Rooskey hotel intended for asylum seekers centre of legal dispute

Company which wants to develop property for tourism claims it entered agreement to buy property

The 39-room Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey, near the border between Leitrim and Roscommon, is the subject of proceedings between Paradub Ltd, which wants to develop it as tourist hotel, and businessman James Kiernan, owner of the property. Image: Google Street View

The 39-room Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey, near the border between Leitrim and Roscommon, is the subject of proceedings between Paradub Ltd, which wants to develop it as tourist hotel, and businessman James Kiernan, owner of the property. Image: Google Street View

 

A hotel at the centre of a legal dispute is intended to be opened as accommodation for asylum seekers in early January, the High Court has heard.

The 39-room Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey, near the border between Leitrim and Roscommon, is the subject of proceedings between Paradub Ltd, which wants to develop it as tourist hotel, and businessman James Kiernan, owner of the property.

The hotel closed in 2011 and Paradub claims it entered in 2016 into an agreement to buy the hotel for €600,000 from Mr Kiernan, of Glenart Avenue Blackrock, Co Dublin, which he has failed to complete.

Paradub initiated High Court proceedings in 2017 after it discovered from local media reports a plan had been put in place to use the property to house asylum seekers.

The company claims this breaches the purchase agreement and is an attempt to frustrate the sale of the property.

Pending the full hearing of its case, it wants various orders, including an injunction restraining the defendant entering into any agreement to lease, transfer and dispose of the property to any other person other than Paradub.

Mr Kiernan denies the claims against him and opposes the injunction application.

When the case was briefly mentioned before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds on Thursday, Padraic Lyons BL, for Mr Kiernan, said his side had served the plaintiffs with a sworn statement in reply to the injunction application.

Counsel said an agreement was in place between his client and another party in relation to the use of the hotel.

That third party had entered into an arrangement with the Department of Justice for the hotel to be used as accommodation for asylum seekers from January 7th next.

It was a matter for the plaintiff if it wishes to join this third party to the proceedings, counsel said.

Jack Tchrakin BL, for the company, said his side only recently received the defendant’s sworn statement and needed time to consider its contents.

Ms Justice Reynolds, noting the urgency of the matter, adjourned the case to next week.

In its proceedings, Paradub claims an option agreement for sale of the hotel was entered into in 2016 between the company and Mr Kiernan.

It claims the option was to be exercised by December 2017 but, when the company sought in October 2017 to exercise it, Mr Kiernan ignored their requests to issue draft contracts.

The company initiated these proceedings against Mr Kiernan in 2017 and also issued a lis pendens, an official notice that a lawsuit involving a claim on a property has been filed, against the hotel.