Eason faces legal action over rent arrears

All non-essential retailers have been forced to temporarily close

Ellie Donnelly

Lindat Limited, which is linked to one of the country’s biggest property developers, Pat Doherty’s Harcourt Developments, has initiated legal proceedings against bookseller Eason.

It is thought the action is in relation to rent arrears.

It is understood the Eason shop in question is located at the Galway Shopping Centre on Headford Road.

The legal action comes at a time when thousands of retailers across the country were last month forced to temporarily close on the back of new Government restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19.

A spokesperson for Eason said: “As a matter of policy we do not comment on our commercial arrangements with any third party or ongoing legal proceedings.

However every action Eason has taken since the start of the current pandemic, which led to the temporary closure of all our stores and continues to have a significant impact on our business, has been designed to ensure the survival of the business and protect as many jobs as possible.”

Eason wrote to all of its landlords in May looking for rent reductions for the next 12 months.

The initial lockdown in Ireland as a result of the pandemic hit retailers brutally hard, with many shut for months and others rapidly losing market share to online vendors.

On the back of this, there has been a burst of court action between landlords and tenants.

Last month pension funds managed by Aviva, one of the largest commercial landlords in the country, initiated legal action against Carpetright over a rent dispute. The shop, which is the subject of the legal action, is located in Co Carlow.

Jervis Shopping Centre in the heart of Dublin has filed action against a number of retailers including New Look and Schuh over rent incurred during the first lockdown.

Eason is also facing a legal action from the landlord of its landmark Shop Street branch in Galway.

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