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Dublin: 12°C Friday 14 May 2021

Athlone Town settle legal dispute concerning ownership of home ground

The parties’ lawyers reached a settlement this week.

Athlone Town Stadium.
Athlone Town Stadium.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

ATHLONE TOWN AFC have settled the legal dispute concerning ownership of their home ground, Athlone Town Stadium, the club has confirmed.

The dispute involved the football club and a separate company, Athlone Stadium Ltd, whose chief stakeholder had contributed €660,000 to the development of the Lissywoollen ground.

In April of 2018, the High Court ordered the removal of Athlone Stadium Ltd as a trustee of the property. Declan Molloy, who owns 97% of Athlone Stadium Ltd and contributed the €660,000 sum, was instructed to hand over to the executive committee of Athlone Town Football Club the keys to the stadium.

Mr Molloy was also told to hand over any books and records and assign any interest in the lease, other ownership rights and any benefits of an insurance policy.

Athlone Town’s club secretary David Dully had applied to have Mr. Molloy’s company removed as a trustee, alleging that the local businessman had threatened to sell the ground without consulting the club and, at one point, prevented people from training at the grounds and locked the gate.

Athlone Town Stadium A view of Athlone Town Stadium. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The matter was finally settled this week, with the SEE Airtricity League First Division club releasing a statement which confirmed that Lissywoollen will remain Athlone Town’s home into the future.

“The board of Athlone Town AFC is today delighted to announce the full and final settlement of legal proceedings concerning our home ground at Lissywoollen,” it read.

The agreement ensures that the facilities at Athlone Town Stadium will continue to be used by the club’s various teams and for the benefit of the local community at large.

“The resolution of the case to the club’s satisfaction against Athlone Town Stadium brings to an end what was a lengthy and complex legal saga, which Athlone Town AFC had at all times hoped to avoid.

The settlement was formally announced before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys at the High Court this week, following lengthy and detailed discussions between the parties’ lawyers.

“The club would like to offer its sincere thanks and eternal gratitude to team comprised of solicitor Mr Richard Stapleton, and barristers John Paul Shortt SC and Martin Durack Bl.

“The club will not be commenting any further on this matter.”

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