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Firm fails in court bid to seize film couple's home

THE High Court yesterday halted a bid by a Californian film-production company to get an order for possession of the Irish home of a film-maker and his screenwriter wife.

Terence and Mary Susan Ryan had used 'Derg House' in Mountshannon, Co Clare, as security for a $535,000 (€390,000) loan to part-fund a film called 'Botched'.

Proceedings by After Dark Entertainment of Los Angeles were struck out by Mr Justice Roderick Murphy.

The company had said it lent the Ryans $535,000 in 2007.

The loan was to be repaid by December 2008, with a number of repayments in between.

It said one of these, for $75,000, was made in May 2008 but another, of $60,000, that was due in July 2008, had not been made. The company initiated the proceedings when the loan was not repaid.

The judge found that the loan contract stipulated that any dispute should first be dealt with by a Californian arbitrator. New proceedings could then be initiated in Ireland after such arbitration had finished.

However, he made no order on costs and said that the Ryans' defence in relation to the arbitrator had been presented to the court "late in the day".

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