Court refuses to order return of paintings to baron
A High Court judge has refused to grant the 18th Baron of Inchiquin, Conor O’Brien, a mandatory order for the recovery of his 37 ancestral portraits which hang in Dromoland Castle Hotel.
While also declining to grant Lord Inchiquin an injunction restraining their reproduction pending the hearing of a full trial later, Mr Justice Daniel O’Keeffe said yesterday he felt the status quo should remain as the hotel company could face damages if it was later found the paintings had been unlawfully copied.
Mr Justice O’Keeffe said no ban on reproductions was in the agreement under which Mr O’Brien had loaned the portraits to Dromoland Castle Holdings Ltd. The proceedings were put on the High Court list for mention on October 3rd.
The paintings have hung for decades in Dromoland Castle. The hotel had stated it was prepared to return the paintings to Mr O’Brien who, it agreed, was their owner. It wanted to take copies to cover the wall space laid bare by their return en masse.
The company had denied allegations by Lord Inchiquin that some of the €1.4 million worth of paintings and their gold leaf gilt frames had been damaged.