Nama receiver wants to sell Dublin city-centre hotel

Receiver can lift legal notice allegedly holding up sale of Lynam’s Hotel, High Court says

Receiver Aiden Murphy had sought an order from Mr Justice Paul Gilligan removing a registered notice indicating legal action was pending over Lynam’s Hotel, Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin.

Receiver Aiden Murphy had sought an order from Mr Justice Paul Gilligan removing a registered notice indicating legal action was pending over Lynam’s Hotel, Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin.

 

The High Court has said a receiver appointed by the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is entitled to an order removing a legal notice alleged to be holding up the sale of a Dublin city centre hotel formerly used to accommodate homeless families.

Receiver Aiden Murphy had sought an order from Mr Justice Paul Gilligan removing a registered notice – a lis pendens – indicating legal action was pending over Lynam’s Hotel on Upper O’Connell Street.

The judge, who noted the proposed sale involves “a significant amount of money”, said he was prepared to allow a stay on his order only until lunchtime on Wednesday to allow lawyers for Theresa Andreucetti, who formerly operated the hotel, ask the Court of Appeal for a further stay pending the outcome of her appeal against his order.

Robert Beatty SC, for Ms Andreucetti, who sought that stay, earlier urged the court not to remove the lis pendens pending the full hearing of the action between his client and the receiver. A number of factual matters between the parties remained in dispute, counsel said.

Contract for sale

Earlier, Eamon Marry, for the receiver, said a contract for sale had been agreed with an unnamed party but the lis pendens registered last September by Ms Andreucetti was holding up the sale.

The businesswoman operated the hotel for many years on foot of a 15-year lease she entered into with the former owners in 2008.

Last year, Ms Andreucetti, Castleknock Road, Dublin 15, brought injunction proceedings preventing Mr Murphy taking possession of the premises after she claimed she had been put out of the hotel. The injunction proceedings were settled on various terms including she would vacate the premises by August 1st last.

Citing concerns for a number of homeless families who had been staying at the hotel, she sought but failed to get an extension to that deadline.

Despite agreeing to vacate the premises, she registered the lis pendens in “an attempt to get back in via the back door”, Mr Marry said. This was an attempt to frustrate the proposed sale and there was no valid basis for the lis pendens, he said.

Mr Beatty urged the court not to remove the lis pendens pending the outcome of the full dispute in which Ms Andreucetti claims the termination of her lease is invalid and unlawful, she should be restored to the premises and the receiver’s actions have caused her reputational damage.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Gilligan said he would vacate the lis pendens for reasons including Ms Andreucetti had not progressed her claim against the receiver with expedition. Ms Andreucetti knew the receiver had intended to sell the hotel once vacant possession was handed over, he said.

He said the full hearing of the dispute should be heard as soon as possible and it was a matter for the potential buyers of the hotel to decide if they wished to proceed with the purchase or wanted to await the outcome of the full hearing. He stayed his order until Wednesday.