The Court of Appeal has dismissed two professional landlords' appeal against orders restraining them from interfering with Cork properties they owned that had been put into receivership.
The appeal was brought by Paddy McKeown and Adelaide McCarthy against orders including injunctions, restraining them from interfering with four properties all located in Cork.
The were put in place by the High Court in 2017 pending the full hearing of the dispute, secured by Mr Ned Murphy.
Mr McKeown and Ms McCarthy, who are husband and wife and reside at The Poplars, Villa Nova, Douglas Road, in Cork, opposed the action and had appealed those orders made against them in respect of the properties to the Court of Appeal.
In a detailed written judgement the three-judge Court of Appeal comprised of Ms Justice Marie BaKer, Ms Justice Una Ni Raifeartaigh and Mr Justice Brian Murray dismissed the appeal and upheld the High Court's order.
Giving the COA's decision Mr Justice Murray said the defendants failed to establish any basis which there could be a conclusion that the High Court fell into error in granting the orders sought by the receiver.
The judge noted that in early 2017 Mr Murphy was appointed receiver by AIB over four properties in Cork, two owned by Mr McKeown, one owned by Ms McCarthy and a fourth which was jointly owned by the couple.
The couple he said are professional landlords who own and operate a mixed portfolio of buy-to-let commercial properties.
AIB appointed Mr Murphy after the defendants allegedly defaulted on loan agreements taken out by them where the properties had been put up as security.
AIB claims that in May 2017 it obtained judgments in sums of just over €1.4m against both of the defendants,
Later that year Mr Murphy went to the High Court and secured various orders against the couple from Mr Justice Paul Gilligan including ones restraining them from trespassing at or interfering with the receivership of the four properties.
The court also dismissed the couple's cross applications for injunctions restraining receiver from disposing of the properties.
The couple appealed that decision on 12 grounds, including issues over the identity of the corporate entity that purports to have appointed the receiver, and over the conduct of the judge that heard the case in the High Court.
It was also alleged that the High Court disregarded evidence that the appointment of the receiver was an attempt by the bank to to asset-strip the couple by using unlawful, false instruments and contracts presented to the court.
A further ground raised was that the receiver had sued using an alias, which impaired both his appointment as receiver and the proceedings he had brought against them.
They claimed that he should have brought the action under the name Edmund Murphy and that Ned Murphy was an alias.
Lawyers for the receiver opposed the appeal.
In his judgment Mr Justice Murray said that it was clear to him that the appeal should be dismissed.
The defendant he said had raised only one remotely arguable ground of claim, which relates to the validity of the appointment of the receiver having regard to the identity of the appointing bank, he said.
That argument he said would have to be dealt with at the full trial of the action.
The Judge noted that judgment in very significant sums had been obtained by the bank against the couple.
The judge said that the couple's claims that the High Court judge had been biased or unfair to the defendants was unsustainable.
"I would reject outright any claim that the proceedings were conducted in a manner that was other than scrupulously fair," he said.
The judge added that the argument raised in relation to the use of the alias was "utterly without merit", Mr Justice Murray added.