Judge refuses to appoint receiver to Dublin pub made famous in Roddy Doyle film

A Dublin pub that featured in the film ’The Van’, based on the best-selling novel by author Roddy Doyle, has secured High Court injunctions preventing a financial fund appointing a receiver over its premises.

By Ann O’Loughlin 

Mr Justice Robert Haughton said he was satisfied Wingview Ltd, trading as the Elphin Public House, Baldoyle Road, Sutton, had made out fair and bona fide issues to be tried such as entitled it to the injunctions against Ennis Property Finance Designated Activity Company.

The injunctions apply pending the outcome of a full hearing of the case by Wingview, represented by Bernard Dunleavy SC, against the fund, represented by Rossa Fanning SC.

If the injunctions were refused, a receiver would be appointed to sell the property as a going concern, the judge noted.

In those circumstances, if the company won its case, damages would not be an adequate remedy as the company would lose its business and its interest in the property held since 1996. It would be impossible to calculate damages with such a degree of accuracy as to represent the probable loss, he held.

The fact the sides had entered an interim agreeent under which Wingview would continue to operate the premises on the basis of various undertakings, including concerning transparency in relation to management accounts, meant the fund was not prejudiced and the balance of convenience supported grantingn the injunctions.

Ennis, a fund that acquired loans made to Wingview by Anglo Irish Bank, had opposed the injunctions.

Wingview had acknowledged, as of November 2016, it owed the fund some €2.5m and the sides entered an agreement for Wingview to make three settklement payments totalling some €1.5m by March 31st 2017.

It made the first two payments totallign €500,000 and, to make the third payment of €1m, got a €800,000 loan offer from AIB, to which it inteded to add €200,000 shareholder monies. AIB also offered an overdraft facility to fund working capital requirements.

After issues concerning the proposed transfer of a site at the rear of the premises, the fund later alleged the €1m payment had not been made by the agreed date of March 31st 2017.

AIB issued a new facility letter in April 2017 but Wingview alleged the fund had then required, in addition to the €1m, it to pay an additional payment of €100,000 for April 2017 with compound interest on the due amoubnt to continue to accrue thereafter at 10 per cent per month.

That lead to an impasse between the sides and to the proceedings by Wingview which got an interim injunction last July restraining the fund appointing a receiver.

In his judgment today Mr Justice Haughton made orders continuing the injunctions pending the full hearing.

Wingview had rasied fair and bona fide issues to be tried concerning an implied term of the settlemnent agreement as to whether the fund would perform all necessary actions as might reasonably be requested by Wingview to permit drawdown of funds from its bankers, he said.

Wingview had claimed it was ready, willing and able to make the €1m payment subject to the fund providing written confirmation to AIB on certain matters and that the fund was obliged to provide such confirmation but had not.

While the fund denied any breach of the settlement agreement and contended the alleged implied term lacked precision, that was an issue for the trial corut to decide, he ruled.


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