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Novalong still control GAA’s New Eltham site

The site at New Eltham, GAA
The site at New Eltham

NOVALONG remain in control of future development at the former headquarters of London GAA, the Irish Post can reveal.

A media report by the Irish World newspaper led some to believe the Irish developer recently backed away from a deal to develop the site in New Eltham, after filing a lawsuit against the trustees of the GAA.

But research carried out by The Irish Post indicates that the company still holds an option on the site.

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Documents obtained through the Land Registry further show an application “pending” on behalf of Novalong.

At time of going to press on Monday, the Land Registry confirmed there was “activity” on the title register of the site. This prompted a further search which showed that Novalong had an application pending.

The current title deeds names Michael Dermot O’Brien – one of the original trustees – as the sole proprietor of the disputed site.

The title refers to a unilateral notice in respect of an Option Agreement dated 29 June 2001 made between the trustees of the GAA, Novalong Ltd and Keeney Construction Ltd as varied by a supplementary agreement made between the same parties dated October 5 2005.

The Land Registry press office said the names on the title represented the current status of the site and stated that names would only be removed on request from solicitors, in this case representing the GAA.

However, nearly one month after a scheduled High Court meeting between both parties, one of the original trustees, Michael Dermot O’Brien, remains the named proprietor with a “caution” remaining in favour of Novalong.

This unilateral notice affects the right of the GAA to “dispose” of the site while the more extensive search of Land Registry information states that Novalong have a priority on the site.

Previously, The Irish Post reported that terms had been settled in relation to the option agreement.

Croke Park’s head of media relations, Alan Milton would only say that a statement would hopefully be released in relation to the future of the site “in the next day or two”.

London GAA chairman Noel O’Sullivan said a “joint statement is expected in the very near future”.

Based on information obtained through the Land Registry, The Irish Post expects this statement to confirm that Novalong and GAA will cooperate to develop the site, with Novalong holding the fresh option.


Robert Mulhern

Robert is a freelance news and sports journalist. He is also the author of A Very Different County and creator/producer of Sex, Flights and Videotapes for RTE's Doc on One. Follow him @MulhernRobert on Twitter

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