Firms linked to Marc Godart fined for ‘egregious’ planning law breaches

Businessman and his mother avoid prosecution after companies accepted responsibility for unauthorised Airbnb lettings

Landlord Marc Godart has avoided prosecution for “egregious” breaches of planning laws through unauthorised Airbnb lettings in Dublin after two firms he directs accepted responsibility, were fined €7,500 and agreed to pay legal costs.

Dublin City Council initiated proceedings against Mr Godart, a Luxembourg businessman with property holdings in Ireland, under the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2003. Conviction can result in fines of €5,000 per charge and/or a sentence of up to six months.

Mr Godart faced six charges, Green Label Property Investments Ltd, of which he is a director, faced five, and Capel Grand Inn Ltd, of which he is secretary, had a single count on its summons. His mother, Denise Godart, faced three related charges as a Green Label Property Investments Ltd director.

The case stemmed from complaints about unauthorised short-term lettings, booked through Airbnb, at three Dublin 1 properties – 11 Capel Street; Block G, The Foundry, Beaver Street; and Unit 2A, The Forge, Railway Street. Inspectors last year found some of the bedrooms being let were windowless and others were in former shop fronts.


The council had sought an “urgent” hearing date of the matter but on Wednesday it withdrew the charges against the Godarts and dropped most charges subject to guilty pleas on three counts. They related to lettings at the three properties operated by Capel Grand Inn Ltd and Green Label Short Lets Ltd, which was amended from Green Label Property Investments Ltd.

The Godarts were not present or required to attend the hearing.

James Cosgrave, a planning enforcement officer with the council, told Judge Mark O’Connell that he responded to complaints made last June and carried out inspections at the three properties.

He agreed with prosecution solicitor Michael Quinlan that he was satisfied offences had taken place based on his inspections.

Mr Quinlan said the council had instructed him to remind the court that, at the time, these were “quite egregious breaches of short-term letting regulations”.

Mr Cosgrave agreed with defence barrister David Staunton that the company director facilitated access and it was demonstrable that alterations had been made to buildings or were about to commence at one of the locations, which is currently unoccupied.

'He must be fired immediately' - how landlord Marc Godart punishes employees for cooperating with the authorities

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The two firms had no prior convictions and Mr Staunton said the guilty pleas were of value as it would now be difficult to obtain some evidence from parties no longer present at the three locations.

In mitigation, counsel said the defendants agreed to pay costs “which were not unsubstantial” and he asked the court to note the evidence of co-operation.

Judge O’Connell agreed but noted the mitigating factors and imposed fines totalling €7,500, which, along with the costs, must be discharged within four months.

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