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Keane firm alleges bid to take back Iveagh Market is 'illegal'

Lord Iveagh 'repossessed' market with clause

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Publican Martin Keane, who is in a legal battle with the council over the market

Publican Martin Keane, who is in a legal battle with the council over the market

Publican Martin Keane, who is in a legal battle with the council over the market

Publican and hotelier Martin Keane is alleging the move by Lord Iveagh to repossess the Iveagh Market in Dublin's south inner city is "illegal".

The claim was contained in new accounts for the business behind Mr Keane's Oliver St John Gogarty pub, in Dublin's Temple Bar, which show the business continued to produce stellar profits before Covid-19 enforced shutdown of the business.

The new accounts for Mr Keane's Drayton House Holdings Ltd show the group recorded pre-tax profits of €4.9m in the 12 months to the end of last February 28.

The accounts addressed the move by Lord Iveagh to repossess the Iveagh Market.

The market, which was built in the early 20th century by the Guinness family, has been derelict for more than 20 years and the subject of a legal battle between the council and Mr Keane.

Last month, the council confirmed that it was notified by representatives for Lord Iveagh, a member of the Guinness family, that he had invoked the "reverter" clause contained in the original Deed of Conveyance dated July 1906. "Lord Iveagh has, in accordance with the terms contained in the Deed of Conveyance, repossessed the property this morning and notified the Council accordingly," a spokesman for the council said at the time.

In a note attached to the Drayton House accounts, it said a subsidiary within the group entered into a contract with Dublin Corporation to redevelop the Iveagh Market site in 2008. The note said a number of legal title issues relating to the premises and site have been ongoing since and still have not been fully resolved.

"In December 2020, action was taken by a third party attempting to take possession of the property," it said.

"In the opinion of the directors, having taken legal advice, the action was illegal and the subsidiary company is seeking legal redress to correct this situation," it alleged.

The note added: "The directors are confident the company's legal action will be successful and the company will be able to proceed with the proposed development of the site."

The note said the title continues to be held by Dublin Corporation, subject to the assertion of the third party noted above and therefore legal title has not passed to the company and will not do so until such a time as the legal matters are resolved and the development is complete.


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