Pub tenant given one week to leave disputed bar

A Letterkenny business man has been given seven days to hand over a disputed bar/restaurant business to its owner after withdrawing his defence in a civil Circuit Court action on Monday.

A Letterkenny business man has been given seven days to hand over a disputed bar/restaurant business to its owner after withdrawing his defence in a civil Circuit Court action on Monday.

David Mackey, who ran the Mill View Bar and Restaurant in Newmills, Letterkenny, initially defended an action brought by the premises owner, John G Larkin of Strackernagh, Churchill.

The case heard at one point in the “strained commercial relationship” there was a “wild west” style stand off between the two parties during a heated incident when the owner tried to evict the client by entering the building to change the locks.

Mr Larkin claimed his tenant owed him over €150,000 in rent arrears from a leasing agreement dating back to 2010 and other arrears for works carried out in conjunction with Mr Mackey, including the refurbishment of ten new bedrooms intended for a B&B into a single restaurant and also repair work after the bar was water damaged by leaking pipes during bad weather a number of years ago.

Mr Larkin said Mr Mackey had not paid the insurance premium against such damage and they repaired the building between them with Larkin claiming to have carried out the majority of it. He said in 2011 he only received approximately 26 weeks of rent for the year and some payment cheques had bounced.

Rent was €1,450 per week for the bar and diner business with a further €150 per week for “Flavours Restaurant” when it was created from rooms planned for accommodation at a cost of €60,000, the court heard.

Larkin served notice to quit on his tenant on February 10, 2012, but they remained on site and continued trading resulting in the him taking action to reclaim the business by changing the locks.

Defence barrister, Seamus Breen, BL said his client admitted to owing rent arrears of approximately €50,000, adding he had paid the owner over €300,000 since the lease began, which the plaintiff refuted.

Later in the afternoon, following deliberation with his client, Mr Breen said he was withdrawing his defence and counter claim and sought a 28 day stay to cease trading.

Counsel for the plaintiff, Paul Kelly BL, said they would seeking his immediate vacation of the building and costs.

Judge John O’Hagan granted David Mackey seven days to leave and ordered him not to interfere with the assessments. The case was adjourned until July 29.