Claims of flaws in asylum center lease. Owner represents himself in High Court as legal team comes off record, and undertakes not to alter or interfere with lease
The legal battle over the Shannon Key West property in Rooskey was before the High Court again yesterday (Thursday 13th). The dispute is onging in the High Court between Paradub Ltd, a company looking to buy the property which claims it has a contract entitling them to do so, and James Kiernan, the owner of the closed hotel which sits on the banks of the River Shannon, for a number of weeks now.
Last month, it emerged that the Department of Justice intended to utilise the property as a direct provision centre, and Mr Kiernan claimed he had entered into a lease with a company called Abbey Castle Accommodation Ltd. It is understood that this company made the application to the Departmenrt of Justice to provide direct provision services in the property. Plans to accommodate circa 80-refugees in the property from early next year have been met with significant opposition locally, with locals expressing grave concerns over the capacity of the village to cater for such an influx of people.
Richard Keane SC, for Paradub Ltd, explained to Ms Justice Reynolds that there were two significant flaws in Mr Kiernan’s lease with Abbey Castle Accommodation Ltd, which he said fundamentally called into question the lease’s viability as a commercial contract. Mr Kiernan who appeared in court personally, after his solicitors had come of record due to differences of opinion between them and their client, said that there was no problem with the lease in its current form, and that he had no intention of amending or interfering with it.
Mr Keane responded, explaining that the reason for seeking this interim relief in the first place was to prevent the lease from being amended and to preserve the status quo in that regard. Given Mr Kiernan’s stated intention that he would not alter the lease in any event, Mr Keane suggested that Mr Kiernan provide an undertaking to preserve the status quo in lieu of an order. Mr Kiernan provided this undertaking under-oath, thereby allowing Ms Justice Reynolds to reserve costs and adjourn the matter to Thursday the 20th of December, with the consent of both parties.
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