Rugby BallPerhaps rugby is replacing property as the Irish obsession du jour. There are many ways in which they overlap. For example, during the property boom, it was not uncommon for sports clubs to sell off some of their lands to developers, in return not only for the cash but also for improved facilities provided by the developers. Just such a transaction was at issue in Hannon v BQ Investments [2009] IEHC 191 (24 April 2009). A rugby club sold some of its property, and the special conditions of sale provided that the developers would grant the club a right of way over the lands being sold to access the club’s remaining property. In particular, special condition 10 provided

There will be reserved in favour of the [club] for the use of the … pitches and the clubhouse a right of way over the roadway having a width of six metres with a footpath on both sides and appropriate public lighting with the location of the said right of way to be decided upon by the [developer] who will consult with the [club] on the Planning Application with regard to the location of the said right of way.

The basic question for the court was whether the developer’s obligation to construct the road arose simply on the completion of the transfer of the property, or was in some sense conditional upon the club putting in “the … pitches and the clubhouse”. (more…)