FORMER journalist and political activist Osgur Breathnach was today given a final chance to save his €500,000 home from being taken back by a mortgage company.
County Registrar Susan Ryan was told that the property he bought with a €460,000 mortgage in 2008 was now valued at less than half that price and had an outstanding balance of €508,000.
Barrister Anne Lawlor, counsel for Springboard Mortgages Ltd., said an application for possession of 10 Highthorn Park, Dunlaoghaire, Co Dublin, had been before the Registrar’s court on a number of occasions.
Since the last adjournment on October 23 a payment of only €24:48 had been made against the mortgage on which monthly repayments had originally stood at €2,633.
Ms Lawlor said arrears now stood at €53,203 and the bank, of Lower Mount Street, Dublin, was anxious to proceed with its application for an order for possession of the property with costs. She said arrears continued to increase and were becoming unmanageable.
Ms Ryan heard that Mr Breathnach, who is in receipt of social welfare benefit, had been refused mortgage supplement benefit, a decision that was still under appeal.
She said there was a certain inevitability about the case and, on the basis that a new firm of solicitors had come on board in the case, she felt they should be given an opportunity of taking full instructions.
She adjourned the application peremptorily against Mr Breathnach until February 12 and directed that any proposed defence be set out in a replying affidavit by Mr Breathnach.
In 1980 Mr Breathnach was acquitted in the Court of Criminal Appeal of having stopped a mail train at Sallins, Co Kildare, in 1976 with intent to rob it.
He had been earlier sentenced in the Special Criminal Court, in a trial in which a judge was alleged to have fallen asleep, to 12 years imprisonment. Mr Breathnach had denied the charge.