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O'Leary wins €11k over sagging blinds

THE company that installed an electric blind to a stained glass skylight in Michael O'Leary's Mullingar mansion has been told by a judge to repay €11,200 relating to the contract.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard in the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that the horizontal blinds on the decorative cupola in the kitchen of Gigginstown House had been part of a multi-million euro renovation.

Barrister Ross Gorman said top-end blinds fitting experts Paddy Rogers (Blinds) Limited had been paid a €6,111 deposit for the installation and -- after it failed to live up to the O'Leary family's expectations -- another company had been paid €5,089 to remove the 16ft x 7ft fitting.

The head of no-frills airline Ryanair had sued through a company, Stormwell Limited, which has its registered office at Ballynaskeagh House, Raharney, Mullingar.

Simon Noddings, of de Blacam and Meagher architects, told Mr Gorman that Gigginstown House had in recent years been renewed to an extremely high standard at a substantial cost.

He said he had advised the project manager that there could be a problem with the morning east light coming in through the oval cupola and it had been decided to put up electric ceiling blinds to screen it out.

He had contacted specialists Paddy Rogers (Blinds) Limited, who had come up with a proposal to fit a horizontal electric blind to the cupola. When fitted there had been a "belly" in the middle of the blind and it kept falling out of its perimeter track on one side, allowing light to come in.

Project manager Niall Dillon said the blinds were not fit for purpose. He had to have them removed and the fittings repaired. The blinds sagged.

James Rogers, managing director of the blinds company, said he felt the problem was aesthetic rather than functional and he had been unable to deal directly with Mr O'Leary.

Judge Linnane, directing that Paddy Rogers Blinds pay Stormwell Ltd €11,200, said she was satisfied the dip in the blinds had been excessive.