THEY say that high walls make good neighbours. Except, in the case of Van Morrison and Eddie Irvine it didn't work.
Van the Man, particularly, felt the wrath of wealthy neighbour Alphonsus O'Mara who went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2003 - and won - in his bid to stop the singer widening the shared driveway between their homes, Kilross and Monte Alverno, in expensive Dalkey, Co Dublin.
One of the hearings heard that racing driver Eddie Irvine and Phons had had their run-ins too. Eddie bailed out of Kilross Cottage, which he transformed in late 2004 from a two-bedroom cottage into a gigantic home, shelling out €5m or so in the process.
In a letter between the architects for the two warring parties, Phons complained that callers to Van's house were using Phons's bell, that he was an answering service for The Man and that he just wanted to be left in peace. So, no love lost there then.
Van's missus, Michelle Rocca, complained that the safety of her children was at risk on the driveway. And in an earlier High Court judgment, Mr Justice Kelly said: "This case attests to the fact that the payment of a substantial price for a good house gives no guarantee of good neighbours."
All this is by way of preamble. Phons has just put Monte Alverno on the market which will probably make tonight a marvellous night for a moondance for Van. The house has six bedrooms, stands on 1.2 acres and is priced at €25m.
Not bad considering he bought it from socialite Renata Coleman in 1992 for about €1.3m. Time to lob in that new planning permission, Van.
© Sunday Independent