Adviser 'walked' women into €16m group deal
TWO retired women being sued with five others for €16.3m over unpaid property development loans allegedly relied on the advice of a businessman who "walked them" into an agreement that was never explained.
Mary Prenderville and Frankie Dwyer, of Albany Road, Ranelagh, Dublin, should never have entered the agreement to develop the property in Dalkey, Dublin, arising out of advice from Alan Hynes, a director of Tuskar Property Holdings Ltd, a lawyer for the women told the High Court yesterday.
They are being sued by Zurich Bank along with Noreen Hynes, Larkinstown, Coolree, Co Wexford; Ambrose O'Brien, Kilcraigue, Kilcloon, Co Meath; Mary Murphy, Leinster Woods, Carton Demesne, Maynooth, Co Kildare; Des O'Sullivan, Windermere, Dublin Road, Naas, Co Kildare and Colm Sugrue, Glenabbey Road, Mount Merrion, Dublin.
Michael McDowell, for Ms Prenderville and Ms Dwyer, told the Commercial Court they were two retired ladies and they disputed claims related to negotiations with the bank about the debt. His clients could not pay the €16m and had made no offer to pay, he said.
Mr McDowell said they had relied entirely on Mr Hynes for financial advice, but at no time could they have countenanced a liability of €16m and would not have done so had the transaction been explained to them.
They did not have assets of that magnitude and Mr Hynes seemed to have "walked them" into an agreement they were just not party to, counsel said.
The bank is seeking €16.3m judgment orders against all seven and claims the property is now worth no more than €3.5m.
The case came before the Commercial Court having previously been adjourned by Mr Justice Peter Kelly.
It arises out of allegedly unpaid €15m loans made in October 2007 to a partnership to purchase a 1.45 acre site with full planning permission at Santa Maria, Cunningham Road, Dalkey, plus the rear garden of Arranmore, 13 Cunningham Road, Dalkey. A receiver was appointed over the property in February 2009.
The bank claims it had engaged in negotiations with Alan Hynes who, it claims, indicated he acted with the authority of four of the defendants -- Ms Hynes, Ms Murphy, Mr Sugrue and Mr O'Sullivan.