Tenant says former politician Ivor Callely kept her money and property
Former politician Ivor Callely is being sued in the Circuit Civil Court by a tenant who claims that he locked her out of the Chinese restaurant she ran from one of his properties.
Karen Lam also alleges that the former Fianna Fáil minister kept goods and money belonging to her.
Ms Lam, who ran a Chinese restaurant at 191 Howth Road, Killester, Dublin, claims that she entered into an agreement with Callely to rent the premises in July 2014 and paid a €4,000 deposit.
She claims that the premises contained a limited amount of furniture and equipment at that time and that she subsequently made "considerable improvements" at her own expense.
Ms Lam alleges that about a year later, after both parties had negotiated rents due and owing, Callely (58) unlawfully took possession of the premises, changing the locks and retaining her fixtures and fittings.
She claims that when she, her husband and an engineer attended the premises and requested that the goods and the €4,000 deposit be returned to her, Callely pulled down the shutters in an "aggressive and threatening" manner, locking them all inside.
Furthermore, Ms Lam alleges that despite repeated requests, Callely refused to return her goods: a gas Chinese cooker worth €6,000; a dishwasher; two refrigerators, two computers; a TV; deep-fat fryers; a grease trap; 50 chairs; plate warmers; a stereo system and kitchen utensils.
Ms Lam, of Park Place, Drogheda, Co Louth, claims that Callely has converted her goods to his own use and that she suffered loss, damage and inconvenience, trespass and false imprisonment.
She is seeking a judgment in the sum of €4,000 and a mandatory injunction, directing Callely to return her goods.
Her solicitor, Peter M Douglas, told the court that despite several attempts to serve Callely with the court proceedings, it had been impossible to do so.
The court heard that a solicitor from Mr Douglas's office had tried to serve Callely personally at his office in the Killester premises and also at another address at St Lawrence Road, Clontarf. Mr Douglas said he had been told that Callely was selling his office in Killester.
The court heard that Callely was seen cycling and entering the Killester premises last month and the post sent to this address was still being collected.
Ms Considine directed that Callely be served with the court proceedings by ordinary pre-paid post.
Callely was jailed for five months in 2014 for using false invoices to claim expenses of €4,207 between November 2007 and December 2009.