Belfast Telegraph

Court annuls estate agent Gerry O'Connor bankruptcy order

By Joanne Sweeney

One of Northern Ireland's best known estate agents has said he has learnt from "mistakes of the past" after his bankruptcy was annulled.

A bankruptcy order made in January against Gerry O'Connor was rescinded at the High Court in Belfast yesterday.

Following confirmation of the new arrangements for a voluntary arrangement with his creditors, his bankruptcy was annulled.

He is now expected to become a company director within weeks once again in his self-named estate agency which he founded in south Belfast more than 20 years ago.

Mr O'Connor said he felt he could have come to such an arrangement before bankruptcy proceedings were initiated.

"I'd also like to stress that the business GOC Estate Agents was never involved or affected by this action," the 61-year-old businessman said.

"It continues to go from strength to strength, 20 years after its foundation."

In December last year creditors petitioned to have Mr O'Connor declared bankrupt.

A month later the order was made against the businessman, whose registered address is the firm's Stranmillis Road office in south Belfast.

It was stressed at the time that the estate agency was in no way affected by the development.

Mr O'Connor stressed that he was looking forward to a more optimistic future and that he was delighted to put the matter behind him.

"The market is now in full recovery mode and GOC has many new developments and other projects coming to fruition in the coming year," he said.

"Like everyone else, a lot of the major developers are now back in business again after the market bottomed out. We have all learnt from our mistakes of the past.

"I'm not unique. The only difference now is that we are all older and wiser."

He added: "Apart from a few of the silly years that we had when everyone was making silly money, last year was one of the best years GOC has ever had over the 20 years."

It's understood that this rescindment of such a bankruptcy order - which prohibited him from holding the position of company director in GOC for 12 months - is not a common occurrence.

Last night a spokesman for Mr O'Connor confirmed that he was expected to return as a GOC director within weeks.

Mr O'Connor has been working in the Northern Ireland property market for more than 40 years.

His company, which he runs with his wife Kirby who is listed on the company website as managing director, specialises in selling and letting properties across Belfast and further afield.

Mr O'Connor was not present for the short hearing at the High Court but was represented instead by his barrister.

Belfast Telegraph