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Gannon suing firms owned by transport boss 

Aircoach founder John O'Sullivan owns companies 

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Legal action: Gerry Gannon

Legal action: Gerry Gannon

Legal action: Gerry Gannon

Developer Gerry Gannon is suing two firms owned by transport entrepreneur John O'Sullivan, one of which operates a giant car park beside Dublin Airport on land owned by the builder.

Mr Gannon has launched summary proceedings in the High Court against ParkFly and Last Bus, two companies controlled by Mr O'Sullivan.

Mr O'Sullivan, who founded and later sold the AirCoach business, operates the QuickPark parking service near Dublin Airport.

ParkFly, which trades as QuickPark, made a €1.1m profit in its 2018 financial year - the latest for which accounts are publicly available.

The action by Mr Gannon comes as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the travel industry.

Dublin Airport handled 32.9 million passengers last year - a new record for the gateway. But passenger numbers have been severely hit, and in the first six months of this year, just 5.3 million passed through the airport.

That means that private parking facilities for passengers will have been hit hard.

The first phase of the 41-acre QuickPark car park was opened almost 20 years ago to accommodate 3,500 vehicles. A second phase of the car park opened about 14 years ago and added another 2,740 spaces to its capacity.

The park is leased to QuickPark, which is one of three authorised long-term car parks serving Dublin Airport. Between them, they have more than 25,000 spaces. The DAA operates more than 19,000 long-term car parking spaces at two facilities.

Last year, An Bord Pleanála approved the permanent continuous use of the QuickPark car park as long-term facility. However, it reduced the number of permissible parking spaces to 6,112.

"The substantive issue therefore is not whether permission should be granted or refused, but whether permission should be granted on a permanent basis or a further temporary permission," noted the planning inspector.

"The applicant notes that the demand for long-term car parking has increased since the previous temporary permission was granted, with the increase in passenger numbers using the airport in 2017," the inspector added.

Mr O'Sullivan established AirCoach in 1999, operating a service from Dublin city to the airport. He sold 90pc of the company to British firm First Group in 2003 for €15m and later sold the remainder.

His Last Bus firm operates the bus transfer service between the QuickPark facility and the airport.

Mr O'Sullivan also operates Dublin Coach, a company that provides luxury coach services from a number from locations all over the country to the capital.

He also owns Airbus, a service that links Dundrum in the south of the city with Dublin Airport. It normally operates 42 services each way, seven days a week.

Irish Independent