Thursday 27 October 2016

Ivor Callely sued by tenant for 'locking her out of restaurant she ran and keeping goods belonging to her'

Saurya Cherfi

Published 13/07/2016 | 15:48

Ivor Callely
Ivor Callely

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.

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Tenant Karen Lam also alleges that the former Fianna Fáil Minister kept goods and money belonging to her. 

Lam, who ran a Chinese restaurant at 191 Howth Road, Killester, Dublin, claims she entered into an agreement with 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 at the time and she had made “considerable improvements” at her own expense.

Ms Lam alleges that about a year later, after both parties had negotiated rents due and owing, Callely unlawfully took possession of the premises, changing the locks and retaining her fixtures and fittings. 

She claims that when she, her husband and an engineer, attended the place and requested the goods and the €4,000 deposit be returned to her, Callely pulled down the shutters in an “aggressive and threatening” manner, locking them all inside. 

She alleges that, despite repeated requests, Callely 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 Callely has converted her goods to his own use.

She claims she suffered loss, damage and inconvenience, trespass and false imprisonment.  She also claims that Callely’s withholding of her goods constitutes an unjust enrichment to himself. 

Ms Lam seeks in her proceedings a judgment in the sum of €4,000 and a mandatory injunction directing Callely to return her goods. 

Today Ms Lam’s solicitor, Peter M Douglas from Douglas & Barrett solicitors, told County Registrar Rita Considine that despite several attempts to serve the former politician with the court proceedings, it had been impossible to do so

The court heard that a solicitor from Mr Douglas’s office had tried to serve Callely personally at his office in the Killester premises and also at another address at St Lawrance Road, Clontarf, Dublin.

Mr Douglas said he had been informed that Callely was selling his office in Killester.  The court heard that Callely was seen cycling and entering the Killester premises last month and the post sent to this address was still being collected. 

Mr Douglas said during his application, which was made ex-parte (one side only), that Ms Lam was now seeking an order for substituted service. 

Ms Considine directed that Callely be served with the court proceedings by ordinary pre-paid post.   

Callely (58) was jailed for five months in 2014 for using false invoices to claim expenses of €4,207.45 between November 2007 and December 2009 while a member of the Seanad.

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