Former politician Ivor Callely is being sued in the Circuit Civil Court by a tenant who claims he locked her out of the Chinese restaurant she ran from one of his properties.
Karen Lam also alleges the former Fianna Fáil minister kept goods and money belonging to her.
Lam, who ran a restaurant at 191 Howth Road, Killester, Dublin, claims she entered into an agreement with Mr Callely to rent the place in July 2014 and paid a €4,000 deposit. She claims the premises contained a limited amount of furniture and equipment and she made “considerable improvements” at her own expense.
Ms Lam alleges, about a year later after both parties had negotiated rents due and owing, Callely unlawfully took possession of the premises, changing locks and retaining her fixtures and fittings. She claims when she, her husband, and an engineer visited and requested the goods and the €4,000 deposit be returned, Mr Callely pulled down shutters in an “aggressive and threatening” manner, locking them all inside.
She alleges that, despite repeated requests, he refused to return her goods, comprising of a gas Chinese cooker worth €6,000, a dishwasher, two refrigerators, two computers, a television, deep fat fryers, a grease trap, 50 chairs, plate warmers, a stereo system, chopping boards, and kitchen utensils.
Ms Lam, of Park Place, Drogheda, Co Louth, claims Mr Callely has converted her goods to his own use. She claims she suffered loss, damage and inconvenience, trespass, and false imprisonment.
She seeks in her proceedings a judgment in the sum of €4,000 and a mandatory injunction directing Mr Callely to return her goods.
Her solicitor, Peter M Douglas, of Douglas & Barrett solicitors, told County Registrar Rita Considine that attempts to serve Mr Callely with the court proceedings had failed. The court heard a solicitor had tried to serve Mr Callely personally at his office in the Killester premises and also at an address at St Lawrence Road, Clontarf, Dublin.
Mr Douglas said he had been informed Mr Callely was selling his office in Killester.
He said during his application, which was made ex-parte (one side only), Ms Lam was seeking an order for substituted service.
Ms Considine directed that Mr Callely be served with the court proceedings by ordinary, pre-paid post.
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