Galway publican agrees to tell former staff of plans to lease bar

Fifteen former employees had secured injunction against owner Stephen Fahy

Hole in the Wall pub in Galway

Hole in the Wall pub in Galway


A temporary injunction preventing the owners and former operators of a well-known Galway city pub offering possession of it to any other person has been lifted following talks.

The injunction was granted earlier this month to 15 former employees of the Hole in the Wall pub who brought High Court proceedings arising out of the “sudden” and allegedly unlawful termination of their employment last April when the pub was closed.

The 15, represented by barrister Tim Dixon, instructed by solicitor Owen Swaine, obtained an interim injunction against the pub’s owner, Stephen Fahy, and the company Stephen Fahy Ltd, which operated the premises.

When the matter came before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds on Thursday, she was informed by Niamh McGowan BL, for the defendants, instructed by solicitor Frances Mahon, said the injunction could be lifted on consent and replaced with an undertaking.

The defendants undertook that should the pub be leased to another party, they will inform the plaintiffs within seven days of the execution of that lease. * 

The settlement came after the defendant’s lawyers told the court they intended to seek to have the temporary injunction set aside.

Previously, the court heard, after losing their jobs, the former staff, some of whom are third-level students, made various complaints about their employer that are pending before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

The former staff members claim Mr Fahy controls the company, which was their employer. The pub was leased to Stephen Fahy Ltd, which also held the seven-day publican’s licence in respect of the premises.

In their action, the former staff members claim Mr Fahy caused the pub to shut down, intends to wind up the company, to transfer the publican’s licence to a new tenant, and divest himself of possession.

They claim, late last month, the company transferred the publican’s licence to Mr Fahy. They claim that should the company be wound up, along with the transfer of possession of the public house to another entity, their situation will be prejudiced and claims they have made as creditors of the company may be defeated.

* This article was amended on Friday, June 28th, 2019, to correct a factual error.