Owners of pool had ‘no information’ on receipts

AN agreement of April 30, 2003, appeared to contemplate all pool receipts from the €62 million National Aquatic Centre (NAC) were to be paid into an account in the sole name of Limerickman Pat Mulcair.

But the centre owners, Campus Stadium Ireland Development Ltd (CSID), have no information about any monies paid into that account, the High Court was told yesterday.

Denis McDonald SC, for CSID, said it only learned this week of the pool receipts agreement and that beneficial ownership of the lease for the NAC had been transferred to Mr Mulcair in April 2003.

It was a condition of the lease that CSID should receive a 10% share of the profits of the centre but this had not happened, he added.

It was also claimed yesterday that accountancy firm KPMG appeared to be involved in providing advice regarding a proposed transaction under which beneficial ownership of the lease was, unknown to CSID, transferred by Dublin Waterworld Ltd (DWL) to Mr Mulcair.

KPMG appeared to be acting for either DWL, its subsidiary company Dublin Waterworld Management Limited (DWML) or Mr Mulcair, counsel said.

Mr McDonald also said Paddy Teahon, former chairman of CSID, which granted the lease for the NAC on April 30, 2003, to DWL, will deny claims by DWL that he was aware that the latter company availed of services of DWML in relation to management of the NAC.

CSID says it was unaware, when it granted the lease for the NAC to DWL on April 30, 1993, that DWL had on the same day assigned beneficial ownership of the lease to Mr Mulcair who in turn, also that same day, entered into agreements with DWML that the latter would manage the centre on his behalf.

Mr McDonald said Mr Mulcair appeared to have provided finance to enable DWL and DWML proceed with the NAC project but he was not a director or shareholder of either company and there was no mention of him in their accounts.

Mr Justice Gilligan is hearing an application by CSID for possession of the NAC on grounds of what CSID has described as “complete” and “egregious” breaches of the lease by DWL and of various covenants under that, including covenants restraining assignment of DWL’s interest in the lease to any other party.

In yesterday’s hearing, the court was told David Motherway of Rohcon, builders of the NAC, will say he saw draft accounts of DWML for the year to the end of December, 2003, which showed DWML had a turnover of €9m for that period.

Those accounts differed from accounts given to CSID by DWL which showed a turnover figure of €4.9m for the same period.

Mr McDonald said CSID had no accounts of DWML for 2004 and “nothing at all” from Mr Mulcair, particularly the pool receipt accounts.

He said CSID was first alerted to the role played by DWML in the centre when the latter was referred to in a document of September 2004. On October 1, 2004, CSID wrote to Mr Moriarty asking him to clarify what role DWML played but received no response.

CSID was contending it was not alerted to the fact that DWML was a different company from DWL.

There was a cheque received on the account of DWML but this was not noticed at the time, he added. There was also a letter from Roland Daly Jermyn, solicitors for DWL, of June, 2003, stating that DWML had been incorporated to manage the NAC.

Mr McDonald read correspondence between CSID and DWL from late 2002 prior to the granting of the lease on April 30, 2003.

This indicated, from late 2002, DWL was informing CSID it wished and proposed, prior to the lease being formally entered into, to have its interest in the lease held in trust by a venture capital provider who was initially unidentified.

It was also stated DWL would continue to operate the centre and that it was intended, once the venture capital provider achieved a satisfactory return, that the lease would revert to DWL. It was also stated by DWL that this arrangement would lead to the NAC being operated to the “highest possible standard”.

In replies, CSID said it could not consent to any such arrangement prior to the lease being entered into by DWL, would need to be satisfied the centre would be operated by DWL and also sought to see the proposed funding agreement.

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