Tuesday 24 April 2018

High Court lifts legal bar on sale of Lynam's Hotel on O'Connell Street

Lynam’s Hotel on O'Connell Street
Lynam’s Hotel on O'Connell Street
Stock Picture

Aodhan O'Faolain

The High Court has removed a legal notice which it was claimed was holding up the sale of a Dublin city hotel which had been used to accommodate homeless families.

On Tuesday, Nama-appointed receiver Aiden Murhpy asked the court to remove the registered notice, called as a lis pendens, indicating that there was a legal action pending over Lynam's Hotel, Upper O'Connell Street. 

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan agreed to remove the lis pendens.

However, he granted a stay on his decision until lunchtime Wednesday to allow lawyers for the former hotel operator to seek a further stay before the Court of Appeal pending a full hearing of the appeal.

The lis pendens was registered last September by Theresa Andreucetti who operated the hotel for many years under a lease she entered into with the former owners in 2008.

Eamon Marry Bl, for the receiver, said that a contract for sale had been agreed with an unnamed party.

Last year Ms Andreucetti, of Fawn, Castleknock Road, Dublin, brought injunction proceedings preventing the receiver taking possession after she claimed she was put out of the hotel.

The injunction proceedings were settled on various terms including that she would vacate the premises by August 1 last year.

Mr Marry said that despite agreeing to vacate the premises, she had registered the lis pendens.

This "was an attempt to get back in via the back door" and was attempting to frustrate to proposed sale, counsel said.

Robert Beatty SC, for Ms Andreucetti, urged the court not to remove the lis pendens pending the outcome of the full dispute between the parties.

That full action relates to applications for various orders against the receivers including that the termination of her lease is invalid and unlawful.

She also claims the receiver's actions caused her reputational damage.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan was satisfied to vacate the lis pendens on grounds including that Ms Andreucetti had not progressed her claim against the receiver with expedition.

He said Ms Andreucetti knew that the receiver had intended to sell the hotel once vacant possession was handed over.

He also said the full dispute should be heard as soon as possible.

To facilitate that, the court put a timetable in place for the exchange of documents between the parties..

It was a matter for the potential buyers of the hotel to decide if they wished to proceed with the purchase or if they wanted to await the outcome of the full hearing of the action, he said. 

That comes back before the court next month.

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