Marc Godart firm agrees to pay €15,400 awards to unlawfully evicted tenant

Dispute has now turned to the issue of liability for Lizet Peña-Herrera’s legal fees

Lizet Peña-Herrera, a psychologist from Bolivia who has been living in Ireland since 2008, brought High Court proceedings against Green Label in a bid to enforce two RTB awards she secured in 2022. Photograph: Tom Honan

A company operated by landlord Marc Godart has agreed to find funds to pay an unlawfully evicted tenant the €15,433 it owes as awards from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

The High Court heard that Green Label Short Lets wrote to lawyers for Lizet Peña-Herrera on Wednesday morning to say that, although the firm has no funds, it will find the amount with a “view to bringing some finality” to the issues.

Ms Peña-Herrera, a psychologist from Bolivia who has been living in Ireland since 2008, brought High Court proceedings against Green Label in a bid to enforce two RTB awards she secured in 2022 against the company for a termination notice and an “egregious unlawful eviction”.

She was evicted that year from a property at Vintage Court, Cork Street, Dublin 8, after raising health and safety concerns arising from alleged overcrowding.


The RTB awards were not paid, so she got a District Court order for payment of the debt plus costs. She then issued High Court proceedings.

Mr Godart (35), who is Green Label’s sole director, said on affidavit that the firm has no assets and has effectively ceased operations.

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On Wednesday, Ms Peña-Herrera’s senior counsel, John Kennedy, instructed by McGrath Mullan Solicitors, said Green Label’s letter is “good news” but only came this morning and he has not yet had a chance to discuss it with his client.

Mr Justice Brian Cregan said the agreement to pay Ms Peña-Herrera the full amount owed is an “unexpected development” that is “of course welcome”.

He noted the former tenant’s lawyers are seeking to make Mr Godart personally liable for their legal fees and that she has been “wholly successful in obtaining the amount she was looking for”. He would, therefore, join the Luxembourg national as a co-defendant to the case to ensure fair procedures.

Landlord Marc Godart

Gary McCarthy SC, for Green Label, took issue with the judge’s approach, saying he had prepared for dealing with the question of legal costs that day and the plaintiff had not brought an application for Mr Godart to be joined.

The judge said he did not believe the joining of Mr Godart could come as a surprise and that the move should have been “as clear as a pikestaff”.

Mr McCarthy, instructed by Shields Solicitors, said he represents the company but is “obviously” taking instructions from Mr Godart. He will need to check whether Mr Godart will want to use the same legal team for himself personally.

The judge previously made an order, of the court’s own motion, to direct Mr Godart to give evidence regarding Green Label’s finances and other issues. Mr Justice Cregan said he was not satisfied Mr Godart had set out the full truth of matters on affidavit, so it must question him further including about who the correct landlord was in this case.

However, there was now a question about this plan in light of the agreement to pay Ms Peña-Herrera’s award. He noted Green Label might now argue that questioning Mr Godart is no longer the court’s business.

Ms Peña-Herrera’s counsel, Mr Kennedy, said Mr Godart has sworn affidavits that contain “conflicts”, while Mr McCarthy, for Green Label, said he would “have strong views about the role of the court at that stage”.

The matter was adjourned to a date later this month.

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is High Court Reporter with The Irish Times