Developer gains control of board of defective Dublin 8 apartment block

Company wants private owners to pay to fix serious defects in the development

Cathedral Court in Dublin 8. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Cathedral Court in Dublin 8. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

The developer of a Dublin 8 apartment block with serious building defects has gained control of the board of the block’s owners’ management company (OMC).

The Irish Times revealed recently that Sherborough Enterprises, a development company controlled by members of the family that owns the O’Callaghan hotel group, expects apartment owners at Cathedral Court in Dublin 8 to pay more than €5,000 each to repair building defects in an apartment block that it built and still partly owns.

A building surveyor’s report found problems with a large number of balconies at the site in 2016, while a fire-safety survey last year also found shortcomings.

Three members of the O’Callaghan family – Noel, Paul and Charles O’Callaghan – are now on the board after a vote was held at an EGM last week.

Of the four private owners who put their names forward to join the board, two were elected.

Cearbhall Beggan, a private owner who had been on the board alongside Paul O’Callaghan for the last number of years, resigned in protest before the vote took place.

Mr Beggan has continuously questioned the rationale behind charging private owners for the remediation work rather than pursuing the developer first, but his efforts have been stymied by Sherborough, which still owns a majority of apartments in the block and so retains a majority vote on the board of the OMC.

In April 2019, Mr Beggan was chairman of an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) where he blocked a vote that would introduce a €5,300 defects levy on every apartment owner.

Mr Beggan also blocked a vote proposing Charles O’Callaghan, brother of Paul, be added as a director of the OMC.

Removal

After this EGM was held, Sherborough requested Mr Beggan be removed from the board of the OMC and owners were told they would vote on this at the latest EGM.

However, Mr Beggan wrote to the managing agent KPM to inform them of his resignation on the morning of last week’s vote, and asked for the following statement to be added to the minutes of the EGM:

“I do this in protest against recent actions of the O’Callaghans, owners of SEL [Sherborough Enterprises Limited]. The O’Callaghans have a clear conflict of interest, as they are the developers who sold us defective apartments, and are majority members of our OMC.

“They want to force other OMC members to pay to fix building defects in our homes – homes they developed and that we bought from them in good faith and at great expense.

“I just hope that the newly appointed board will be allowed to operate in everyone’s interest to bring the current issues to a fair conclusion.”

The statement was not included in the minutes.

Sherborough was contacted for comment by The Irish Times but did not respond. Noel O’Callaghan is head of the O’Callaghan Collection, a hotel group that includes The Alex, The Green, The Davenport and The Mont hotels in Dublin, as well as The Tamburlaine in Cambridge and The Eliott in Gibraltar.