A west of Ireland Lotto syndicate has won its Supreme Court appeal to keep its Lotto winnings among four members, instead of sharing them with a fifth member.

A High Court order had ruled previously that a fifth man was entitled to a share of a €2m Lotto prize won in 2001.

Martin Horan of Carragown, Bohola, Castlebar had claimed he was the fifth member of the syndicate when it won the Lotto jackpot. But the syndicate said he had been excluded three months earlier because he had fallen into arrears.

The five-member syndicate was set up nine years ago.

Mr Horan claimed he had been allowed fall into arrears and the syndicate leader Seamus O Brien had agreed to pay his contribution.

Four years ago the High Court ruled in his favour and said he was still a member of the syndicate because of this arrangement and should receive his €400,000 share.

But the Supreme Court has overturned that decision and ruled that Mr Horan was not a member of the syndicate when the winning ticket was bought.

The court found that the stake for the winning ticket had been reduced by £1.50 - clearly indicating that by January 2001 there were only four and not five members.

The court also found that the original agreement only permitted those who had paid their stake to share the winnings and it could not be changed without agreement from all members.

The court also awarded costs for the High Court and Supreme Court hearings against Mr Horan.