Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Ann O'Loughlin

Wicklow County Council has told the High Court that boxing coach Pete Taylor is not entitled to an injunction preventing it from terminating his and Bray Boxing club’s legal interest in a premises used by boxers in Bray town.

Mr Taylor, who is the father of Olympic and World Champion boxer Katie Taylor, claims the council is wrongfully trying to evict him and the club from a facility, owned by the local authority, located at the Harbour Shed, Bray, Co Wicklow.

Represented by Richard Kean SC, with Gareth Robinson Bl Mr Taylor and Bray Boxing Club Ltd, of which Mr Taylor is a director, seek an injunction restraining from terminating their legal interest in their possession of the premises in the absence of a properly obtained court order.

The applicants claimed Mr Taylor and the local boxing club entered into an agreement to lease the club premises in 2007, and after the lease expired in 2014 remained on under a number of licence agreements.

The injunction, if granted, would remain in place pending the outcome of the dispute. Seeking the order Mr Kean said the court did not have to decide any propriety interests until the full hearing of the dispute.

However, his client fears that if the injunction sought is not granted the council may put another club in the premises rending the action moot or pointless.

The Council, represented by Esmond Keane SC and Carol O’Farrell Bl, opposes the application and says the applicants have no proprietary entitlement to the premises.

Rental payments

Even if the applicant’s case was to be taken at its highest point, Mr Keane said all the applicants have is what is known as a ‘bare licence’ agreement.

It also claims that no rent has allegedly been paid for several years on the premises which the local authority spent over€195,000 to rebuild in 2013.

That type of licence just gives permission to a person to enter onto another entity’s property. Such a licence counsel said can be terminated at any time, without any reason being given.

Counsel also argued that the injunction sought is vague.

Following the conclusion of submissions from both parties Mr Justice Allen reserved his decision. The judge said he would give his decision as soon as possible.

The proceedings were brought after the council changed the locks on the premises in June 2018 after three people, including Mr Taylor were shot at the gym. One of those shot, Mr Bobby Messert was killed in the incident.

Mr Taylor, the club and its members have been out of the facility since then.


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