Barrister John Donnelly told the High Court yesterday that the Apollo Gallery, at Dawson Street, Dublin, had sold a Markey Robinson and a Basil Blackshaw to Brian Carroll.
He said that in the deal for sale, the art gallery, through its directors Hugh Charlton and his son, Julian, had given Mr Carroll, of Cypress Lawn, Templeogue, Dublin, an undertaking that after a period of five years, it would buy back the paintings at an inflated price.
Mr Justice John Edwards heard that when Mr Carroll returned five years later with his Breakfast Homage to William Scott, by Robinson, and Winter Landscape, by Blackshaw, the gallery reneged on the deal.
Mr Donnelly said Mr Carroll had obtained an order from Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court directing the Charltons to honour the inflated buy-back contract.
The Charltons had ignored the specific performance directive and Mr Carroll had gone back to the circuit court and obtained a decree against them for €15,400.
This, too, had been ignored and Mr Carroll’s solicitor Ivor Fitzpatrick had called in the help of Dublin City Sheriff, Brendan Walsh, to execute judgment against the Charltons.
Mr Donnelly said the sheriff had seized a number of paintings, which would be sold by de Vere’s at an art auction on October 3 to meet the judgment.
James Barry, operations manager for Dublin City Sheriff, told the court it had been difficult to unravel the business dealings of Hugh and Julian Charlton and the company. Apollo Gallery was registered to Arnor Limited and also to Yellow River Gallery Limited, 69 Main Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin, but they appeared to trade as Apollo Gallery or Apollogallery.ie.
Hugh and Julian Charlton, who were not legally represented, asked Judge Edwards for an injunction restraining the sale of the paintings and an order for a stay pending an appeal of Judge Linnane’s orders to the High Court.
Julian Charlton said that the paintings that had been seized were the property of their company and did not belong to them. Any court orders obtained by Mr Carroll had been made against them personally.
Judge Edwards refused both applications. He said the Charltons had failed to provide the court with credible business records of sales and VAT receipts.