Cranberries nanny awarded £1,000 but 'imprisonment' claims rejected

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The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan and her husband Don Burton were ordered yesterday to pay Joy Fahy, their former nanny, €1,500 (£1,050) for loss of some of her possessions. But they were cleared of allegations that Mr Burton had falsely imprisoned the nanny or breached a contract with her.

Judge Jonathan Quirke told Dublin High Court he was satisfied some of Ms Fahy's belongings had been mislaid at the couple's mansion in Co Limerick after her work ended.

But he said Ms Fahy, 34, had failed to prove that Mr Burton had falsely imprisoned her, and that the couple had breached a contract. The judge said there were obvious conflicts in the testimony by Ms O'Riordan and her husband compared with that of Ms Fahy. But he added: "The fact that the witnesses have different recollections of events that occurred five years ago is not particularly surprising. This does not mean that they are necessarily being dishonest." Ms Fahy had told the court the clothes she left at their home had nt been returned, complaints about expenses and irregular hours had been ignored and she was expected to work in difficult conditions.

The former nanny sought €12,700 (£9,000), a Cherokee Jeep and the deposit for an apartment, which she claims were promised to her if her one-year verbal contract was terminated. Mr Justice Quirke said Ms Fahy had failed to advance evidence for any of the allegations except for the loss of her personal belongings.

Ms O'Riordan said after the hearing that she wished to put the case behind her. Ms Fahy said: "I am relieved it's all over and that sometimes the little guy can win." Court costs will be decided tomorrow.