CIÉ agrees to arbitration for case seeking possession of Johnny Ronan-tied site

Tanat secured planning permission in 2019 to demolish the existing Tara House on the site to build a hotel and office block

Parties involved in a legal dispute over the Dublin city centre site earmarked for a 22-storey office and hotel have agreed to try to settle their differences out of court through private arbitration.

Córas Iompar Éireann (CIÉ), a public transport provider and one of the country’s largest landowners, issued court proceedings last February seeking possession of its Tara Street site where a Johnny Ronan company has begun work on the “landmark” development.

The semistate company alleges there is no prospect that Tanat Ltd, which is part of Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE), will manage to complete the project within a time limit set out in a 2015 lease agreement.

Tanat secured planning permission in 2019 to demolish the existing Tara House on the site to build a hotel and office block. Last August, Tanat told CIÉ that piling work had been completed but excavation works were delayed.


In February, RGRE chief executive Rory Williams told CIÉ that works would not be completed before the 2019 planning permission is due to expire this July. RGRE intended to apply for new planning permission, he said.

CIÉ claims the 2015 lease agreement was for five years, with a further year to complete the project. The organisation granted several extensions due to the pandemic and, although Tanat is entitled to another year for completion, there is now no prospect works will finish in that time, CIÉ alleges.

It says it sought possession of the site last November after Tanat failed to discharge a licence fee of some €186,500. Tanat said it would pay the sum but only if CIÉ agreed to further extend the lease agreement and consented to the making of a new planning application.

CIÉ says receivers were appointed to Tanat last November on foot of a charge held by Bank of Ireland. This gave rise to a separate entitlement of CIÉ to terminate the lease agreement, it claims.

Tanat was allegedly given until last January 22nd to deliver up possession of the site but failed to do so, causing CIÉ to issue proceedings against it.

Tanat cited a clause in the lease agreement in support of its motion asking the court to refer the proceedings to arbitration, which is a private dispute resolution mechanism involving a neutral third-party decision-maker.

On Tuesday, Mr Justice David Barniville, president of the High Court, was told Tanat no longer sought a court order for arbitration as CIÉ was consenting to the move.

He struck out Tanat’s motion with the parties’ consent.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter