Friday 28 July 2017

Developer McFeely tells court he is 'too generous' as he is found guilty of breaching a protection order

Bankrupt Priory Hall developer Thomas McFeely. Photo: Collins Courts
Bankrupt Priory Hall developer Thomas McFeely. Photo: Collins Courts

Eimear Cotter

Bankrupt Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely has been found guilty of breaching a protection order after he threatened to slit a woman's throat and "send her to America in a box".

McFeely (68) had denied making the threats, but accepted that he and the woman had a "heated argument over money".

The woman previously said McFeely was demanding that she hand back money he claimed she owes him.

McFeely said that he is "a generous person, too generous" and the "substantial sums of money" include €1m in cash, €500,000 of property and $500,000 (€459,000).

He also claimed there was "all sorts of skulduggery to hide what's going on"' and if he was to give a court all the evidence he had against the woman he "really believes she'd go to jail".

The woman previously said McFeely is a "very angry" man and needs help to deal with anger management issues.

Judge John Lindsay ordered McFeely to enter into a 12-month peace bond.

The defendant was found guilty of breaching a protection order at a house in south Dublin on February 12.

A second allegation of breaching a protection order on February 20 was dismissed.

McFeely had denied both charges and claimed he did not know such an order was in place at the time.

The matter had been adjourned from last month to give McFeely a chance to give evidence.

He told Tallaght District Court he and the woman had a heated argument over money on February 12, but he did not shout at her, make threats or put her in fear.

He added that "in no circumstances" was the woman afraid of him. He further claimed that there was money missing and if he could sit down with the woman, "and certain people get their claws out of her", they could sort out the issues.

McFeely claimed he's "a very generous person" and the money involved is "well over €1m, as well as half a million in property, 500,000 in dollars and $100,000 for her family's gambling debts".

He accepted the woman had told him "at some stage" there was a protection order, but "on what date I don't know".

In her evidence, the woman, who cannot be identified by order of the judge, said McFeely came to her home at around 9am on February 12.

She claimed he was very angry, and said he wanted them to talk.

The woman alleged McFeely made threats towards her, saying he would slit her throat and then "send her to America in a box".

She also claimed he demanded she pay back money which he said she had stolen from him.

The woman said she was terrified of McFeely, adding "he's lost everything, he's had a very bad run of things".

She added he has anger management issues.

The court heard McFeely had 11 previous convictions, most recently in 2011 for a drink driving offence.

Defence lawyer Stephen Montgomery said McFeely is a pensioner and lives in the UK.

He accepted that McFeely and the woman have "a fraught relationship" and asked the judge to be as lenient as possible.

Earlier this month, McFeely failed in his bid to vary his bail terms so he could fly to London to collect his pension.

McFeely shouted at Garda Dara MacEoin across a courtroom, "It's guys like you that give gardai a bad name", after the judge refused the application.

Gda MacEoin had told Tallaght District Court that he was objecting to the bail variation.

The Priory Hall developer had claimed he was struggling financially as his only income is his pension and he could not get to London to collect it because gardai have his passport.

"It's unbelievable. How am I to live if I can't get to the UK for my pension?" he asked.

Herald

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