Wednesday 26 July 2017

Bank fails in first bid to recover €84m from developer

Tim Healy

NATIONALISED Anglo Irish Bank has failed to obtain summary judgment orders for €84.4m against developer Michael Daly.

A High Court judge ruled yesterday that Mr Daly had made out an arguable defence to the bank's claim against him.

Mr Daly, 'Dalmin', North Circular Road, Limerick, is being sued for €84.4m over unpaid loans of some €165m to the Limerick-based Fordmount property group and two partnerships.

He argued, among various claims, that he had been assured by officials in Anglo that personal guarantees provided by him over loans were effectively "paper" guarantees and would never be called upon.

Mr Daly also alleged he had "easy access" to senior figures in the bank, including Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm, and was actively encouraged in 2006 and 2007 to undertake massive property developments here and abroad with the assurance that hundreds of millions would be loaned by Anglo.

Defence

Yesterday, while stressing he was making no finding on the merits or otherwise of either the bank's claim or Mr Daly's defence, Mr Justice Peter Charleton ruled that Mr Daly had made out an arguable defence and the matter must now go to a full plenary hearing.

The judge said much of what Mr Daly had said relating to guarantees and other matters was inconsistent and he also needed to explain why, at a crucial point in early 2008, he had to submit a statement of his assets to the bank.

Mr Daly had also suggested it was indicated to him by Anglo officials that its rules about guarantees could be circumvented.

The court could not at this stage make an assessment of his credibility or take any view as to how either side had behaved, the judge said. Mr Daly had, however, raised issues adequate to get him over the low threshold required to send the matter to a full hearing, he ruled.

He made directions to ensure a speedy hearing of the action in the Commercial Court and adjourned the case for mention to May 20.

Irish Independent

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