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Reads gets injunction to keep shop access

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Premises: The Setanta Centre on Dublin’s Nassau Street, where print shop Reads has an outlet

Premises: The Setanta Centre on Dublin’s Nassau Street, where print shop Reads has an outlet

Premises: The Setanta Centre on Dublin’s Nassau Street, where print shop Reads has an outlet

The owner of printing business Reads has secured a High Court injunction preserving what it says is the main access route to its premises from Dublin's Nassau Street.

In her judgement, Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty said that O'Flaherty's (Nassau St.) Limited, which trades as Reads was entitled to an order against Setanta Centre Unlimited Company - the owner of the Dublin office building.

The injunction is to remain in place pending the outcome of the full hearing of the action.

O'Flaherty's operates an outlet within a campus known as the Setanta Campus, which is just off Nassau Street via a concourse.

The defendant, owned by the family of businessman Larry Goodman, is redeveloping the building over the next two years at a cost of €150m.

O'Flaherty's, which has four more years left on its lease, claimed that as part of the redevelopment works the defendant had obstructed access to its premises from Nassau Street with scaffolding and hoarding.

The obstruction is permanent, it is claimed, as it is intended to replace the temporary structures with the planned new building.

O'Flaherty's, represented by Michéal O'Connell SC and John O'Regan Bl, claimed that this interference with its main access route from Nassau Street, breached its property rights.

It also said that its business would be damaged as a large part of its trade comes from nearby Trinity College.

As a result, it sought orders including an injunction requiring the defendant to remove the obstruction currently blocking access to the retail premises.

The defendant opposed the application, denied that blocking the Nassau Street access breached O'Flaherty's rights, and claimed that the granting of an injunction would cause it a commercial loss.

The defendant argued that it was entitled to build on its own premises, that the lease between the parties did not include an express right to access by the concourse, and that damages were an adequate remedy.

In her judgement Ms Justice Gearty said that while the existence of an easement between the premises and Nassau Street was a matter to be decided at the full trial, she was satisfied that O'Flaherty's had raised a fair question to be tried.

It was arguable that the defendant has diminished O'Flaherty's use of the premises by interfering with the access route to Nassau Street, she said.

Ms Justice Gearty also held that the balance of convenience favoured the granting of the injunction.

Irish Independent