Wednesday 26 October 2016

Estranged wife of restaurateur asks court to add her to his list of creditors

Tim Healy

Published 12/04/2016 | 02:30

Conach Stokes leaving the High Court yesterday. Photo: Collins
Conach Stokes leaving the High Court yesterday. Photo: Collins
From left: Simon Stokes with his estranged wife Conach, mother Pia Bang, father Jeff and brother Christian. Photo: Kieran Harnett

Bankrupt businessman Simon Stokes's estranged wife Conach has told the High Court that she wants to be added to his list of creditors as part of his bankruptcy process.

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"I just want to make you aware about the situation and how he has left his children - he has just returned from a holiday abroad," she told Ms Justice Caroline Costello.

The judge was dealing with a part of the process known as a 'statutory sitting', whereby the full details of a bankrupt's financial affairs must be provided to the court-appointed official administering the bankruptcy, official assignee Chris Lehane.

Simon and his twin brother Christian were both declared bankrupt last November.

Conach, who described herself as Simon's estranged wife, nodded in agreement when the judge suggested that she may not wish to be called "Mrs Stokes".

Earlier, counsel for Simon Stokes asked the court to adjourn the statutory sitting for a week.

When the judge adjourned it, Conach said she was there on behalf of her three children and her parents who are also owed money. "I would like our names to be added to the list of creditors," she said.

After consulting with the official assignee, Mr Lehane, the judge told her that a person was entitled to appear in court as a creditor but the procedure was that they should first submit a claim to Mr Lehane.

Members of her family could do likewise, the judge said.

Ms Justice Costello also passed the statutory sitting for Christian Stokes after a separate counsel appeared on his behalf.

Both brothers had been required to attend or be represented at the statutory sitting for the purpose of ensuring that the official assignee has been provided with full details of their property and money and to ensure that all their debts are known.

The twins ran the famous Bang restaurant in Dublin.

The Stokes family was also behind the well-known Unicorn restaurant, while the brothers operated the exclusive Residence club on St Stephen's Green and other venues which failed during the economic downturn.

In 2014, the twins and their parents, Jeff and Pia, consented to a €14.7m judgment being entered against them arising from various loans and guarantees.

In January 2012, the High Court disqualified the brothers from being company directors again until 2016, arising out of their involvement in the Residence club.

Irish Independent

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