February 4, 2014

A Letterkenny businessman has been awarded substantial court costs against his former tenant in a battle over unpaid rent on a bar and restaurant.

John G Larkin and his wife Honey outside Letterkenny Courthouse.

John G Larkin and his wife Honey outside Letterkenny Courthouse.

John G Larkin appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court in a dispute with David Mackey who had leased the Millview Bar at Newmills from him.

A previous court sitting heard how Mr Mackey had failed to pay substantial arrears in rent to Mr Larkin.

Last July, Judge John O’Hagan found in Mr Larkin’s favour and ordered Mr Mackey out of the premises within seven days.

Mr Larkin had claimed he was owed up to €150,000 in unpaid rent but Mr Mackey’s solicitor claimed that figure was more like €50,000.

Judge John O’Hagan yesterday asked Mr Larkin how things had gone since he ordered Mr Mackey out of the premises.

John G Larkin said things had generally gone well apart from a kitchen being removed from the premises.

He also complained that a chip-van known as The Millview Diner had been removed from outside the premises and placed up the road when he also was operating a takeaway.

The former Millview Bar and Diner.

The former Millview Bar and Diner.

And he added “I wish he had paid the rent. I’m sorry it went this way but I had no choice.

“It’s a very local community and I want people to know the real story. People think he was paying rent but nothing has been paid since,” he said.

Solicitor Garry Clarke, who was representing Mr Mackey, said his client was now a taxi-driver and had taken a fare to Belfast and could not be in court.

He added that his client had remortgaged his home in a bid to renovate the premises and was now in substantial debt.

Judge O’Hagan said form the previous case he was not impressed with the behaviour of tenant Mr Mackey.

He added that it appeared that he took the view that everything was for his advantage.

He said there was still a situation where there continues to be a large amount of money outstanding and that was a matter for the High Court.

He asked Mr Larkin’s legal team for an idea of their costs and upon viewing them he said he did not think they were high.

He added that he now had no hestitation in awarding costs in the case to Mr Larkin.