Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Irish banks get nod to pursue developers for €236m debt

Four developers can now be pursued for almost a quarter of a billion euro in property debts after they accepted in court that they owe the money.



Despite not being considered major property players in national terms, the four racked up debts of €236m from disastrous forays into the property market in Cork.



They had planned to build an enormous office block with apartments using massive loans given to them by Ulster Bank, among others.



Yesterday, they consented at the country's fast-track commercial court to having summary judgment orders for €135m entered against them.



There will now be no trial needed to establish whether or not they owe the money, as the consent means they have admitted they are liable for the debts.



The four had previously consented to €63m summary judgment orders against them over facilities provided by Bank of Ireland (BoI) and to summary judgment orders for €38.2m in favour of Anglo Irish Bank.



They are: Michael Conway Senior, Maglin House, Carriganarra, Ballincollig, Co Cork; Michael Conway Junior, Lake View, Faha, Dripsey, Co Cork; Kieran Conway, Burke's Hill, Tivoli, Cork, and Paudie Dennehy, Seaview, Ballinaskulla, Myrtleville, Co Cork.



The €135m judgment orders were sought by Ulster Bank arising from loan guarantees provided by the defendants on dates in 2006, 2007 and 2009.



The loans were for property developments including the purchase of a site at Dennehy's Cross in Cork with planning permission for 143 residential units, and for the purchase of a 63-acre site at Castletreasure, Douglas, Cork.



BoI's summary judgment for €62.9m against the four, also on consent, arose arose from loans advanced to the defendants, trading together as the Conway Partnership.



They included some €38.5m claimed under guarantees allegedly provided by them over the liabilities of Rumex Ltd and Daphne Investments Ltd, trading as the Dee Partnership.



The Conway Partnership loan facility was provided mainly to refinance previous loans for the development of a property on Watercourse Road, Cork.



The summary judgment for €38.22m secured in separate proceedings by state-owned Anglo Irish Bank was related to unpaid loans given to the men in April 2009, to enable them renew an existing loan facility for a site at Grand Parade, Cork -- and to purchase adjacent properties.



The court heard that the defendants planned to develop the entire city centre site into office, retail and residential accommodation as well as a massive new city library and underground car park.

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