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IRA hunger striker Thomas McFeely has bankruptcy extended

By Tim Healy

Published 02/06/2016

‘Grave failures’: Thomas McFeely
‘Grave failures’: Thomas McFeely

A Dublin High Court judge has expressed concern over "very grave" failures by former IRA hunger striker Thomas McFeely to co-operate with the official administering his bankruptcy - including failures to disclose his interest in 12 apartments in Dublin.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello said that the property developer's bankruptcy should be extended by almost the maximum five years, reduced by two months to take into account of his age of 67.

The effect is that the Co Londonderry man, who turned to building on his release from prison, will now exit bankruptcy in the Republic in May 2020 at the age of 71. It had been set to expire in July 2015.

He was adjudicated bankrupt here in July 2012, with substantial debts including €200m (£155m) owed to Nama.

He was previously adjudicated bankrupt in England and Wales - but that was rescinded after a woman owed €100,000 (£77,600) by companies of McFeely brought proceedings in the Republic.

The judge upheld arguments by Bernard Dunleavy SC, for Chris Lehane - the official assignee in bankruptcy - the extent of non-co-operation justified the bankruptcy being extended.

Ms Justice Costello said the failure to disclose assets was on the "very grave" and "extreme end of the spectrum" and the extension should reflect that fact.

McFeely's initial interview with Mr Lehane in August 2012 was, to McFeely's knowledge, "misleading", she said.

He gave his address as his late parents' home in Claudy, Co Derry, when he knew he never resided there and did not intend to.

He had also failed to disclose his interest in 12 properties.

He had also presented to Mr Lehane the statement of affairs which he had used for his English bankruptcy, when he knew that was incomplete, and continued not to co-operate.

He also sought to "dictate" to Mr Lehane where he would be interviewed, insisting Mr Lehane travel to Derry, or pay him to travel to Dublin for the interview.

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