Boxing club locked out over dispute
A DUBLIN boxing club whose membership includes Irish Olympian Darren O’Neill has been locked out of its premises following a dispute with its landlord, the High Court heard yesterday.
Trinity Boys Boxing Club claims it has been prevented since Tuesday from accessing the premises it has occupied at the Trinity Sports and Leisure Club, Hole in the Wall Road, Donaghmede, since 2008.
The court heard the boxing club’s occupation agreement was terminated by the landlord – Trinity Sports and Leisure Club – on grounds of alleged misconduct.
The boxing club rejects this claim and says the landlord’s actions, which include cutting off the electricity to the premises, are “completely unjustified”. It fears that if the current situation continues, the members will not be able to take part in competitions and will leave the club. Yesterday the boxing club was granted permission on an ex-parte basis by High Court judge Mr Justice Paul McDermott to bring proceedings against Trinity Sports and Leisure Club. The boxers are seeking orders including that they be granted access to the premises and that the electricity be restored. The boxers are also seeking an injunction that no party be permitted to interfere with their lawful occupation under licence of the premises.
Lawyers for the boxing club told the court that in 2008, shortly after its foundation, it entered into a licence agreement with Trinity Sports and Leisure Club. This allowed the boxers to occupy the premises. The current difficulties arose when the club sought to carry out building works late last year to make the premises more purpose-fit for boxing. As part of the licence agreement, the boxers required permission from the landlord before any building works could be carried out.
The boxing club says it got permission for the works in writing from the then chairman of Trinity Sports and Leisure Club, Patrick M Byrne. The boxers then applied for funding to the Sports Council.
Last May the Trinity Sports and Leisure Club committee circulated a letter to members and the parents of the boxing club stating it was terminating the boxing club’s licence, had lost its trust in the boxing club, and that the letter signed by Mr Byrne was a forgery.
The boxing club was shocked by this claim, which they say is false and defamatory.
The court heard Mr Byrne later confirmed to the boxing club he did sign the letter, and has sworn an affidavit to that effect.
The club has 80 members and is open to both boys and girls.