Gastropub owners told to pay rent arrears to ‘accidental landlord’ IRFU (2024)

When you think of the phrase “accidental landlord”, the IRFU doesn’t come to mind. But while assembling the site for the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in the 1990s and 2000s, it ended up with a property portfolio on its hands. Land Registry records show it owns six redbrick properties on Lansdowne Road, another six on Havelock Square and another handful on Shelbourne Road. In recent years the blazers in charge of the association decided to rent out some of the properties to earn a return. But where there’s a lease, there’s a row.

Last month the Residential Tenancies Board heard a dispute between the IRFU and the tenants of 68 Shelbourne Road, one of the Dublin 4 properties it owns. The tenants, Kevin Arundel and Jillian Mulcahy, owners of the Chop House bar and restaurant in Ballsbridge, have now been ordered to pay €12,000 in rent arrears in three equal instalments of €4,000 over the next three months to the IRFU. They were also ordered to pay another €117 for breaches of their obligations as tenants.

Ironically their gastropub, where the late Anthony Bourdain once said he had “the best f**king meal I’ve ever eaten in Dublin”, is one of the most popular stop-offs with rugby fans heading for the Aviva.

Bambie’s EBU allies

“The EBU is not what the Eurovision is – f**k the EBU,” Bambie Thug declared at the end of the Eurovision final in Malmö last weekend. But a quick look at the movers and shakers in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which most people forget exists until the Eurovision comes about every year, shows that many of those on the receiving end of Bambie’s ire were probably rooting for an Irish win. Carrickmacross native Noel Curran, the former director general of RTÉ, was responsible for much of the tightrope walking over Israel last week in his role as the organisation’s director general. When he strolls around the EBU’s Geneva headquarters, it must seem like a continental Montrose.


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Glen Killane, a former managing director of RTÉ, is the EBU’s executive director of Eurovision Sport, where he is responsible for securing sports rights for public service broadcasters across Europe. Former RTÉ reporter Ray Colgan was Eurovision news editor before leaving last year but Maria Flannery, also formerly with RTÉ, is now working with the EBU as a social newsgathering journalist, as is Cathy Milner, a former foreign editor with RTÉ who is a news editor with the Eurovision news exchange. Several EBU journalists also began their careers with social media intelligence company Storyful in Ireland, including head of social newsgathering Derek Bowler and associate editor Jenny Hauser.

Not forgetting Curran’s wife’s attachment to the Eurovision: Eimear Quinn won it in 1996 with The Voice.

Welcome to Howth-Sur-Mer

Howth is moving ahead with plans to twin with Cap d’Ail, located between Nice and Monaco on the south coast of France, despite opposition from a handful of local groups and councillors, some of whom favoured twinning with Brittany instead. Howth/Sutton Community Council argued there had been a lack of consultation about the plans, which are being pushed by Independent councillor Jimmy Guerin. But attempts to postpone the proposals at a council meeting last month failed and it looks like the north Dublin fishing village is going to formalise its relationship with the very chic Riviera town, where Greta Garbo and Jean Cocteau once had homes.

It makes sense. Dalkey has monopolised the Italian Riviera with its Sorrentos, Vicos and Torcas. Howth-Sur-Mer is the obvious way to go.

High flyer’s house sale

To have one house on Ailesbury Road in Dublin may be regarded as good fortune; to have two may look like extravagance. Dómhnal Slattery, the aircraft leasing magnate, has offloaded one of his piles on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4. Slattery, who stood down from his role as chief executive of aircraft lessor Avolon in 2022, bought Ouragh, developer Seán Dunne and his ex-wife Gayle Killilea’s former digs, in 2017 for €5.6 million. But he hung on to his existing house on the road, renting it out instead of selling.

Now he has offloaded 16 Ailesbury Road for €6.5 million to Diarmuid McKillop, a Monaco-based property developer from Ireland who made much of his money in the UK. McKillop is married to Yana, a well-known fashion stylist, so his new gaff should definitely look the part.

Far-right friction

The row over the leadership of the National Party, including allegations of missing gold bullion, is the gift that keeps giving. The bloviating Justin Barrett, who has quoted Hitler in the past, claimed victory last month when the Electoral Commission rejected conflicting claims by both him and former party vice-president James Reynolds that they should be recognised as the rightful leader of the party.

Barrett claimed the stalemate meant he remained the party’s de facto leader. Now both are campaigning using the name of the National Party against each other in the Midlands-North West European constituency. Reynolds, though, hasn’t given up his dreams of leading the party. Last week he appealed the Electoral Commission’s decision, according to a notice published in Iris Oifigiúil.

If unsuccessful, the next step is the High Court, another way to make gold bars disappear.

Rise of the lefties

The ever-observant Miriam Lord of this parish noted last week that Simon Harris can be seen in the Dáil furiously scribbling notes during proceedings with his left hand. Harris follows in a long line of recent political leaders who favour their left, if not the left. While only a little over 10 per cent of the population identify as ciotógs, Harris is the third to become Taoiseach in recent decades, following on from Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen. In fact, a disproportionate number of southpaws seem to excel in politics. Difficulties with tin openers didn’t stop Ronald Reagan, George Bush snr, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama rising to the highest office.

It’s almost as if this once-oppressed minority is intent on taking over the world. But what do they want? And when will they make their move?

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Gastropub owners told to pay rent arrears to ‘accidental landlord’ IRFU (2024)


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