Saturday 17 March 2018

Builder tried to charge well-known businessman Charlie Chawke 13 times actual bill

Businessman Charlie Chawke. Photo: Frank McGrath
Businessman Charlie Chawke. Photo: Frank McGrath

Tim Healy

A company that claimed it was owed 13 times more money than what it later conceded it was due from businessman Charlie Chawke has had its High Court claim dismissed.

The court heard WL Construction had claimed that up to €370,000 was owed to it for works to Mr Chawke's Lord Lucan pub - but later conceded that the value of its claim was no more than €28,691.

Justice Séamus Noonan dismissed the company's claim on grounds including "deliberate dishonesty" on its part.

WL Construction (WL) Ltd had presented some 14 versions, ranging in value from some €28,691 to €370,892, with most of those advanced after it brought its court case, the judge said.

The Lord Lucan Pub in Lucan. Picture:
The Lord Lucan Pub in Lucan. Picture:

The claim was for sums allegedly outstanding for renovation and extension works to the Lord Lucan pub in Lucan, which were completed at the end of 2006.

Mr Chawke and Edward Joseph Bohan, co-owners of the pub, disputed that any monies were due.

It was conceded on behalf of the company during a 28-day court hearing earlier this year that the value of its claim was €28,691.

The court was told payments of some €700,000 had been made to WL for the works and the owners disputed that any further monies were due. Both sides also disputed the nature of the contract documents.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Noonan granted an application by the owners to strike out WL's claim after finding no prima facie claim had been made out and there was "deliberate dishonesty" in how it was prosecuted.

The strike-out order was sought at the end of the company's case and before the defendants went into evidence.

The entire claim was tainted by the "lies and dishonesty" of William Loughnane, principal of WL, who falsified invoices as part of an effort to deceive the defendants and advance a fraudulent claim, the judge held, adding that Mr Loughnane's evidence was "grossly dishonest".

Irish Independent

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