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Thursday 20 July 2017

Head shop to stop trading from landlord judge's outlet

Colin Gleeson and Tim Healy

A CONTROVERSIAL head shop that is selling legal 'highs' from a premises leased from a judge will cease trading from next month.

Happy Daze, directly opposite Naas Courthouse in Co Kildare, sells herbal cigarettes, various paraphernalia and other substances that mimic the effects of illegal drugs.

District Court Judge John Coughlan was the focus of controversy at the beginning of February after a raft of complaints from callers to RTE's 'Liveline' radio programme when it was revealed he was letting his former solicitor's practice in the town to a trader selling the legal 'highs'.

Yesterday, he announced that he and the owner of the shop had agreed, through their solicitors, that the business would "cease trading" from April 15.

The vacant possession will be handed over to the judge on that date. The delay in the cessation of trade had been due to "some lease and legal matters", the judge said.

He added that he was "very happy" that the matter was resolved by agreement.

The owner of Happy Daze was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Judge Coughlan said previously that he believed the site of his former legal practice was an alternative medicine centre.

He has said he had "no idea" of the premises' current use.

Meanwhile, a dispute over a new head shop in a north Dublin suburb has been settled after the operator agreed to surrender his lease on the premises.

The D3 Headshop opened on the Clontarf Road on St Patrick's Day last having previously operated as a florist.

Last Monday, the court granted a temporary injunction to the owners of the premises, Patrick and Alice Lynch, against their tenant Jeffrey Carey, prohibiting him from carrying on any business there other than as a florist/gift shop.

Concerned

Brendan Watchorn, for the owners, yesterday told Ms Justice Mary Laffoy in the High Court that following talks Mr Carey had agreed to surrender the lease.

The matter could be struck out and no further order was required, Mr Watchorn said.

On Monday, the court heard the owners were very concerned that the use of the premises, which had been leased as a florist/gift shop, had been changed into a head shop.

The court heard there were protests outside the premises last Saturday and local community groups were gravely concerned.

The Lynchs, of Seapark Road, Clontarf, had bought the premises as an investment property, their counsel said. Without any warning or consent, the use of the premises had been changed.

Irish Independent

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