British peer loses tenancy of €20m Castletown Cox estate

Former Conservative party treasurer Lord Magan had fallen into rent arrears of more than €570,000

Lord Magan, a member of the British House of Lords, has lost the right to remain at the €20 million Castletown Cox mansion and 500-acre estate in Kilkenny after falling into arrears of more than €570,000.

Lord Magan, a member of the British House of Lords, has lost the right to remain at the €20 million Castletown Cox mansion and 500-acre estate in Kilkenny after falling into arrears of more than €570,000.

 

The High Court has ruled today that Lord Magan, a member of the British House of Lords, is not entitled to a new tenancy of the €20 million Castletown Cox mansion and 500-acre estate in Kilkenny which he had put in trust for the benefit of two of his three children, Edward Magan and Henrietta Black.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt made the declaration at a sitting of the Commercial Court in the absence of Lord Magan, who had claimed that the Jersey-based Trust had taken unlawful possession of the house in a dawn raid in May last year while the house was vacant.

Lord Magan, reported to have been worth tens of millions prior to the financial collapse of banks and other institutions 10 years ago, had rented the property back from the trust for an annual rent in the region of €100,000.

He had fallen into arrears of more than €570,000 and the courts had granted a judgment against him for that amount in favour of Castletown Foundation Limited, which was handling his children’s inheritance through the Jersey trustees.

Magan and his son, Edward, who latterly handled correspondence relating to the legal proceedings against his father, were not in court to hear Mr Justice Hunt’s decision and had taken little part in proceedings after several legal teams had withdrawn from the case.

Mr Justice Hunt said on Tuesday that Lord Magan had reached a stage where he was unable to pay his lawyers, and there was some evidence of a legal move having been made against his residence in London.

The court had been told by Rossa Fanning SC, who appeared with barrister Stephen Dowling for the foundation, that the trust managers, Yew Tree Trustees, Jersey, after borrowings secured on the property by a finance company reached more than €14 million, had decided to bite the bullet and sell Castletown Cox.

An agreement had been reached to sell the house to an unidentified buyer for more than €19 million but the purchaser had insisted on vacant possession, leading to a successful application to have Lord Magan evicted for non-payment of rent.

Lord Magan, formerly George Magan, is a life peer and a former treasurer of the Conservative Party in the UK. He had claimed he was entitled to a renewed tenancy which Mr Justice Hunt dismissed on Tuesday.

He awarded costs against Lord Magan.