Thursday 20 September 2018

Club secretary claims €660k contribution to develop football stadium was 'a gift', court hears

Timothy Laffey appeared for sentencing at Mullingar Circuit Court sitting in Tullamore
Timothy Laffey appeared for sentencing at Mullingar Circuit Court sitting in Tullamore

Tim Healy

One of the central issues in a dispute over ownership of a football stadium in Athlone will be over whether a €660,000 contribution to the development of the facility was a gift, the High Court heard.

The dispute is over an application by David Dully, secretary of Athlone Town Football Club, to remove a company called Athlone Stadium Ltd as trustee on the property which became the new home of the club when it moved from traditional town centre home at St Mel's to Lissywollen, Athlone.

The majority sharehlolder in Athlone Stadium Ltd, with a 97pc stake, is Declan Molloy of Garrynafela, Athlone.

Mr Dully says Athlone Stadium Ltd should be removed as a trustee and replaced by a trustee proposed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and or by Athlone Town AFC Company. The FAI is a notice party in the case.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys was told on Monday a number of witnesses will have to be called in the case.

An amended summons had been served by the Dully side and the the judge directed the defendant to providing a replying affidavit with a view to possibly getting the case on before the end of July.

John Paul Shortt SC, for Mr Dully, said the case should take three days.

Dr Michael Forde SC, for the defendant, said the main issue was over whether a sum of €660,000 given by Mr Molloy was a gift. 

However, Dr Forde said his client had no information as to how it came about as a gift.  Mr Forde said his client was ready to provide a replying affidavit immediately to the amended summons by Mr Dully.

The case comes back for mention next month.

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