Business Irish

Thursday 23 March 2017

McNamara plots graveyard scheme to revive fortunes

Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

DEVELOPER Bernard McNamara, who admitted he is "broke", is banking on one of life's great certainties -- death -- to revive his fortunes.

He has sought planning for the development of a graveyard at Scribblestown, Ashtown, off the Navan Road in Dublin 15.

The proposed development will house 3,840 graves, according to the planning application recently lodged by his firm Versonwood. The 11-acre site is located near River Road between Elmgreen Golf Club and the Teagasc National Food Centre.

Mr McNamara was not available for comment last night but he recently told Fingal County Council that he had a "particular interest in establishing a burial ground" at Priorstown House.

"There are currently 37 graveyards in use in the country, and many of these have reached or are nearing their full capacity," a submission on behalf of Versonwood stated.

It added: "The landowner is aware that the county council has been actively pursuing the acquisition of land for a new burial ground in the area."

Mr McNamara last month admitted his "head is on a plate" as he revealed he owed €1.5bn and was facing personal ruin.

Controversial

He admitted to the High Court that he would not be appealing an order to repay loans towards the purchase of the controversial €412m former Irish Glass Bottle site in Dublin's Ringsend.

For weeks before the High Court ruling, the former Fianna Fail councillor had waged a battle to avoid registration of a €62.5m court-ordered debt arising from a personal guarantee he provided to an elite group of Davy stockbroker's clients, who had invested in the site now estimated to be worth €50m.

Within hours of the ruling, the Clare-born developer resigned as a director from Michael McNamara & Company, the building firm he inherited from his father.

In an emotional interview with RTE radio, given on his 60th birthday, he added that while he was "broke", the building firm was a legally separate and profitable entity unaffected by the High Court decision.

Irish Independent

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