Dispute over proposed sale of Kilkenny mansion not to proceed in Irish High Court

By Ann O'Loughlin

A legal action concerning the proposed sale of a mansion in Co. Kilkenny is not proceeding, the High Court has been told.

Edward Magan, a beneficiary of the Eaglehill family trust which owns Castletown Cox, had objected to the sale of the south Kilkenny estate on 513 acres by the current trustee of the estate, DW Trustees.

The beneficiaries of Eaglehill Trust, governed by Bermuda law, are Edward and Henrietta Magan, children of Lord George Magan, a retired banker who purchased the estate in 1999.

Edward Magan failed earlier this year, via a court hearing in Jersey, to stop the marketing of the property for sale. After the Jersey court said DW Trustees could proceed with facilitating marketing of, and access to Castletown, the estate agent, Knight Frank, was instructed to proceed with the sale.

Lawyers for Eaglehill then sought injunctions from the Irish High Court to stop the Irish Times publishing an article about the sale of Castletown Cox.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan refused to restrain the publication, but permitted Mr Magan to serve short notice of proceedings for injunctions preventing the trustees taking steps to promote or market the sale of Castletown Cox and its demesne.

The matter was adjourned several times and returned before the High Court today.

A motion by DW Trustees to dismiss the case on grounds the Irish High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear it was listed for hearing but, following talks between the parties, Rossa Fanning SC, for DW Trustees, told Mr Justice Gilligan the matter was not going ahead.

Counsel said the parties had agreed the Irish courts lack jurisdiction to hear Mr Mangan's action and all previous orders made in the case could be vacated.

Niall Fitzgibbon SC, for Mr Magan, said his side was consenting to the orders.

The court previously heard the Irish case, and proceedings in other jurisdictions including Bermuda and Jersey, were put on hold to allow a mediation take place in London last September. When that process was not successful, the trust wished to proceed to sell the property to another party.

The Eaglehill Trust assets are valued at between €45m-€50m, with Castletown Cox representing the significant property portion of those assets.


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