Barne Estate legal representatives have denied claims that any binding contract was entered to sell the 751ac Tipperary property to the Magnier family, court filings reveal.

The legal team for Barne Estate Ltd, Barne Estate trust representatives and Richard Thomson Moore have also counter-claimed against John Magnier, his son John Paul and daughter Kate Wachman, whom they say have slandered the title of the property, causing loss and damage, and thereby preventing the sale of the lands and their access to €22.25m.

The Barne team is claiming damages for this slander of title, amounting to €22.25m plus interest.


Further details of the Barne controversy over who agreed to what and what constitutes a binding legal agreement in relation to the Co Tipperary estate were laid out in documents submitted to the High Court’s commercial court.

Coolmore boss John Magnier and his children have claimed that Magnier agreed and shook hands with Richard Thomson Moore on a €15m deal to buy the land, with an option to buy shares in Barne Estate Ltd, on the evening of 22 August 2023.

However, Richard Thomson Moore has told the court in filings that he is just one of a number of beneficiaries of The Repus Trust, a Jersey-based trust which is the beneficial owner of Barne Estate Ltd, which owns Barne Estate.

As such, the court documents claim, Richard Thomson Moore has no entitlement or ability to bind the trustees to any agreement.

Barne Estate is a 751ac tillage estate outside Clonmel in Co Tipperary.

Thomson Moore denies that he called the trustees on the evening of 22 August. He claimed that no-one present in Coolmore House that night was in contact with the directors of Barne Estate or the trustees of the Repus Trust and the only person contacted was his sister Alexandra Thomson Moore, another beneficiary of the trust.

No approval

It is also claimed that on 22 August 2023, no trustee or shareholder approval existed in relation to selling either the assets of Barne Estate Ltd or shares in the company.

Even if the trustees had been contacted on 22 August, they could not have agreed to anything without further legal and financial advice, the Barne side argued in court filings.

The documents also allege that Richard Thomson Moore’s wife Anna, a solicitor, made it clear at the Coolmore House meeting that no-one in the room “had legal capacity to approve a transaction and that any legal transaction would need trustee approval”, which would not be possible until the following day at the earliest.

It is also claimed that auctioneer John Stokes, also present, informed the group that trustee approval was required.

Land or share option

In previous court filings, the Magniers claimed that they were given the option to buy either the land at Barne or the shares in the company which owns the land, Barne Estate Ltd.

However, the Barne side argues that all subsequent correspondence with the Magniers’ legal team Smithwick Solicitors related to a purported land deal and also noted that correspondence was “subject to contract/contract denied”.

Sale or no sale

The Barne side refers to a sales advice note and letter from estate agents Savills, following the 22 August meeting.

The letter includes the terms “subject to contract/contract denied”, “proposed purchase of Barne Estate” and says that the agreement is “strictly subject to the subsequent conclusion of a written agreement, signed by both parties”.

John Magnier at the Curragh. / Caroline Norris

A tillage agreement between Barne and Coolmore, which saw Coolmore machinery begin to work the land in late August in exchange for €1, is not evidence that John Magnier had beneficial ownership of the land, the Barne side has also argued.

€50,000 in brown envelopes

Court filings allege that John and John Paul Magnier delivered two brown envelopes to the Barne estate on 7 September 2023, each containing €25,000 in cash, for the personal use of Richard Thomson Moore and his sister Alexandra.

The Barne side describes this as “a purported effort to suggest the existence of an enforceable agreement”.

The documents state that Richard Thomson Moore returned the envelopes two days later, via auctioneer John Stokes, to be given to John Magnier.

Read more

Magnier family goes to High Court over Barne Estate

Coolmore’s €15m handshake at centre of Barne Estate court case

Regan signs €20m-plus sale contract for Barne Estate