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CIÉ’s Legal Battle for Control of Dublin’s Skyline

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CIÉ’s Legal Battle for Control of Dublin’s Skyline

CIÉ’s Legal Battle for Control of Dublin’s Skyline
March 06
13:13 2024

In Dublin’s city centre, a legal tussle unfolds as CIE seeks possession of a prime site earmarked for Ireland’s tallest office and hotel building. This comes as Tanat Ltd, a company under the Johnny Ronan-led Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE), faces setbacks in completing the ambitious 22-storey project at Tara Street.

CIE initially entered into a lease agreement with Tanat Ltd in 2015, granting the latter permission to develop the property. Tanat secured planning permission in 2019 for the demolition of Tara House and the subsequent construction of the groundbreaking hotel and office complex.

However, recent developments have thrown a spanner in the works. Last August, Tanat informed CIE of the completion of piling work but noted delays in excavation. RGRE CEO Rory Williams, in a letter to CIE’s CEO Lorcan O’Connor, raised concerns about the project’s planning status, revealing an intention to apply for new planning permission due to the existing clearance expiring in July.

Complicating matters, Williams highlighted the challenging financial climate and RGRE’s engagement with Cantor Fitzgerald to navigate the turbulent market.

CIE, in response, cited extensions granted due to the pandemic and other factors but contended that Tanat’s claim of COVID-19-related delays was not credible. Tanat had benefited from three years’ worth of extensions, and CIE sought possession after Tanat failed to fulfil a €186,500 license fee payment.

Amidst the legal standoff, it surfaced that receivers were appointed to Tanat in November, triggering a separate entitlement for CIE to terminate the lease agreement. Despite Tanat’s willingness to pay, conditional on extended lease terms and a new planning application, the impasse led CIE to initiate legal proceedings.

Recently, the High Court admitted these proceedings to its commercial division, but a twist emerged as Tanat sought arbitration on the matter’s validity and lease agreement construction. Eoin McCullough SC, representing CIE, informed the court of Tanat’s arbitration application, prompting the case’s referral to the President of the High Court for further consideration.

As this legal saga unfolds, the fate of Dublin’s skyline hangs in the balance, with both parties poised for a rigorous legal examination in the pursuit of control over this pivotal development site.


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