Long-running row over Johnny Ronan land deal returns to court

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A dispute involving developer Johnny Ronan over the sale of land and property in the exclusive Brennanstown Road area of ​​Cabinteely, Dublin, has returned to the Commercial Court.

he dispute relates to six lots of land and properties that Mr. Ronan, through his special purpose vehicle RGRE Devco No 7 (RGRE7), agreed to buy for 29 million euros in 2020. The deal was not completed.

The same land had been the subject of litigation in the High Court in 2018 when Mr Ronan brought an action claiming rights of way over the property.

His case was against two companies, Carlovent Ltd and Benreef Ltd, which both went into receivership in January 2012. Nama appointed Declan McDonald and William O’Riordan of PWC as recipients. Claiming the rights of way was heavily contested.

These proceedings were settled in 2020 when Mr. Ronan agreed, among other things, that there were no rights of way. He also agreed to buy the property for 29 million euros, Mr McDonald said in an affidavit.

RGRE7, of which Mr. Ronan is the principal, paid a deposit of €2.9 million with a date of completion of the sale in March 2020.

The Covid pandemic broke out and a new completion date of May 21, 2020 was agreed, Mr McDonald said. A special condition was also agreed that the sale would be terminated, and the deposit lost, if RGRE7 did not end on this new date.

Mr. McDonald says that RGRE7 did not end on the new date and he (McDonald) has found a new successful bidder.

RGRE7’s lawyers then stated that the receiver had no right to cancel the contract of sale and also stated that it would appear necessary for RGRE7 to initiate proceedings to protect its position.

Mr. McDonald says that no procedure has been issued by RGRE7. What happened was that RGRE7 wrote to a rival developer, Tudor Homes, saying that he had been the successful bidder in the new sale and that there were issues regarding rights of way on the property and the contract by RGRE7 to buy the land for 29 million euros. .

RGRE7 warned Tudor of the purchase saying it “will not hesitate” to assert its rights and privileges, the receiver said.

Mr. McDonald says this was a clear attempt by RGRE7 to interfere with the sales process.

He says RGRE7’s claims “fundamentally distorted” the situation regarding the sale.

Accordingly, Mr. McDonald, on behalf of Carlovent and Benreef, asks the court to declare that the contract of sale of RGRE7 for 2020 has been legally terminated, that the deposit of 2.9 million euros has been forfeited and that the defendant has no legal or beneficial interest. to the property.

The receiver also sought injunctions preventing RGRE7 from intervening in the sale to the unnamed third party.

However, yesterday Judge Denis McDonald was informed of this injunction aspect of the case had been resolved by undertakings entered into by the defendants.

The judge admitted the case to the fast-track trade list.

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