But in High Court papers seen by the Sunday Independent, Mr White claims that he is owed €125,500 in unpaid rent and that, apart from one payment of €19,400 in August, he hasn’t received rent for several periods during 2010.
Mr White, with an address in Wellington Road, Dublin, and his Isle of Man-based property company Blue Nile Holdings, have taken the case against Mr John Shanahan, the wealthy America-based businessman and owner of JMS International.
The yearly rent for the plush Georgian building on St Stephen’s Green, where the owner’s son Sean Shanahan is believed to have an apartment, is €500,000 a year.
Like many other restaurants, Shanahan’s is engaged in on-going attempts to re-negotiate its rent downwards, but talks between the landlord and the directors of the company have yet to be finalised.
In a letter marked ‘strictly private’, Mr White, one of Dublin’s most respected property owners, told Shanahan’s manager Martin Clegg that he was “naturally concerned that the economic slowdown has had such a dramatic effect on Shanahan’s business”.
“The present economic downturn is affecting everybody and there is no guarantee as to how long it will last,” he says. “Mr John Shanahan has of course personally guaranteed the rental payments and we have no doubt he is an honourable man.”
He adds: “We therefore feel the answer to the current situation is for Mr Shanahan to support his venture, as many other business owners have had to do, until such time as the economy improves.”