Focus Ireland Shine a Light Night 2020

On Friday 16th October, Jerome O’Sullivan, David Pearson and John Fuller (Team JWOD) will be leaving the comfort of our beds for one night to sleep-out in the grounds of St Peter’s Church, North Main Street, Cork on Shine a Light Night to support people experiencing homelessness and raise vital funds for Focus Ireland. Whilst you are tucked up in bed, we will be sleeping on cardboard battling Ireland’s cold and possibly wet weather with just a sleeping bag and a cup of soup. We greatly appreciate the generosity of the team at St Peters Church in facilitating us on their grounds

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a huge challenge for us all, and it has been particularly challenging for the many men, women, families and children who are homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Focus Ireland relies heavily on support from business leaders on Shine a Light Night to raise vital funds for their work, and we need to support them now more than ever.

People experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable in society and Focus Ireland have seen a 49% increase in the demand for their services throughout the pandemic. People experiencing homelessness are more likely to have an underlying health issue and are unable to follow basic COVID-19 recommendations to stay at home and keep socially distant from other people.

We were shocked to realise that there are over 8,728 people homeless in Ireland and over 2,650 are children. We have signed up to host a virtual sleep-out so we as individuals and J W O’Donovan can play our part in helping Focus Ireland provide vital prevention services and change people’s lives. Focus Ireland believe that homelessness can be ended and work to break the cycle of homelessness by giving people access to information, housing, childcare and a range of education services throughout Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford, Clare and Wexford.

As a valued client we are now asking for your help. You can help to end and prevent homelessness in Ireland by sponsoring me to take part in the virtual sleep-out. We have committed to raise €15,000 by 16th October, so please demonstrate your solidarity by sponsoring Team JWOD today.

To sponsor us, go to our fundraising page or send a cheque to us made payable to ‘Focus Ireland.’

Please give what you can as every donation is greatly appreciated; together we can help to change the homeless landscape across Ireland and be a part of the difference in people’s lives.

Kind Regards

JW O’Donovan LLP



The Government has published a Code of Conduct between Landlords and Tenants for Commercial Rents as a response to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the resulting difficulties experienced by many businesses in meeting their lease obligations in rented property.  This Code of Conduct appears to be very similar to the Code of Practice for Commercial Property Relationships during the COVID-19 Pandemic published by the UK Government in June.

Why have a Code of Conduct and what will it achieve?

The stated intention of the Code is to “promote and reinforce good practice in landlord and tenant relationships as they deal with income shocks caused by the pandemic”.  It is important to note that it is a voluntary code with no statutory basis.  Landlords and tenants both remain obliged to comply with the contractual obligations in the relevant leases and the underlying principles of Landlord and Tenant law.  In theory therefore, both parties can choose to ignore the Code, and landlords in particular are not prevented from pursuing debt recovery, ejectment and other proceedings where tenants have not complied in full with lease obligations.  It is likely however that when any such proceedings come before the courts, regard may be had to the extent to which either or both parties acted in accordance with the Code.  For example, a landlord seeking an ejectment order against a tenant may find that the court allows the tenant some leniency in the form of additional time to meet its obligations in circumstances where the landlord has not engaged with the tenant as envisaged by the Code.

What is in the Code?

In many respects, the principles outlined in the Code could be considered to reflect a “common sense” approach to negotiations between landlords and tenants.  Commercial landlords recognise that it is not to their benefit that the business of their tenants should fail, so there is a mutual interest in agreeing revised terms that work for both parties.

Some of the principles outlined in the Code are as follows:

    • Tenants who are in a position to pay in full should do so.
    • Landlords should provide assistance to a tenant where reasonably possible having regard to their own financial responsibilities.
    • It is recognised that landlords may be constrained by their own financial obligations, and any concessions to tenants would require the consent of lenders.
    • Both parties should act reasonably swiftly, transparently and in good faith in order to identify and implement mutually beneficial solutions.
    • Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms should be used if necessary.

The Code suggests a number of possible arrangements that might be availed of and many of these, such as rent-free periods, rent deferrals, rent variations and turnover rents, are already being implemented in many landlord and tenant arrangements.

The Code recognises that service and insurance charges arrangements are not profit-making, and such charges need to be paid in full, although landlords are encouraged to take measures to reduce such charges wherever possible, and also to vary payment arrangements if possible to aid tenant cashflow.

Will the Code have any effect?

It remains to be seen whether the publication of this Code will have any material impact on dealings between landlords and tenants.  Most landlords have already recognised that many of their tenants need assistance to survive and it is likely that that this commercial reality will continue to be the greater influencing factor.

Link to the Code:

For further information on this topic, please contact Jerome O’Sullivan ( or Ciara McDonnell (