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Headshop in city must close - judge

THE High Court has granted a temporary injunction restraining a premises in Clontarf being operated as a headshop.

Mr Justice Roderick Murphy yesterday granted the interim order, returnable to Thursday, to Patrick and Alice Lynch, owners of the ground floor premises on the Clontarf Road. The order is against Jeffrey Carey, the tenant of the premises.

It restrains Mr Carey carrying on any business on the premises other than a florist and gift shop and also restrains him doing anything which would make the insurance on the premises void or voidable.

The order was sought by Brendan Watchorn, for the owners, who said they are very concerned the use of the premises as a florist and a gift shop has been changed and it is being operated as a Headshop selling controversial substances.

Counsel referred to protests outside the premises last Saturday and said local community groups were gravely concerned.

The Lynch family, of Seapark Road, Clontarf, had bought it as an investment property, counsel said. It was previously a hairdressers and they had given their consent to have it converted to a florist and gift shop, he said.

Without any warning or consent, the use of the premises had been changed and it became a media issue last Friday when there were phone calls to Joe Duffy's RTE radio phone-in programme, counsel said.


It was only then his clients became aware the shop had been converted into a Headshop and there was a history of these shops being burned down, counsel said. Windows had been damaged at his clients' shop.

Mr Watchorn said his clients had also been informed its insurers would not maintain insurance for a Headshop because it was completely different from a florist and gift shop.

His clients had a premises which was highly exposed and no longer covered by insurance. If anything happened to the shop within the next 24 hours, there was no insurance and this would be a "a catastrophe" for his clients, as the premises was effectively their pension scheme and they would be left without income.

Counsel added the Lynch family live in Clontarf and had no wish to add to the distress of parents in the area.

The Lynch family claim the user clause for the premises had been amended about December 2007 to allow the tenant trade in the premises as a florist and gift shop.

They claim they had, in April 2008, agreed in the assignment of the leasee's interest in the premises to Mr Carey but the use of the premises has now been changed in breach of covenant.

They claim the lease requires nothing be done on the premises which may be a nuisance or cause annoyance, disturbance or inconvenience to others.