The High Court has ruled that the operator of a sports club at Leopardstown racecourse breached a mediation agreement designed to settle a long- running row between it and the racecourse owners.
Mr Justice Peter Charleton yesterday held that Templeville Developments, the company whose principal is businessman Philip Smyth, in operating the sports facility had demonstrated "no commitment" to the mediated settlement agreement.
The court also ruled that Mr Smyth must pay the racecourse owners, who the judge said were deprived of substantial monies for unpaid rent and other charges, €1.5 million, while Templeville must pay €2.18 million.
Templeville has tennis courts and a soccer pitch in two huge inflatable domes on the racecourse as part of its Westwood gym and fitness centre under the terms of a lease agreement, of which Mr Smyth is a guarantor.
Mr Justice Charleton said this was a case involving “neighbours who do not get along” in “a dispute that continued over decades”. However, “no neighbour should have put up with the conduct evident in this case from Templeville,” he added.
He said there was no evidence of misbehaviour by Leopardstown but he would not make a lease forfeiture order, as Leopardstown had sought, if certain steps were taken. Mr Justice Charleton said Templeville must be restructured and at least two new directors brought in “from outside the sphere and influence of Philip Smyth”.