Belfast Telegraph

Bankruptcy for two more developers

By Clare Weir

Two well-known Northern Ireland developers have been listed as bankrupt.

Fergal McAlinden from Rostrevor, Co Down, a founder of Lavelle & McAlinden based in Newry, was served a creditor’s petition dated April 13, 2011.

The firm was behind projects in Co Down and Co Armagh, including Knockdarragh in Newry and Oak Grove in Banbridge.

There were also numerous schemes in the Republic, across Meath, Louth, Dublin and Laois.

Last year Lavelle & McAlinden went into receivership and a half-built project on Belfast’s Crumlin Road was put up for sale by Northern Bank.

Meanwhile, fellow Co Down man Sam Thompson has also appeared in the bankruptcy list.

In January Ulster Bank put one of his firms, Thompson Lennox, into receivership. Anglo Irish Bank is said to be pursuing Mr Thompson for personal debts of almost £90m.

Based in Magheralin, Co Down, his firms sell high-end, one-off country-style properties in Antrim, Down and Tyrone, some of which sold for over £1m at the height of the housing boom.

His companies, also including Thompson Developments, Redcliff Properties and Ballybreeze Estates, are said to owe more than £100m collectively.

The pair are the latest big-name property developers to get into difficulties in recent months.

Earlier this year Ballycastle builder Mervyn McAlister was declared bankrupt in the High Court.

Many of his prominent developments were placed into receivership by Anglo Irish Bank, including the site of his most famous project, the 37-storey Aurora skyscraper in Belfast.

Jermon Limited, which owned a string of major retail and office buildings in Belfast, went into administration at around the same time.

Peter Dolan formed the Jermon group of companies in 1997.

Other high-profile property crash casualties are the Taggart brothers, who are currently fighting an order to pay Ulster Bank more than £8.5m in personal guarantees.

Michael and John Taggart were held to be liable for loans made before their business went into administration in 2008.

Belfast Telegraph