleged breach of contract, negligence and breach of duty and, in the case of Mr Burton only, false imprisonment.
She lost all of those claims. She won an award of just €1,500 because of the condition of some of her personal belongings, including clothing, when returned to her.
That case ran in the High Court for nine days and costs were awarded against Fahy.
It heard Fahy admit, ‘I like nice clothes’, and that for a period of time McPherson paid her by ‘giving me nice underwear instead of money.
Back in 2020, while Carolyn was at a hospital appointment, Woofie was taken from the Fahy family home where Carolyn and her partner John Dowdall lived in a Granny flat attached to the main bungalow belonging to Carolyn’s mother, he was reported as stolen in May 2020, and has been seen in Killaloe, in Tipperary where the feuding sisters brother James lives.
A Facebook page dedicated to finding him has nearly 1000 followers.
In a lengthy email sent by Fahy to Carolyn on May 16th last year she claims, ‘ You have put up horrible lying posts and messages and I don’t support you wanting any dog back that you kept confined to a chain in the back garden for most of its life.’
In the same email she threatens her sister, ‘Don’t press my buttons with this nonsense as it will come with a very swift, truthful, legal reality check for you’
She also warns that she intends to buy the family home and that if she does Carolyn and her pets will be evicted, saying,
‘Should I decide to buy Batterstown, which is most likely where will you go with those animals then as I will be knocking and rebuilding the house.’
Carolyn has never been charged with any animal cruelty offences.
Video footage show’s a verbal clash between the siblings in Caroyln’s apartment which is witnessed by Gardai
At one stage a clearly baffled Garda says, ‘This seems a lot of aggro over a dog.’
Carolyn told Meath Live , ‘My brother Jim appears to have Woofie as he emailed me saying he had him and that walking him is good for Jims mental health, well that’s good to hear, but I want Woofie back and have told Jim as much.
‘Woofie is 16 or 17 now, approaching the end of his life, I just want to know if he is alive or dead and if he is alive that he is safe, what is adding to the emotional stress is the fact nobody will tell me one way or the other if he is still alive.
‘I just want this mess to be over so myself John and Jack can live a normal life again.
‘ It’s my opinion Joy hasn’t changed a bit since she tried to sue Dolores O’Riordan’
When contacted Joy Fahy claimed she was out of the country and couldn’t speak for long
She said. ‘Would you ever go away with this nonsense, I am in Los Angeles and it is the middle of the night, it is nonsense all nonsense, just go away.’
When she took her case against Dolores O’Riordan, Joy Fahy said the trouble began when she accompanied them to their lakeside retreat in Canada in June 1999.
She told the court Mr Burton drank at all times of the day, the couple took their baby son on quad-cycles, and Mr Burton once drove him around the lake on a jet-ski without a life jacket, while holding a can of beer.
Ms Fahy said Ms O’Riordan would iron for hours, sometimes the same items over and over. Sometimes, in the evenings, the singer would hand her the sleeping child and tell her to give him a bath. The idea was to wake him so he would sleep late the next morning, not disturbing her.
Ms Fahy said Mr Burton would say absurd things. During one row, he kept shouting: “You don’t get it, do you? My wife is Bono. She is not Larry.”
The nanny complained about being left alone with the child in a remote area, without a car, and said at one point Ms O’Riordan went “ballistic”. Shouting “everyone is against me”, she took the baby from the pram and ran towards the lake, Ms Fahy said. Mr Burton, who had been drinking, went upstairs and told Ms Fahy: “You’re fucking fired and you know jack shit about horses.”
She broke down in court describing how, as the child would not sleep in a cot, she was made to sit in a bedroom with him while he slept for hours, with no food or drink
When he handed down judgement in 2004 Judge John Quirke commented, “I think it’s regrettable that these proceedings ever reached the court, but they did.”