Two financial funds and receivers appointed over three Dublin housing developments have secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing businessman Patrick ‘Paddy’ Byrne from publishing or distributing allegedly confidential financial information he claims to have.
The injunction was granted in favour of two related financial funds – Emerald Sky II DAC and the related Lotus Decalia DAC – and receivers Myles Kirby and John Healy, who were appointed over properties owned by Dublin-registered housing firm Victoria Homes Limited.
Last year, the plaintiffs appointed the receivers over three developments owned by Victoria Homes, which are currently the subject of proceedings before the court.
The plaintiffs, however, returned to the High Court on Tuesday afternoon, claiming Patrick Byrne, who is the alleged owner and director of Victoria Homes Ltd and a related company Victoria Homes Development Ltd, is threatening to publish “confidential information” he claims to have received about one of the funds.
Represented by Edward Murray BL, the plaintiffs were granted a temporary High Court injunction restraining Mr Byrne, Victoria Homes and Victoria Homes Developments from using, publishing, distributing or disseminating any information he claims to have acquired.
Counsel said that an email from Mr Byrne on April 14th states he has “the whole Lotus loan book accounting to €110 million” including the names and personal contact details of “everyone on the Lotus loan book”.
Counsel said Mr Byrne says the Lotus loan book was sent to his company by somebody working for the financial firms. Details of the loan book “makes great reading” but “not for the Lotus clients involved”, he allegedly says in the email.
In the email, which was read to the court by Mr Murray, Mr Byrne says that he has an excel sheet that includes details including “loan to values and assets owned and risk assessments by Lotus”.
“What a GDPR breach,” the email states.
“I really think we should talk before I go to the relevant authorities about this,” Mr Byrne also says.
The email adds that unless Mr Byrne hears from the plaintiffs by a certain date, he would “blow this out of the water”.
Mr Murray said that while his clients remain sceptical about the claims contained in Mr Byrne’s email, they are concerned about the contents of his message and the risk that confidential information might be put in the public domain.
If he does have information concerning Lotus, Mr Byrne is not entitled to publish it or distribute it, counsel said.
Undertakings were sought from Mr Byrne not to use the material he claims he has but the plaintiffs have not received any response.
Mr Justice Brian O’Moore was satisfied by the evidence to grant a temporary injunction while only the plaintiffs were represented in court.
The injunction is to remain in place until the matter returns to court later this week.
It comes days after the plaintiffs claimed in linked proceedings against the same three defendants that between 20 and 30 men wielding sledgehammers and baseball bats unlawfully tried to take possession of one of the developments placed in receivership.
They allege the gang acted for the defendants in an attempt to take control of a Dublin 14 development, which consists of seven large apartments.
The court heard that both the receivers and the owners placed security personnel at the Dundrum premises in rival attempts to take control of that development.
Gardaí were called to intervene at an alleged stand-off between the parties earlier this month, following which the sides came to an arrangement and departed the site.
The plaintiffs say, however, that the defendants have no right to possession of that, or two other developments, in Dublin 4 and Knocklyon, which were placed in receivership by the funds late last year.
It is claimed the men’s presence on the Dundrum property was an attempt to intimidate and threaten the plaintiffs.
The funds claim the receivers were appointed after Victoria Homes defaulted on agreements to repay loans advanced by the lenders to the defendant.
As a result, the plaintiffs seek various orders from the court granting them possession of the three properties. They also seek orders preventing the defendants from trespassing on the three development sites.
It is accepted there has been no trespass at the Knocklyon and Dublin sites.
The court previously granted the plaintiffs permission to issue short notice of those proceedings against the defendants.
The application regarding those orders will also return before the court later this week.