Naas resident Jackie Lavin settles case against partner Bill Cullen

Well-known businesswoman brought proceedings over failure to complete €1 million Kerry house deal

Court reporting service


Court reporting service


Naas resident Jackie Lavin settles case against partner Bill Cullen

Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin

Naas resident Jackie Lavin's High Court action against her partner Bill Cullen and one of his companies over an alleged failure to complete a €1m deal for the sale of Killegy House in Co Kerry to the well-known businesswoman has been resolved.

Ms Lavin, of Osberstown House, Naas, Co Kildare had brought proceedings against Glencullen Properties Ltd and Mr Cullen, also of Osbertown House, Naas.

Mr Cullen is the firm's sole shareholder and a director of the company.  In 2012 Ulster Bank appointed accountancy firm Kavanagh Fennell as receivers over the company's assets including Killegy House, located at Muckross, Killarney.  

The case was listed for hearing before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan at the High Court on Wednesday, but was adjourned to allow talks between the parties.

On Thursday morning the court was informed by Bernard Dunleavy SC for the company that the case had been resolved and on consent could be struck out. 

The Judge agreed to strike out the case, which was expected to run for several days had talks between the parties failed to bring about an agreement. 

No details of the settlement, which is understood to be confidential, were given in open court. 

In her proceedings Ms Lavin, who says she is in a committed relationship with Mr Cullen, claimed Killegy House was her home.  

She claimed Ulster Bank created a charge over Glencullen's assets in 1999, including Killegy House.  

In 2009 Glencullen sought additional credit facilities from Ulster Bank allowing it continue to trade during the downturn.

The bank, she claimed, was unwilling to do this unless €1m was invested in the company. 

Following the sale of a property they had in Florida for US$7.25m,  Ms Lavin, represented by instructed by Paul O'Grady Bl and instructed by solicitor Gary Matthews, said she agreed to advance Mr Cullen €1m so he could pay down Glencullen's liabilities. 

As part of the arrangement she claimed Killegy House would be sold to her.  She claimed it failed to complete the sale of the property to her. 

She claimed she suffered loss and damage as a result of being deprived of the opportunity to buy the house.  

After the company was placed in receivership it secured an order from the Residential Tenancies Board requiring her to leave Killegy House.

In her action she sought an order for the specific performance directing the sale of Killegy House to her. 

She also sought an order prohibiting the defendants from entering into any contract for sale of the property other than with Ms Lavin. 

Glencullen Properties denied all the claims and argued that Ms Lavin was not entitled to any of the orders she sought.

In its defence the company said it accepted Ms Lavin agreed to advance Mr Cullen €1m so he could loan Glencullen funds to reduce its liabilities. 

However, the company denied the monies were advanced as part of an agreement to sell Killegy House to Ms Lavin or that it agreed to sell her the premises.

On Wednesday, a lawyer for Mr Cullen told the court that Mr Cullen was not defending the proceedings and that he was supporting Ms Lavin.