Belfast Telegraph

Bankrupt developer McFeely could return to the building trade

By Maeve Sheehan

Disgraced property developer Tom McFeely is preparing to return to the industry in the UK after he exits bankruptcy in July and walks away from his multi-million pound debts.

The rogue builder from Co Londonderry has escaped investigation over claims that he salted away £2.9m in rents from a London apartment complex that should have gone towards his debts in the Republic.

And now the Dungiven man is reportedly trying to raise funds in London for a return to the property market.

McFeely's debts include £45m owed to Bank of Ireland, which he borrowed through one of his Northern Ireland companies to build an apartment block in London.

McFeely has denied that he received any money from the London apartment block. The convicted IRA hunger striker, who turned to building on his release from prison, has been based in London where he has been reportedly trying to raise funds for his return to the property business.

Sources have said that he was involved in staging a comeback. It has also been reported that he has been pitching himself abroad among investors as an agent for small Irish developers.

He was declared bankrupt in the Republic in 2012 after his attempts to go bankrupt in the UK were thrown out of court. Theresa McGuinness, who bought a faulty house from him in Dublin, had petitioned for his bankruptcy after he failed to pay her a £76,000 judgment award that she had secured in the courts.

Ultimately the Irish taxpayer will pick up the most of the £175m bill for McFeely's failed developments and negligent building practices.

Taxpayers will pay most of the £20m bill for repairing Priory Hall, the death trap apartment complex in north Dublin from which scores of families were evacuated and left homeless for two years.

McFeely also owes around £380,000 to the Revenue Commissioners, while his companies owe debts of around £7.2m to Nama.

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