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Saturday 2 August 2014

Time for another round at famed family-run bar Coman's

RONALD QUINLAN Special Correspondent

Published 30/03/2014|02:30

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Coman's of Rathgar. Photo: Tony Gavin
Coman's of Rathgar. Photo: Tony Gavin

ONLY last week it looked as if the Coman family's 56-year history behind the bar of their famous south Dublin pub had come to an abrupt end with the appointment by AIB of Ernst & Young as receivers.

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But just days after the bank's move, it appears Denis Coman managed to do what countless other publicans couldn't do in the recession and regained control of the renowned Rathgar hostelry his parents Patrick and Mary first opened in 1958.

While Mr Coman was said to be "away for a few days break" when the Sunday Independent visited the famous pub last Thursday afternoon, a source confirmed that Mr Coman was back in charge of the premises.

It is understood that Ernst and Young have been stood down as receivers by AIB.

While the pub's doors had remained open throughout last week's brief crisis, confusion reigned in relation to the operation of the car park to its rear when wooden hoarding was erected last Saturday, preventing access.

That hoarding was in the process of being removed last Thursday when the Sunday Independent visited.

As a long-established favourite among Rathgar residents, the well-known pub hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2004 when a business disagreement between Patrick and Mary Coman and five of their six sons went to the High Court.

While the main thrust of those proceedings dealt with the claim by Geoffrey, John, Patrick Jr, Thomas and Denis Coman that a February 2003 agreement involved their parents resigning immediately as directors of the companies and being paid €7m for their shareholding, Mr and Mrs Coman maintained there was no concluded agreement.

Counsel for the sons said the disputed agreement was secured because the parties wanted a "complete break" from each other "in business and, regrettably, in personal terms".

The High Court heard how the dispute had become increasingly bitter and highly personalised.

Ultimately, the matter was settled out of court in August 2004.

The terms of the deal were never revealed.

Sunday Independent

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