Belfast Telegraph

Bankrupt developer loses bid to exit case

Bankrupt Irish property developer Larry O'Mahony has lost a bid to be taken out of High Court proceedings in Dublin over a fire-risk apartment complex.

Mr O'Mahony was adjudicated bankrupt in the UK earlier this year with debts of £197m mostly owed to Irish Nationwide Building Society.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns yesterday refused to discharge Mr O'Mahony from proceedings over the Priory Hall complex in Donaghmede, north Dublin.

However, the judge indicated essential responsibility for carrying out works to address serious fire safety concerns at the complex rests with developer and former IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely and Coalport Building Company Ltd, which built the complex in 2006 and whose directors are Mr McFeely and his brother Noel.

Dublin City Council earlier this month secured orders from Mr Justice Kearns against Mr O'Mahony, Mr McFeely and Coalport requiring evacuation of the complex and remedial works to be completed by the end of November.

Yesterday, the judge ruled there was an adequate basis for Mr O'Mahony being a party to the case, including his remaining registered as an owner of the Priory Hall lands and being described on a 2007 legal document as a "lessor" of a Priory Hall apartment.

He said owners and occupiers of lands are affected by the Fire Safety Act 1991 and he would not remove him from the case.

Gary McCarthy, for Mr O'Mahony, had argued that his client had no responsibility for Priory Hall on the grounds he was not involved in building it and had a written agreement of March 2009 with Mr McFeely to transfer his ownership of the lands to Mr McFeely.

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