Court vacates legal notice over disputed Dublin development sites

Properties subject of dispute between two businessmen

The High Court has vacated a legal notice registered over three valuable development sites in Dublin which are subject of a dispute between two businessmen.

In a ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Brian O'Moore lifted the notice registered over Glebe House and lands, St Agnes Road, in Crumlin; lands at Annesley House, Rathmines; and the former Europa Motors site at Newtown Avenue, Blackrock.

The owners of the properties had argued the lis pendens, an official notice to the public the property is subject of a legal claim, had paralysed plans to develop the sites and should be set aside.

The notice was registered by builder Johnny O'Loughlin and a company, Mount Pleasant Development Ltd (MPD), against Michael Moran and several firms of which Mr Moran is a director – Seabren Holdings Ltd, Seabren Developments Ltd, Refit Seabren Ltd Company and HITC Properties Ltd.


In their proceedings, Mr O ‘Loughlin and MPD seek declarations they have an interest in the three development sites which are owned by the defendants.

They also seek declarations the defendants hold the properties in trust for the plaintiffs and damages for alleged breach of contract and alleged intentional interference with the plaintiffs’ economic interests.

The claims are denied.

In a preliminary motion before Mr Justice O’Moore, the defendants sought to vacate the lean over the properties at the centre of the dispute.

Paralysed plans

Represented by Gary McCarthy SC, the defendants argued the notice had paralysed plans to develop the sites, including obtaining finance for the proposals, and was not “bona fide”.

It had affected plans to sell over 20 units in Annesley Gardens, which are valued at €31 million; delayed a proposed joint venture to develop over 150 apartments in Crumlin and further affected plans to develop 100 apartments in Blackrock, Co Dublin, it was alleged.

An Bord Pleanála’s permission for the Blackrock site is the subject of separate and unrelated High Court proceedings.

Lawyers for Mr O’Loughlin and MPD opposed the application and argued the notice should remain undisturbed until the full dispute has been determined.

Mr Justice O’Moore said he was prepared to grant the defendants orders vacating the lis pendens registered by the plaintiffs and would give the full reasons for his ruling at a later date.