Belfast Telegraph

Developer bankrupted in Republic after bitter court battle

By Dearbhail McDonald and Tim Healy

A woman who has waged a long-running legal battle with controversial Northern Irish property developer Tom McFeely has said she will fight him every step of the way if he tries to overturn his bankruptcy in the Republic.

Yesterday the former IRA hunger striker from Dungiven, who owes some €200m (£156m) to the Republic’s ‘bad bank’ Nama, was declared bankrupt in Dublin’s High Court after two failed bids to be declared so in the UK.

Litigant Theresa McGuinness, who opposed McFeely's UK bankruptcy, succeeded in having him adjudicated as a bankrupt.

Ms McGuinness, of Rush, Co Dublin, bought a house from one of McFeely's companies, Coalport, in 2006 and was awarded €100,000 (£78,000) in damages in 2009 after the property was found to have serious structural faults.

Last year she applied to the courts to have him made a bankrupt because he failed to pay the debt.

McFeely (64) opposed the bankruptcy, claiming he would be 76 by the time he could get back into business if declared bankrupt in the Republic, because of its strict bankruptcy regime.

It would be just a year before he could get started again if it was in the UK.

His lawyers indicated that he would appeal the ruling.

McFeely — who owes multi-million euro debts to the Irish Revenue Commissioners — is facing a number of legal battles.

A bench warrant has been issued for his arrest after he failed to comply with an order to pay instalments on a debt of just over €24,000 (£19,000) to a Dublin recruitment company.

Separately, his family is facing eviction today from their upmarket Dublin home after it was repossessed by Nama.

And this morning the Supreme Court in the city will give its ruling on McFeely's appeal against a three-month prison sentence imposed by the Irish High Court for failing to fix fire safety problems at his Priory Hall development in Dublin.

Last night Ms McGuinness said she was “absolutely delighted” and said she will “diligently contest” any appeal against the bankruptcy.

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