A receiver has secured a High Court injunction restraining a businessman from impeding him from taking possession of a hotel, pub and nightclub that have more than 100 employees in Tallaght, Dublin.
Declan Taite, acting on behalf of Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS), says Laurence O'Mahony of Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin who along with another businessman allegedly owe €59m to INBS, had claimed that he was being prevented from securing the property following his appointment as receiver earlier this year.
Today at the High Court Mr Justice Brian McGovern granted Mr Taite and INBS an interlocutory injunction, pending the full trial of the action, restraining Mr O'Mahony, the Tallaght Plaza Hotel Ltd, Codex Taverns Ltd and Oakleaf Construction Ltd from preventing or obstructing the receiver from securing the Plaza Hotel Complex, Belgard Road, Tallaght.
The Judge said that he was satisfied to grant the injunction because the receiver of the properties did not have control and could not carry out his tasks.
The Judge also made orders preventing the defendants from entering upon the property and that they deliver up the keys, alarm codes, locks and all other security and access devices.
Lyndon MacCann SC for Mr Taite and the Building Society said that INBS appointed his client as receiver last June. The appointment arose out of a €51m loan given by INBS to him (O'Mahony) and another businessman, Thomas McFeely, Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, in December 2005 to re-finance borrowings on a mixed development in Tallaght.
Counsel said that the total amount now outstanding was approximately €59m with daily interest of €11,500 accruing. The court heard that the repayments on the loans had been sporadic since April 2007 and none had been made since last November.
While there had been no issue between Mr McFeely and the receiver, Mr O'Mahony had resisted, claiming he had agreements with the defendant companies in relation to the property, counsel said. Counsel said Mr Taite had concerns for the business because he was not in control of the day to day running of the business.
Mr Taite was informed that as a result of management agreements signed in 2009 Tallaght Plaza Hotel Ltd were the operators the 122 bedroom hotel, Codex Taverns Ltd operated the adjoining licensed premises.
Mr Taite was also informed that Oakleaf Construction Ltd claimed it had a licence in respect of car parking spaces on the property. Counsel said that the defendant companies are controlled by Mr O'Mahony.
Counsel said that the management agreements did not prevent Mr Taite from taking possession of the property. Counsel added that such agreements could "not allow the agent of the borrower to be in a better position that the borrower himself."
In opposing the application Alistair Rutherdale Bl for the defendants said that Mr O'Mahony had no difficulty in having a receiver appointed to his and the other businessman's interest in the property but argued that Mr Taite was not entitled to remove the two management companies in occupation of the hotel and the adjoining bar.
Counsel also argued that the orders being sought against his clients were mandatory in nature, and should not be granted.
In his ruling the judge said that he was satisfied that the balance of convenience lay in granting the injunction, pending the outcome of the full hearing. Mr Justice McGovern said that from looking at the evidence Mr Taite could not carry out his task as receiver "adequately or properly."
The Judge said that he was expressing no view on the agreement between the management companies and Mr O'Mahoney in relation to the property. However arrangements between the borrower and management companies could not impede the court from granting the orders that had been sought in this case.
The Judge added he was satisfied that damages would not be an adequate remedy. He "could not overlook" the "very substantial debt of almost €60m involved". The Judge further noted that both sides acknowledged that there was a fair issue to be tried.