Stokes twins claim unfair dismissal by new Residence boss
RESTAURANTERS Christian and Simon Stokes have claimed they were unfairly dismissed by owners of their former venue The Residence club.
The twin brothers are now seeking compensation from the new owners Molana Ltd.
The pair were once regarded as the poster boys of the Celtic Tiger era when they ran the exclusive private members club on St Stephen's Green along with their former restaurant Bang on Merrion Row.
Molana Ltd was set up by millionaire businesswoman Olivia Gaynor Long after buying the club from a receiver in 2010.
Counsel for Molana Ltd., Paul Fogarty claims the brothers were hired on a consultancy contract that paid them each €1,000 a week plus €50 in expenses to work as interim managers of the club during a transition period. The brothers will argue that they were hired as employees on a salary.
The hearing at the Employment Appeals Tribunal was adjourned to May 15 and 16 following procedural arguments yesterday.
The exclusive restaurant and club commanded a joining fee of €250 plus an annual subscription fee of €1,600 after opening in May, 2008. Rock star Bono and Hollywood star Jonathan Rhys Meyers were among the A-list celebrities and socialites who once patronised the exclusive club.
However the club was seized by the banks and put into receivership in January 2010 by the High Court which refused to extend court protection to Missford Ltd., a holding company set up by the brothers.
High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly was highly critical of the brothers when it emerged during the hearing that they had not been passing their 58 employees' tax and PRSI payments to the Revenue Commissioners, to whom they owe €1.2m., and had used the money to subsidise the business. He called it a "form of thieving".