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Ball kicked into Neighbour's Garden

What happens of a child kicks a ball in to a grumpy old man’s garden. He keeps the ball and bursts it in front of the child. Is the child legally allowed to have the ball back?

Hi Liam.Yes he is. And the grumpy old man is guilty of the crime of Criminal Damage to Property (formerly known as Malicious Damage).

Be careful though. If you call the Gardai, the grumpy old man might file his own complaint particularly if there’s constant problems with footballs. This man is old and maybe he has good reason to be grumpy at least about footballs. Remember – if the children are playing ball on the road outside – that’s illegal too.

My advice is to tell the children to steer clear of this man's garden in future and watch the movie Dennis the Menace to see what a real grumpy old man (Walter Matthau) gets up to.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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