The High Court is being asked to first determine who is the legal owner of Dublin’s former Iveagh Markets building in a dispute between an Irish businessman, an English Lord and the city council.
The decision will determine whether publican and businessman Martin Keane, who had been in occupation in anticipation of redeveloping the property since 1997, and his companies, can go ahead with an action for trespass and possession arising out of his eviction from the premises in 2020 by the successor to the original owner, Lord Iveagh.
Mr Keane, and three of his companies, Slatterys, Traditional Iveagh Market and Iveagh Market Hotels, are suing Arthur Edward Rory Guinness (otherwise Arthur Rory Edward Iveagh), the successor of the First Earl of Iveagh who built the market in the Liberties in the early 1900s.
Mr Keane and his companies seek an order for possession of both the market building and associated land as well as damages for trespass and unlawful interference with business relations and conspiracy.
Mr Guinness/Lord Iveagh denies the claims and has counterclaimed that the Keane side are the trespassers and that they have damaged the premises which is a protected structure and national monument.
There are separate proceedings relating to title between the Guinness side and Dublin City Council which claims it is the owner arising out of the building having been gifted to the city by the first Lord Iveagh in 1906 with a condition that ownership reverted if it ceased to be used as a market.
On Tuesday, Mr Justice Michael Twomey began hearing an application from the Keane side for the case to be heard on a modular basis with the issue of who owns the building dealt with first and the issues of trespass and damages dealt with later.
The court heard the city