Former Limerick publican drops legal action over original copy of Amhrán na bhFiann

Aodhan O'Faolain


Aodhan O'Faolain

The receiver took charge of Bourke's Bar, pictured here last year. It has since reopened as a new establishment unconnected to this court action

The receiver took charge of Bourke's Bar, pictured here last year. It has since reopened as a new establishment unconnected to this court action

A LIMERICK descendant of composer Peadar Kearney has withdrawn his application for an injunction against a fund appointed receiver seeking the return of items including a signed original copy of Amhrán na bhFiann.

Lorcan Bourke, a former Garryowen rugby player and a grandson of the late Jack Bourke, three-time Mayor of Limerick, sued receiver Anne O'Dwyer of Duff Phelps Ireland Ltd who took charge of the property where he had operated Bourke's Bar at Catherine Street, Limerick until its closure in 2014.

Last March he was given permission to seek a High Court injunction restraining the receiver from selling his chattels in the pub, including the original copy of the national anthem until the case was resolved.

The application was opposed by the receiver.

This Wednesday, his counsel Vincent P Martin SC told Ms Justice Caroline Costello his client was withdrawing the injunction application as he now knew the new owners of the bar, which was sold in December 2017 and has since reopened.

Counsel said it had been necessary to bring the injunction in order to find out the name of the new owners and said that communication to his client from the receiver had been poor.

Counsel said the case would now proceed to a plenary hearing, and asked that no order for costs be made against his client in regards the injunction proceedings.

Garvan Corkery Bl for the receiver said It was not accepted Mr Bourke needed to bring the injunction application against his client, or that he needed to know the identity of the new owners.

Mr Bourke and his representatives knew the premises were up for sale long before the sale occurred.

The receiver had made it clear that Mr Bourke could have come to collect any items in the bar, adding that his client never had possession nor did anything with the chattels in the bar.

In light of the withdrawal, Mr Corkery said his client was entitled to an order for her legal costs for the injunction proceedings against Mr Bourke.

In her ruling, Mr Justice Caroline Costello accepted Mr Corkery's arguments and said Ms O'Dwyer was entitled to her costs of the injunction application.

The Judge, who put a stay on the costs order pending the outcome of the plenary action, urged both sides to consider resolving the dispute, adjourned the matter.

Mr Bourke, who is a great grand nephew of Peadar Kearney who wrote the lyrics of the national anthem, brought proceedings over items that had been on display in the bar including the signed copy of Amhrán na bhFiann.

He claims the copy was dedicated by Peadar Kearney to Mr Bourke’s great-grandfather, also called Lorcan Bourke, and has been in his family for many years.

Mr Bourke, who claims he does not know where the items currently are, was in talks about getting the items returned and attended at the property last September.

He assumed he would be allowed take what he says are his possessions with him.

While inspecting the premises he noticed that several items were missing and a security guard at the premises refused to allow him to remove any property from the premises.

The pub had to close after the firm he had leased the premises from got into financial difficulties with its bankers.

He said his former landlord's debts were acquired by a fund called Penture Property Finance DAC, who he said appointed Ms O’Dwyer as receiver over the premises in January 2017.

He said following the pub’s closure he had to move to Dublin out of economic necessity. Arranging for the removal of all of his items in the pub was extremely difficult.