Saturday 1 October 2016

Developer Greg Kavanagh has his day over Johnny Ronan in court in bitter row over Docklands site

Gavin McLoughlin and Ronald Quinlan

Published 03/07/2016 | 02:30

Johnny Ronan (l) and Greg Kavanagh (r) have been locked in a legal battle
Johnny Ronan (l) and Greg Kavanagh (r) have been locked in a legal battle
Johnny Ronan

A court has ruled in favour of developer Greg Kavanagh in his row with Johnny Ronan over leases at a property in Dublin's docklands.

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The row relates to a number of strips at the so-called Hickey site, where a Kavanagh-linked company owns the leasehold interests and a Ronan-linked company owns freehold interests.

Kavanagh is seeking to acquire Ronan's freehold interests in the strips via a statutory procedure involving an application to the Dublin County registrar, which will be heard at the end of November.

He wants to build a mixed commercial and residential development at the site and acquiring Ronan's interests would enable him to drive the project forward.

The Kavanagh company, Balark Investments, had brought an action against the Ronan-linked Chambury Investment Company after Chambury issued so-called forfeiture notices over alleged covenant breaches relating to the strips.

Counsel for Balark told the court that the reliefs his client sought were "required to ensure the Defendant cannot implement its game plan and try to frustrate the Plaintiff in the acquisition of the freeholds of the premises in the first instance and then in pursuing this development and selling the units in the development".

On Thursday, Mr Justice Hedigan in the High Court ruled that the forfeiture notices were invalid and awarded costs against Chambury, with a stay on the costs order, subject to a potential appeal.

A spokesperson for Kavanagh declined to comment.

Ronan was not available for comment but an industry source said they expected Ronan to appeal, saying Kavanagh was "never going to get to develop" and would be "tied up in litigation with Johnny Ronan for a long time".

"It's never going to happen. Ronan will never sell to him or New Generation (Kavanagh's firm). The only deal that's ever going to be done is Johnny Ronan buying them out."

Sunday Indo Business

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