Court told hearing into dispute over Setanta Centre redevelopment not so urgent
Work on project is pausing for six months due to Covid-19 uncertainty
The Setanta Centre building on Nassau Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan
A High Court dispute about the manner in which €150 million redevelopment works are being carried out at Dublin’s Setanta Centre may be put on hold after the building’s owners decided to pause the project for six months due to uncertainty caused by the Covid crisis.
Printing shop Reads of Nassau Street had brought injunction proceedings against Setanta Centre Unlimited Company, which is controlled by the family of businessman Larry Goodman, over access problems to its store caused by the building works. O’Flaherty’s (Nassau Street) Ltd, owners of Reads, last month secured an injunction preventing an obstruction of access to its premises.
Other issues, including in relation to the manner in which the works were carried out, were left to be decided.
On Monday, O’Flaherty’s asked the Commercial Court to give an early date for a further hearing because of concerns over fire safety.
Declan McGrath SC, for O’Flaherty’s, said the Setanta Centre had been asked for undertakings in relation to fire safety pending trial. He said if these issues were not addressed immediately there was no option but to close the store.
Rossa Fanning SC, for Setanta, said the hearing may not now be so urgent in light of his client’s decision to “pause its works to reconsider and reappraise its plans” for six months in view of the “significant uncertainty created by events of the last four months”.
He said his client needed time to do some clearing works over the next two weeks or so to ensure the building was left in a safe condition.
Mr Fanning said O’Flaherty ’s in their undertaking were seeking fire safety requirements to the satisfaction of their [O’Flaherty’s] experts, and that was not something he could agree to. However, his client was agreeable to meet the broad terms of their demands on fire safety.
Mr Justice David Barniville noted the “significant development” in relation to the ongoing works, and said he was very conscious of the fire safety concerns.
He adjourned the matter to later this week, and said if there is no agreement between the parties he would give them as early a hearing date as possible, either this month or next month.