Ex-couple in battle over property firm accuse each other of affairs and betrayal A businesswoman has sued her former partner claiming she is entitled to a share in a property business they built up together over many years.

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Tim Healy

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  • Ex-couple in battle over property firm accuse each other of affairs and betrayal
    Independent.ie
    A businesswoman has sued her former partner claiming she is entitled to a share in a property business they built up together over many years.
    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/excouple-in-battle-over-property-firm-accuse-each-other-of-affairs-and-betrayal-37815369.html
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A businesswoman has sued her former partner claiming she is entitled to a share in a property business they built up together over many years.

But the High Court action involving a couple, who once enjoyed a yacht and luxury home in France, has involved claims of sexual affairs from both sides, as well as trespass and betrayal.

The action has been brought by Ali Barker against Owen Owens with an address at Rochfort, The Burnaby, Greystones, Co Wicklow and a company he founded, Dunbury Holdings. Ms Barker seeks various declarations, including that the company constitutes a quasi-partnership between her and Mr Owens, and they are entitled to 50pc each of the equity in the partnership.

Ms Barker, of Hillcourt Park, Glenageary, Co Dublin, further seeks a declaration that she is a cohabitant within the meaning of the 2010 Civil Partnership Act and also seeks damages.

The claims are denied by Mr Owens. He says no business partnership ever existed between him and Ms Barker.

The couple split in 2010, after 17 years together. She claims she and Mr Owens got together after her marriage to another party didn’t work out.

She claims shortly after they got together, she, on his invitation, quit her job in the retail business, and worked with him in the property business. In 1999 they had a daughter together.

She claims she added to the business and helped it build a substantial portfolio by acquiring commercial and residential properties. She became a director of the firm in 2002 and was paid a salary in 2005.

She claims the business allowed them to enjoy a privileged lifestyle. They had a substantial home in Wicklow, a €1.6m holiday home in Mougins, France, a personal staff contingent, luxury vehicles, a 47ft yacht, horses, luxury travel, and significant spending power.

In 2010, the relationship broke down, and there were difficulties between the two.

Ms Barker claims Mr Owens had cynically engineered a situation to end their relationship in order to deprive her of the rights she would have been entitled to under the Civil Partnership Act.

She also claims Mr Owens commenced a relationship with a friend of hers, which she believes began when they were still together.

In his defence and counter-claim, Mr Owen says he never provided a guarantee of lifelong security. The only business relationship he had with her was from 2005 to 2010 when she was a salaried employee of his business.

He rejects claims his behaviour towards her deteriorated in 2010. He said it deteriorated due to Ms Barker’s conduct.

In 2009 he said he became aware that Ms Barker, then in her mid-40s, had been involved in sexual relationships with men living near them, who were considerably younger. He claims they were aged in their 20s while another was a married man.

He also rejected claims he cynically engineered a situation to deprive her of protections under the 2010 Act and says she has no entitlements under the act which commenced in January 2011, when their relationship ended in April 2010. His new relationship commenced after his and Ms Barker’s had ended.

In his counter claim, he seeks orders including for possession at the house she resides at in Glenageary. He also wants the court to order Ms Barker and others, including her current partner, to vacate and “cease trespassing” at that property.

The case before Mr Justice John Jordan continues.

Irish Independent

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