Belfast Telegraph

Wallace: I cannot pay 19m euro

Independent TD Mick Wallace is facing financial ruin after admitting he has not got the money to pay back more than 19 million euro to a bank.

The developer's Dail post could be in danger after the Commercial Court ordered Mr Wallace pay the debts owed to ACC.

Mr Wallace had given personal guarantees on five loans issued to his construction company M & J Wallace, which is in receivership.

Outside the Four Courts, the Wexford TD said the decision was disappointing.

Asked if he had the money to pay back the debt, he said: "No, I am not in a very good position, but I accept the judgment of the court. I borrowed the money, I can't pay it back, so it's my problem."

The order against the TD centres on personal guarantees he gave on loans between 2004 and 2008.

Lawyers for ACC Bank told the court there had been a good constructive working relationship between the bank, Mr Wallace and his company until late 2010. That changed when a report on the financial status of the company indicated it had significant debts.

ACC appointed a receiver in May this year and later decided to issue proceedings. The order for summary judgment means the bank can take steps to recover the money.

Mr Wallace - who entered no defence in court - declined to comment on how he had been treated by the bank and insisted it was a separate matter.

"As a state representative, a public representative, I think I have a large responsibility to uphold the law of the land and that's what I'm doing," he said. "How banks operate in this country, how they behave toward me, is a separate issue."

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