Monday 19 February 2018

Five homeless families facing eviction from city centre hotel win month's reprieve

Annette Courtney, left, and Karyn Valente, homeless residents of Lynam's Hotel
Annette Courtney, left, and Karyn Valente, homeless residents of Lynam's Hotel

Tim Healy

FIVE homeless families living in a Dublin city centre hotel which is about to be sold by a receiver will be allowed remain until the end of August while alternative accommodation arrangements for them are made, the High Court heard.

However, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said he wanted to hear more detail about the proposed alternative accommodation for the families who are living in Lynams Hotel, Upper O'Connell Street.  The matter was raised in the Dail last week.

Last April, injunction proceedings taken by hotel operator, Theresa Andreucetti, preventing NAMA-appointed receiver Aidan Murphy taking possession of the premises were settled on the basis of undertakings.

They included that Ms Andreucetti, who has a lease on the hotel with the previous owners before it was taken over by NAMA, would vacate the building by Monday (August 1) next, pay €20,000 in rent arrears and clear rates due to Dublin City Council.

Her lawyers returned to court Wednesday (July 25) to ask for an extension of that August 1 deadline due to the fact that the five families would be homeless.

Her counsel Robert Beatty also said it was because Ms Andreucetti faced a possible €250,000 loss if she was unable to meet bookings between now and November which had been made over the internet by independent agencies with whom she has contracts which must be honoured. 

She was not cognisant of this situation when she gave the undertakings to the court in April, counsel said.

Eamon Marry BL, for the receiver, said his client had made arrangements with another hotel management company that the five homeless families, who had been in Lynams under the city council's emergency accommodation scheme, could remain in place until the end of August.  This was while the city council finds them alternative accommodation, he said.

Mr Marry also said the receiver needed vacant possession to sell the hotel and to protect its liquor licence which is due for renewal in September.  There was also the matter of very substantial rent arrears of €500,000 owed by Ms Andreucetti, he said.

Mr Justice Gilligan adjourned the case to Friday (July 29) when he said he wanted to hear from a city council official about the alternative arrangements for the homeless families.   He also wanted more detail about the the internet bookings and about the actual arrangements in place for the sale.

He also suggested there could be negotiations between the parties over the six month extension to the repossession order being sought by Ms Andreucetti.


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