Council may get control of Dartmouth Square

Monday 19 October 2009 11.48
Darthmouth Square - Sold it in 2005
Darthmouth Square - Sold it in 2005

Dublin City Council is expected to regain control of Dartmouth Square park after developer Noel O'Gara's company was wound-up by the High Court today.

Mr O'Gara bought the park in 2005 for €10,000 and closed it to the public for a number of years while he engaged in a series of disputes with Dublin City Council.

Today the High Court wound-up Mr O'Gara's company Marble and Granite Tiles whose sole asset is the Dublin 4 park.

The Council had pursued Mr O'Gara for legal costs of over €40,000 after it went to court and successfully stopped Mr O'Gara from opening a car park and then a tile showroom in the park.

The High Court has appointed Jim Hamilton of BDO Simpson Xavier as provisional liquidator.

Today, Mr O'Gara said the ruling was 'ridiculous' and that he would be appealing to the Supreme Court.

He claims that the Council owe him €500,000 over the compulsory purchase of two other city properties.

Labour Cllr Oisín Quinn said he expected the Council to take over as caretaker and to eventually get the park in-lieu of the money owed.

'This is a good day for the public and the residents of Dartmouth Square. I am glad Mr O'Gara was pursued for costs because for too long he had been thumbing his nose at residents and the council,' he said.

Last December Mr O'Gara was fined €1,000 with over €2,600 in costs after tents were erected in the park.

The Co Westmeath businessman claimed in the District Court that he intended to operate a farm on the two-acre park and that the tent was for an employee.

The council was granted a compulsory purchase order for the park in 2006 but did not proceed fearing it could be forced to pay a 'financially prohibitive award' to Mr O'Gara.

Last June Mr O'Gara allowed local residents to clean-up and re-open the park.