Injunction in hotel suite case granted

An injunction preventing a man from occupying a suite he owns at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, has been extended at the High Court.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Charleton granted the hotel’s owners, Sugarloaf Investments Property Holding Ltd and Sugarloaf Ventures Ltd an injunction preventing Eugene O’Connor from occupying the suite.

Last May, they obtained a temporary injunction after Mr O’Connor padlocked his suite and occupied it along with others. They claimed he was not entitled to do this and his actions had caused disruption.

Yesterday, in seeking to have those injunctions put in place, Rossa Fanning, for the owners, said the business would have to shut with the loss of 270 jobs if the orders against Mr O’Connor were not continued.

Mr O’Connor, of Ardmulchan, Navan, Co Meath, asked the court to discharge the injunction. His barrister Jonathon Kilfeather, said the injunction was unnecessary.

Counsel said Mr O’Connor was one of a number of investors who paid about €1m for the suite in 2007 on a 999-year lease. He then leased it back to the original owners, Carrylane, and the suite was used as part of the hotel’s business. He received an annual income of about €36,000 from the suite.

Earlier this year, Carrylane was liquidated. The new owners acquired the hotel from Nama. They entered into negotiations with the suite owners and offered rents about 50% less than what was previously paid.

Mr Kilfeather said his client was offered a deal on a “take it or leave it basis”, which he did not accept. The suite was now governed by the terms of the 999-year lease. While his client was not entitled to live in the suite, it was his property, counsel added.

Mr Justice Charleton granted the hotel owners an injunction. He said under the terms of the lease, Mr O’Connor was not entitled to occupy the suite.


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