Businesswoman loses injunction bid to block sale of home

Lucy Ewins is suing Promontoria Scariff Designated Activity Company and receiver David O’Connor

The High Court has agreed to dismiss a businesswoman’s bid for an injunction restraining a financial fund and a receiver from selling what she claims is her Galway home.

Lucy Ewins is suing Promontoria Scariff Designated Activity Company and receiver David O’Connor whom she alleges are attempting to sell her home at The Rise, Knocknacarra, in Galway.

In her proceedings against the defendants, who strongly deny all of the claims against them, she seeks orders including an injunction restraining any trespass at, or any sale of the property until the full dispute has been determined by the court.

Earlier this year she secured permission from the court to bring proceedings seeking the injunction.


However, the application was struck out on Thursday after the defendants said Ms Ewins had failed to progress her bid for the injunction.

Niall Ó hUiggin, for the defendants, said Ms Ewins’s action was one of four sets of similar proceedings taken by her in respect of the property.

Those actions, counsel said, amounted to “an abuse of process” and the injunction aspect of her latest claim should be struck out.

Counsel said that, in her most recent action, Ms Ewins made serious accusations of wrongdoing against his clients that were carried in the national media, which are “fully contested”.

Counsel submitted that she must face the financial consequences of her failure to advance her claim and asked the court for an order requiring the plaintiff to pay his client’s legal costs.

Counsel said that if her overall action was allowed to continue, Ms Ewins should provide his client with a statement of claim in the next two weeks.

Ms Ewins’s lawyers, GN & Co Solicitors, opposed the costs application and asked the court for additional time to speak to their client about the case.

Mr Justice Mark Sanfey agreed to strike out the application for the injunction to be put in place pending the outcome of the claim.

The judge said he was making a costs order against Ms Ewins, but was putting a three-month stay on that order.

In that time, the judge said, he wanted to see the plaintiff make “significant progress” in her main action against the defendants.

Otherwise, said the judge, who noted Ms Ewins’s lawyers concerns about their position, the court would be inclined to agree to any application by the defendants to have the proceedings struck out in their entirety.

The matter was adjourned.

Previously, the court heard Ms Ewins claim the property had been her main residence since 2014.

She rejected the defendants’ claims that the house is an investment property, or that she resides at an address in Rush, Co Dublin.

The mortgage on that property was ultimately acquired by Promontoria in 2018.

She said that repossession proceedings had been issued in respect of the property in the Circuit Court, and in 2020 Promontoria appointed Mr O’Connor as receiver over the property.

She claims the defendants’ agents changed locks in the four-bedroomed house, are trying to market the property for auction, and that a representative of the defendants refused to leave and had slept overnight in the property.

She claims those actions amounted to an unlawful trespass.

She also claims she has been the subject of intimidation and harassment by the defendants for several years.

Her claims are fully denied.