Business Irish

Saturday 21 October 2017

Developer 'mad' to pay €3m for 18 acres, court told

Tim Healy

A PRICE of €3m paid by developer John Kelly for 18 acres in Wexford was "mad", a bank that advanced several loans to Mr Kelly has argued before the Commercial Court.

Michael Collins, for KBC, said 2006, the year Mr Kelly bought the site at Oylgate, was "the height of the madness in Ireland" for the bank.

Mr Collins was making closing arguments in a hearing where the bank is seeking more than €20m damages from solicitors BCM Hanby Wallace (now Byrne Wallace) over what Mr Justice Brian McGovern found were "very serious" failures to ensure it had securities in place for substantial loans advanced to Mr Kelly and struck-off solicitor Thomas Byrne. The bank had sought security on 30 properties but only got security on three.

Mr Justice McGovern previously found that KBC was entitled to recover the full amount of the loans advanced by it, plus certain costs and stamp duty.

But, the judge said, this was to be minus the 2008 value of the three secured properties, some €900,000 received from Mr Kelly, and the value of the 18-acre site at Oylgate, Wexford, along with certain costs.

The judge heard this week agreement had been reached on the damages to be paid except for a dispute over the valuations likely to have been placed in 2008 on the Oylgate lands and a convenience store property in Rathmines, Dublin, which was a car showroom when purchased.

The judge yesterday reserved judgment.

Irish Independent

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