Court hears of difficulties serving ‘disqualification’ summons on Mick Wallace
Politician Mick Wallace has been accused of evading a summons server in court proceedings that could see him barred from acting as a company director.
The liquidator of his M&J Wallace construction firm has applied to the High Court for an order disqualifying the Wexford TD from being a director, or failing that, restricting him for a number of years.
The application is also being made in respect of his son Sasha, who was also a director of the building firm.
However, Mr Justice Robert Haughton heard today that a summons server had been unable to serve court papers on either man at the addresses given to the liquidator, Micheál Leydon.
Barrister Stephen Brady submitted an affidavit to the court in which the summons server said he had been unable to serve papers at Mr Wallace’s home in Clontarf despite several attempts.
“It appears he is evading service as he is not answering my calls,” the affidavit said.
Mr Brady said several attempts had been made to give the papers to Mr Wallace at his home, but the gates were locked and the intercom appeared to be broken.
He said the summons server had hooted his horn and called into neighbours, but there was no sign of Mr Wallace.
Mr Justice Haughton asked on what basis the “evading” claim was made.
Mr Brady clarified that there hadn’t been any telephone calls to Mr Wallace, but it had not been possible for the summons server to see him face to face despite several visits to his home.
He outlined seven separate occasions the summons server visited the house.
The court was also told that Sasha Brady was not living at an address he provided in Dublin. The apartment is being rented to an Eastern European man.
Mr Justice Haughton said he would allow the TD to be served at his home address and by email to his Oireachtas email account.
He said he would also allow service by post and email to Sasha Wallace.
The moves to disqualify the Independents4Change TD from being a company director come just over a month after he was declared bankrupt following a petition from Promontoria Aran, a subsidiary of US vulture fund Cerberus.
It sought the declaration after the TD was unable to repay a €2m loan his firm had taken out with Ulster Bank. That debt was bought by Promontoria Aran, as part of a wider loans portfolio, in a deal agreed in 2014.
M&J Wallace Ltd’s liquidator, Mr Leydon, began the disqualification proceedings at the beginning of January.
Mr Leydon was appointed liquidator early last year following a petition from Promontoria Aran.
The proceedings were brought under sections 819 and 842 of the Companies Act, which allows liquidators to restrict or disqualify individuals from acting as company directors.
Under Section 819 a person who was a director of an insolvent company can be restricted from being a company director or secretary for five years.
Section 842 allows the High Court to disqualify someone from acting as a director or secretary for whatever period the court sees fit.
However, Mr Wallace rejected the allegation when contacted by Independent.ie.
"I got no notice of any hearing and I have not seen anyone try to serve papers," he said.
"I have not been hiding. I've been in the Dáil five days every week since the Dáil reopened."
Mr Wallace has been a staunch critic of Cerberus’ purchase of Nama’s Northern loans portfolio, Project Eagle.
The €1.6bn sale has been mired in controversy for the past year-and-a-half after Mr Wallace made allegations about a Stg£7m payment linked to the deal, which ended up in an Isle of Man bank account.
Mr Wallace told the Dáil the money was reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician or party.
The claims sparked an investigation by UK’s National Crime Agency, which is ongoing.
Following his bankruptcy Mr Wallace claimed Cerberus was “settling a score” with him. Cerberus has never responded to this claim.