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Jackie Lavin and Bill Cullen to face off in court over alleged €1m house purchase deal

Lavin claims she has suffered loss and damage as a result of being deprived of the opportunity to buy the house.

Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin at the Iftas in 2015
Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin at the Iftas in 2015
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

JACKIE LAVIN’S HIGH Court action against her partner Bill Cullen and one of his companies over an alleged failure to complete a €1 million deal for the sale of Killegy House in Co Kerry to the businesswoman will be heard in October.

Lavin, of Osberstown House Naas, Co Kildare, has brought proceedings against Glencullen Properties Ltd and Cullen, also of Osberstown House, Naas.

Cullen is the firm’s sole shareholder and a director of the company. In 2012, Ulster Bank appointed accountancy firm Kavanagh Fennell as receivers over the company’s assets including Killegy House, which is located at Muckross, Killarney.

The case was briefly mentioned before Justice Paul Gilligan at the High Court today, who was informed the matter would take five days to hear.

The judge said because of the volume of cases waiting to be heard the court would not be able to hear a five-day action between now and the end of July, when the legal year ends.

Noting that witnesses in Lavin’s action have to travel to Dublin from abroad, the judge said he was listing the case for hearing on 25 October.

In her proceedings, Lavin, who says she is in a committed relationship with Cullen, claims she has been a longtime resident of Killegy House and it is her home.

She claims Ulster Bank created a charge over Glencullen’s assets in 1999, including Killegy House. In 2009, Glencullen sought additional credit facilities from Ulster Bank to allow it continue to trade during the downturn.

The bank, she claims, was unwilling to do this unless €1 million was invested in the company.

Following the sale of a property they had in Florida for $7.25 million (about €6.7 million), Lavin said she agreed to advance Cullen €1 million so he could pay down Glencullen’s liabilities. As part of the arrangement Killegy House would be sold to her.

She said she paid over €757,000 to the company but it has failed to complete the sale of the property to her.

She claims she has suffered loss and damage as a result of being deprived of the opportunity to buy the house. After the company was placed in receivership it secured an order from the Residential Tenancies Board requiring her to leave Killegy House.

In her action she seeks an order for the specific performance directing the sale of Killegy House to her. She also seeks an order prohibiting the defendants from entering into any contract for sale of the property other than with her.

Glencullen denies claim

Glencullen Properties denies the claims and argues that she is not entitled to any of the orders she seeks.

In its defence the company says it accepts Lavin agreed to advance Cullen €1 million so he could loan Glencullen funds to reduce its liabilities.

The company denies the monies were advanced as part of an agreement to sell Killegy to Lavin.

Glencullen says it never agreed to sell her the premises for any sum of money nor is there any contract of sale between the parties. It also says that at no time prior to May 2013 did Lavin mention any agreement involving her buying the property from Glencullen.

The company also says Lavin has failed to comply with the order it obtained requiring her to leave Killegy and has brought enforcement proceedings before the Circuit Court.

Cullen has not delivered a defence to the action.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

Read: Jackie Lavin sues Bill Cullen over alleged €1m house purchase deal

Read: Led by Jackie Lavin, around 60 Irish businesses want compensation from Ulster Bank

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About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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