Owners repossess Unicorn extension
A premises housing a piano bar and nightclub, and run as an extension of Dublin’s long-established Unicorn restaurant, has been repossessed by its new South African-based owners.
An order granted yesterday by Judge Jacqueline Linnane, directing the legal take-over of No 5 Merrion Court, Merrion Row, Dublin 2, will almost halve the area of the Unicorn.
The Circuit Civil Court heard that, apart from the Unicorn’s use of No 5 as a piano bar and nightclub, it housed the restaurant’s hot water boiler, staff dressing room, water tank and ice-making machine.
Barrister Jeananne McGovern, counsel for the new owners, told the court that the tenancy rights of the Unicorn’s restaurateur directors, Jeffrey Stokes, Pia Bang Stokes and Giorgio Casari, had ceased to exist over No 5 with the termination on December 31st last of a 35-year lease.
Ms McGovern outlined to the court that Georgina Drum was the plaintiff in the proceedings and legal personal representative of the late Angus Diarmuid Seymour Kinkead Allen, Raleigh Lodge, Musgrave, Durban, and formerly of Killiney Towers, Killiney, Co Dublin.
As part of his will he had left No 5 to Carol Allen, Avenue Fresnaye, Fresnaye, Capetown, South Africa, and Ciaran Allen, Howarth Road, Lane Cove, North Sydney, Australia, who had granted Ms Drum power of attorney.
Ms McGovern told the court defendants Jeffrey Stokes and Pia Bang Stokes lived at The Mill House, Enniskerry Road, Kilternan, Co Dublin, and Mr Casari lived at The Priory, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.
The lease had been assigned to Springmanor Ltd which, to Ms Drum’s information, operated the Unicorn, which ran No 5 as a wine bar restaurant with direct access from the Unicorn.
Springmanor Ltd had gone into liquidation in March 2011 and John O’Connor, solicitors for Mr Allen’s estate, had sought possession of No 5 on termination of the lease. The defendants had baldly asserted an interest in No 5 which was denied.
Ms Drum had alleged in a civil bill that since December 31st last the defendants had been and continued to be unlawful trespassers at No 5.