Possession of a public house re-occupied by its former owners must be handed back to bank appointed receivers, the President of the High Court has ruled.
Yesterday Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said Mary and Joseph Fallon must comply with orders to vacate and hand over possession of Fallons Public House in Newtowncashel, Co Longford to the joint receivers of the property, Mr Kieran Wallace and Mr Andrew O’Leary of KPMG.
The pub had been closed since April after the Fallons left after the premises. However, earlier this week the receivers launched High Court action after the Fallons allegedly re-entered and took possession of the property on August 1 last. The receivers had alleged the pub had recommenced trading.
They sought orders restraining the Fallons, and their servants and agents, from interfering with the receivership. They also sought orders granting the receivers vacant possession of the property.
The Fallons were not present in court yesterday. Their son Ryan Fallon rejected claims illegal trading had recommenced at the premises.
In his ruling the Judge said, while he had every sympathy with the Fallons and the situation they have found themselves in, the court had to grant the orders sought by the receivers.
There were other courses and options open to the Fallons if they were unhappy with the receivership or the manner in which the receivers have acted, the Judge added.
Lyndon MacCann SC for the joint receivers said they were appointed in October 2011 over the property which comprises of a pub and four townhouses, by ACC bank. No challenge had every been brought against the recievership, nor was the amount due by the Fallons challenged, counsel said.
They were appointed after the Fallons failed to repay loans advanced to them in 2006 and 2007. While some payments have been made, counsel said approximately €1.1m remains outstanding.
A lease agreement arrangement was made with Mrs Fallon to allow them to continue to run the pub. Difficulties then arose between the parties, and the Fallons vacated the premises in April of this year.
Counsel also told the court that one of their party named as Mr Charlie Allen sent correspondence to the receivers claiming the receivers occupation of the the pub amounted to a trespass, and sought €10m in compensation.
The property was listed for auction in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel in early July. The sale did not go ahead after the auction was disrupted by members of the public.
Matters escalated when the pub was re-occupied in August and the Fallons refused to vacate the property, counsel said.
In reply Ryan Fallon, who said he spoke on his parents behalf, said his father spent the vast majority of his time working in the UK. He contested some of the claims made by the receiver, and denied claims there had been illegal trading going on at the pub.
He asked the court for an adjournment as time was required to consider the receiver’s application.
Mr Justice Kearns refused the application for an adjournment. He said the court had a duty to uphold the law and granted the orders sought by the receivers.