Controversial landlord Marc Godart ordered to explain apparent non-compliance with High Court directions

Application over unpaid debt hears separate case involving Godart due before the District Court next week

A former tenant of the controversial landlord Marc Godart can inspect the books and accounts of one of his companies as part of her complaint against the non-payment of compensation she was awarded for an “egregious” illegal eviction from her Dublin home, counsel for the company said on Tuesday.

Lizet Peña-Herrera is seeking an order that Mr Godart, and his parents, René and Denise Godart, be ordered to come before the court to be examined about the financial affairs of Green Label Short Lets Ltd, the company that failed to pay a compensation order for more than €15,000 that was made by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

When the award was not paid Ms Peña-Herrera got an order from the District Court ordering the payment of the debt but the company said it did not have any assets and was effectively no longer trading.

Mr Godart, the sole director of Green Label Short Lets, has engaged senior and junior counsel to represent the company and contest the High Court application, which has now come before Judge Brian Cregan on at least four occasions.


John Kennedy SC, with Liam Bell BL, for Ms Peña-Herrera, is seeking an order that Mr Godart, and his parents, who live in Luxembourg but are connected to the Godart business, be ordered to come before the court to explain the non-payment of the debt. Notice of the proceedings have been served on Mr Godart’s parents.

Gary McCarthy SC, instructed by Vincent Shields, of Shields Solicitors, Cahir, Co Tipperary, for Green Label, said matters concerning the non-payment of a District Court order are a matter for that court.

Mr McCarthy said his junior, barrister Darragh Haugh, was involved in a different case at District Court level where there was to be application to enforce the non-payment of a separate order against Mr Godart personally and examine his assets.

“You can’t forum shop and say I want to use the High Court’s machinery,” Mr McCarthy said. “The High Court can’t use its jurisdiction to enforce an order of the District Court.”

However, Mr McCarthy said his client was consenting to Ms Peña-Herrera inspecting the books and accounts of Green Label Short Lets. It is expected that an order to that effect will be made later.

Mr Justice Cregan said he was very concerned about Mr Godart’s apparent noncompliance with directions from the court that he set out all the Irish property companies with which he is associated and provide information about criminal proceedings brought against Green Label Short Lets in the District Court.

In his resultant affidavit, it appeared Mr Godart had left out four companies with which he was associated and, while he had mentioned a breach of the planning laws in relation to short-term lettings, he had failed to mention a prosecution for a fire safety offence.

Mr Justice Cregan, who was urged by Mr Kennedy to order Mr Godart to come in to court and answer questions about his affidavit evidence, also directed that Mr Godart address an apparent contradiction in his affidavit to the court in relation to whether Green Label Short Lets was active during 2023.

Solicitor Eoghan McMahon, of McGrath Mullan, for Ms Peña-Herrera, in a submission, said Mr Godart has said in an affidavit that Green Label Short Lets had no earnings during 2023, but also averred that, in the District Court, it has pleaded guilty to illegal short-stay lettings during 2023 involving two properties without the requisite planning permission.

Mr Justice Cregan said he was giving Mr Godart “one last final opportunity” and that he should furnish a new affidavit addressing inconsistencies in his earlier affidavit evidence and apparent noncompliance with court directions, or he would have “no hesitation” in ordering that he appear in court to answer questions. He put the case back to May 3rd next.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent