Marc Godart firm did not own property from which tenant was unlawfully evicted, court told

Marc Godart Firm Did Not Own Property From Which Tenant Was Unlawfully Evicted, Court Told
Mr Godart is a Luxembourg national with substantial property interests in Ireland. Photo: PA Images
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High Court reporters

A firm directed by controversial landlord Marc Godart did not own the Dublin 8 property from which it unlawfully evicted a woman, the High Court has heard.

Lawyers for Green Label Short Lets Ltd said the property at Vintage Court, Cork Street, is owned by a woman with an address in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, who is unconnected to Mr Godart.


Mr Justice Brian Cregan said the disclosure raises a “host” of questions, and asked how it can be the case that Green Label is a landlord without a premises.

He said he has offered the company two opportunities to explain the situation on affidavit, but the situation was not explained to his satisfaction.

In 2022, former tenant Lizet Pena-Herrera was awarded €15,433 by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) against Green Label for an “egregious unlawful eviction”.

The award was not paid, so she got a District Court order for payment of the debt plus costs.


Mr Godart (35), a Luxembourg national with substantial property interests in Ireland, has told the High Court in an affidavit that Green Label has no assets and has effectively ceased operations.

Ms Pena-Herrera, a psychologist originally from Bolivia, has brought a High Court application seeking to have Mr Godart – Green Label’s sole director – called before the court to give evidence about the financial affairs of the company, with a view to identifying resources that can satisfy the RTB award, which has not been paid.

The company’s lawyers argue the High Court does not have jurisdiction to hear Ms Pena-Herrara’s case.

Mixed messages

On Friday, John Kennedy SC, for Ms Pena-Herrara, said Mr Godart cannot use companies for his benefit without consequences.


He said there are conflicts in Green Label’s evidence, as it appears to be telling the District Court it is not a landlord, but conveying a different message in the High Court.

Mr Kennedy, with Liam Bell BL, instructed by McGrath Mullen solicitors, said the firm cannot be two things at once, and it is appropriate for Mr Godart to be called to court to answer the case.

He said sums “probably greatly in excess” of the more than €15,000 owed to his client are likely being spent by the company on its defence of this case.

Green Label’s senior counsel, Gary McCarthy, said the court must not conduct a partial hearing on the “rights and wrongs” of what occurred between the parties. Rather, it must address the “strict, cold-hearted” legal issue of whether the case was correctly brought and whether the High Court has the power to hear it.


He submitted the action should be struck out on jurisdictional grounds.

Mr McCarthy, with Darragh Haugh BL, instructed by Shields Solicitors, said the company has permitted Ms Pena-Herrera to inspect its books and records.

Mr Justice Cregan said he will rule on the application on Monday.

Ms Pena-Herrera, who came to Ireland in 2008, says she entered into a tenancy agreement in December 2020, renting a room for €470 per month at 8 Vintage Court.

In a sworn statement to the District Court, she said that in March 2022 she complained to Dublin City Council asking for an inspection of the premises “due to a number of health and safety issues in the dwelling, principally overcrowding”.

An inspection took place that April, and Ms Pena-Herrera was served with a notice by Green Label a week later to quit her accommodation, she claims.

She successfully appealed this notice to the RTB, but before it found in her favour, she claims she was phoned by someone acting for Green Label saying her belongings were moved from her room in Vintage Court to a storage facility.

She made a fresh complaint to the RTB, which ordered she should be paid a second sum of €14,443.

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