Nine One One must leave Esso garages

Food service company not entitled to assert tenancy

Food service company Nine One One Retail must leave 32


garages by the end of February next year, the

High Court


has directed.

Nine One One had sought to remain in the garages until the end of May 2014, arguing it needed that amount of time to address several issues, including the entitlements of employees. Maurice Collins SC, for Esso, said Nine One One should have vacated the premises by June 2012 at the latest.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern said he would place a stay until February 28th, 2014, on his order directing Nine One One to vacate the premises but any further stay would have to be sought from the Supreme Court should the company decide to appeal.

He also awarded legal costs against Nine One One.

The judge was making final orders arising from his judgment earlier this month upholding claims by Esso and Ireland Roc, which respectively own and operate the 32 premises, that Nine One One was not entitled to remain in occupation on foot of operating agreements and licences which had expired.

Nine One One, under an agreement of 2001, entered into an agreement with Esso to provide food facilities at the Esso service station at Sandford Road, Ranelagh, Dublin, and similar arrangements were entered into concerning 31 other service stations under an operating agreement of June 2002.

Esso claimed the existing operating agreement, having been extended in May 2012 for another year, was to end in June 2013.

In May 2013, it issued a notice of termination but Nine One One argued the operating agreement was not validly terminated and continued to operate the food services.

Esso then initiated proceedings alleging Nine One One was in unlawful occupation. Nine One One denied the claims and counterclaimed for damages on grounds including alleged breach of contract.

Mr Justice McGovern concluded Nine One One was not entitled to assert a tenancy or to an additional or extended notice period in relation to Esso’s termination of the operating agreement.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times