Thursday 21 November 2019

Sculptor awarded €88k compensation after having to leave his Temple Bar studio

Paul Ferriter with his sculpture of jockey, Tony McCoy. Photo: Damien Eagers
Paul Ferriter with his sculpture of jockey, Tony McCoy. Photo: Damien Eagers

Ray Managh

Paul Ferriter, the internationally renowned sculptor, was today awarded €88,000 compensation for having to move his studio out of a Temple Bar building that is due to be demolished under redevelopment.

It is just under a quarter of the €360,000 he had asked Judge James O’Donohoe to award him in a Circuit Civil Court application.

The €88,000 award was reduced by €10,000 that Mr Ferriter conceded he owed his landlord in rent.

Mr Ferriter had sought the compensation from landlord, Rockyvale Limited, for having to quit his studio and find somewhere else to continue moulding his acclaimed works.

The sculptor, who lives on Clonsilla Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin, has completed sculptures of many famous sporting figures including Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and both Christy O’Connor Senior and Christy Junior as well as legendary jockey A.P. McCoy.

He had rented the top floor of Fashion House in Upper Exchange Street and Copper Alley, Dublin, and had been told this week by Judge O’Donohoe that he was entitled to a new five-year lease but Mr Ferriter asked the court to assess compensation and had asked for the six-figure sum.

Rossa Fanning, SC, counsel for Rockyvale, of Northwood Park, Santry, Dublin, told the court that Fashion House was to be demolished and redeveloped in a multi-million-euro extension to the existing Parliament Hotel almost opposite Dublin City Hall  in Lord Edward Street.

Mr Fanning, who appeared with barrister Stephen B. Byrne, said planning permission had already been obtained from Dublin City Council and contractors had been hired and ready to start work next month. 

Rockyvale’s valuer Peter Stapleton had estimated adequate compensation at €50,000.

Mr Ferriter told his barrister John Donnelly, who appeared with solicitors Ivor Fitzpatrick and Company, that he was currently working on new sculptures for Cheltenham Racecourse and had sculpted famous horses owned by Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary.

He said he had two bronzes in the White House, one of former US President Barack Obama, presented to him by US Ambassador Dan Rooney during his visit to Ireland, and one of James Hoban, Irish architect of the White House, presented to Obama by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on St Patrick’s Day 2011.

Read More: Sculptor demands €360k compensation after landlord tells him to quit Temple Bar studio

Mr Ferriter was also commissioned by golf star Rory McIlroy to mould and cast a bronze of “Old Tom Morris.” He said like all his other works they had been moulded in his top-floor studio which had a rooftop garden with a super view of Dublin and particularly Dublin Castle.

Judge O’Donohoe heard that Mr Ferriter (49) had been paying €800 a month but was €10,000 in arrears. Ferriter said he had withheld rent after having been locked out of the building but had lodged €10,000 with his solicitors Ivor Fitzpatrick to cover the backlog. 

The High Court last year had allowed him back in.

Mr Fanning told the court planning permission had been obtained for a five to seven storey development over basement extension which would include 77 additional bedrooms and ancillary hotel facilities. 

In total the extended Parliament Hotel would have 128 bedrooms with access from both Exchange Street Upper and Lord Edward Street.

In his reserved judgment Judge O’Donohoe awarded Mr Ferriter €88,000 compensation, reduced to €78,000 to cover rent arrears, and directed that Rockyvale make a €7,500 contribution towards his costs.  Mr Ferriter was granted six weeks to leave the building.

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