Thursday 25 December 2014

Nightclub owner avoids jail over failure to pay music royalties

Ray Managh

Published 07/07/2014 | 14:00

Ciaran Gray pictured leaving the Four Courts after a Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Ciaran Gray pictured leaving the Four Courts after a Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Sin, Bar and Nightclub, Temple Bar

Sin Nightclub joint owner and general manager Ciaran Gray today narrowly escaped the making of a court order directing his imprisonment.

Gray, of Balrothery Estate, Tallaght, Co Dublin, had been sued by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) for failure to pay music royalties for songs and music played at discos in his Sycamore Street, Temple Bar, Dublin, nightclub.

IMRO had earlier obtained judgment for €1,880 against Pcard Taverns Limited, trading as Sin Nightclub, and its two directors Gray and Paul Griffin, Roch-Ri, Winetavern Manor, Stratford on Slaney, Co Wicklow.

Barrister David Griffin told the Circuit Civil Court that the Organisation, which is the collecting agency of royalties for songwriters, composers and music publishers, had already obtained judgment against the club and both directors as well as an injunction restraining the unlicenced playing of music.

Mr Griffin, counsel for IMRO, said one of the directors, Ciaran Gray, had attended court and had already left to obtain a bank draft to partially meet the outstanding judgment. He had said he would be back in minutes.

Counsel said that in return for this and an undertaking to meet the remainder of the judgment within two weeks IMRO had agreed to the lifting of the injunction and to the renewal of Sin Nightclub’s licence for the use of copyright songs and music.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane vacated the injunction and adjourned the proceedings as against Mr Gray until July 28.

She struck out the proceedings against Gray’s fellow director Paul Griffin on the basis they were moot due to the inability of IMRO to serve him with the summons to attend court.

IMRO had brought a motion today against both directors seeking court orders directing their attachment and committal to prison for failure to obey an order of the court.

Paul Griffin was not in court.

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