Letterkenny Courthouse

Dentist allowed to open clinic again after landlord changes locks

April 29, 2020

A dentist who is carrying out emergency treatment during the Covid-19 crisis turned up at his clinic to find the locks had been changed by the landlord.

Hungarian Dental, of Letterkenny, Co Donegal took an injunction against the landlord Gall Investments after workmen locked them out of the surgery this week.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard how the clinic in Letterkenny is offering emergency dental treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic and has a contract with the HSE for such work.

Barrister for Hungarian Dental, Mr Ivan Toner, told the court how four patients were due to have essential extractions at the clinic this Saturday.

The patients are currently on medication in advance of their planned treatment.

Mr Toner said that a dentist working at the clinic arrived on Monday morning last (April 27th) to find workmen changing the locks.

The workers would not allow the dentist into the building at 11 Main Street, and has also removed notes from the door.

Mr Toner said his client had been a tenant of the original owner Patrick J Doherty since November, 2011 and had paid €866 in rent each month.

However, in May, 2017 the building was put into liquidation and was bought by a vulture fund before being bought by an investment company, Gall Investments of Pearse Road, Letterkenny.

There had been discussions between the new owner and the landlord over a continuation of the lease but nothing had been agreed.

Mr Toner argued that the manner of the closure was entirely wrong and that it was imperative that the clinic re-open to allow for the treatment of patients.

He also said that because workmen had been at the clinic, the premises would now have to be sanitised in advance of the patients coming in for their dental treatment.

There was no appearance on behalf of Gall Investments.

Judge John Aylmer said he agreed and granted the injunction to allow Hungarian Dental to reopen the clinic.

He adjourned the matter until the next sitting of the circuit court in Carrick-On-Shannon and will decide the matter of costs on that date.