Dunnes Stores Unlimited Company v Dafora Unlimited Company

JudgeMr. Justice Mark Sanfey
Judgment Date15 July 2022
Neutral Citation[2022] IEHC 476
CourtHigh Court
Docket Number[Record No. 2020/7625 P]
Dunnes Stores Unlimited Company


Camgill Property a Sé Limited
Dafora Unlimited Company
First Named Defendant


Corajio Unlimited Company T/A as Mr. Price Branded Bargains
Second Named Defendant

[2022] IEHC 476

[Record No. 2020/7625 P]


Lease – Restrictive covenant – Sale of groceries – Plaintiffs seeking to enforce a restrictive covenant preventing the defendants from selling food, food products or groceries from a retail unit – Whether the term “groceries” in the lease extended beyond food or food products

Facts: The plaintiffs, Dunnes Stores Unlimited Company and Camgill Property A Sé Limited, sought at the hearing of the substantive matter to enforce restrictive covenants in a lease (the Unit 4 lease) which prevented the defendants, Dafora Unlimited Company and Corajio Unlimited Company, from selling “food, food products or groceries” from a retail unit at Barrow Valley Retail Park, Sleaty Road, Carlow. The essential issue between the parties concerned whether or not the defendants – trading as ‘Mr. Price’ –were entitled to sell “groceries” which extended beyond “food or food products”. This in turn involved the tendering of evidence, expert and otherwise, as to what exactly was comprised in the term “groceries”. In the event, at the end of a lengthy judgment, the High Court (Sanfey J) concluded that “groceries” was not synonymous with “food or food products”, and extended beyond those terms to include a range of non-food items: [2022] IEHC 342. Sanfey J attempted to provide some guidance as to what, in the context of the lease, could appropriately be classified as “groceries”: paras. 186 and 188 of the judgment. The parties corresponded extensively in an effort to agree the orders; when agreement could not be achieved, Sanfey J convened a hearing at which counsel for both sides made submissions as to the appropriate orders. Both sides prepared draft orders which they considered contained appropriate orders which reflected the terms of the judgment. The plaintiffs sought a wide range of orders which had been set out at para. 1-7 of the reliefs in the statement of claim which sought enforcement of the restrictive covenants in general terms. The defendants eschewed that approach, and drafted the substantive order to reflect the findings of the court summarised at para. 188 of the judgment.

Held by Sanfey J that as the effect of his findings as to the meaning of the word “groceries” meant that the defendants were in breach of the provisions of Clause (20) of the Second Schedule of their lease, he would make an order in terms of para. 2 of the reliefs sought in the statement of claim. It did not seem to him that orders in terms of paras. 1 or 3-7 were necessary. He held that he would make orders which reflected the findings at para. 188 of his judgment.

Sanfey J held that, in relation to ancillary orders, the plaintiffs were entitled to the costs of the action to date, to include all reserved costs or costs in the cause, including the costs of the interlocutory injunction to which he referred at paras. 20-26 of the substantive judgment. He held that he would order that execution on foot of the order for costs be stayed for a period of twenty-eight days next following the perfection of the Court’s order and, in the event of any appeal to the Court of Appeal being filed in that period, that the stay continue in force pending the determination of the appeal.

Orders granted.

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Mark Sanfey delivered on the 15 th day of July 2022 .


. This ruling relates to the orders to be made on foot of a substantive judgment which I gave on 3 rd June, 2022: see [2022] IEHC 342. The parties corresponded extensively in this regard in an effort to agree the orders; when agreement could not be achieved, I convened a hearing at which counsel for both sides made submissions as...

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