Thursday 18 December 2014

Cowen's ex-running mate is €84m in debt

Cormac McQuinn and Ciara O'Brien

Published 27/11/2012 | 05:00

DISGRACED former county councillor Ger Killally has listed debts of more than €84m in papers filed with the High Court bankruptcy office, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The full scale of the debts disclosed by ex-Taoiseach Brian Cowen's former general election running mate dwarfs the €18,000 value of the equipment that Killally was convicted of stealing from a shop he used to own in Co Westmeath.

The 42-year-old admitted the offence and yesterday received a three-year suspended prison sentence at a hearing of Mullingar Circuit Court.

The father of four stashed the items at the stables of his luxurious home, then sold them on the Done Deal website for less than €2,000, claiming he'd been under increasing pressure from someone he owed money to.

In sentencing, Judge Anthony Hunt said Killally deserved to be jailed. But he suspended the sentence, describing the fraud as "relatively small", and ordered the accused to complete 240 hours' community service.

Killally and his wife Naomi – known as 'Edenderry's Posh and Becks' during the boom years – were both declared bankrupt on July 27, 2009.

An examination of Mr Killally's statement of affairs, which he submitted as part of the bankruptcy process, shows the €18,000 sum, which he has since paid back, is a drop in the ocean compared to his overall debts of more than €84m.

The papers also show assets of just over €5.1m, including his €800,000 home, which he co-owns with his wife.

During a court appearance in 2009 – prior to his petition for bankruptcy – a tearful Mr Killally told the commercial court that his household cost €16,000 a month to run.

Other assets included various apartments and retail units in the midlands and an apartment in Dublin's Grand Canal Dock.

At the time he also said he was "in between" cars after his Audi Q7 was damaged in a traffic accident.

The files outline unsecured debts of almost €41m, including €11.8m owed to EBS and €4.6m owed to Danske Bank.

EBS is also one of the main creditors listed among the €43m in secured debts.

Mr Killally noted in the statement of affairs that he shares some of the debts with his wife as well as a number of business partners.

Mr Killally left court yesterday without commenting.

Custody

He had been in custody since his conviction two weeks ago for stealing the equipment from a shop he used to own in Rochfortbridge, Co Westmeath, but which became property of official assignee Christopher Lehane when Mr Killally was declared bankrupt.

Killally also admitted forging a letter and business card which he faxed to Mr Lehane, alleging that the stolen equipment had been repossessed by the leasing company he'd bought it through.

During yesterday's hearing, counsel for Mr Killally said that he had found prison "horrible".

The judge said that he should also have known how important it was to uphold the integrity of the bankruptcy process.

The judge noted that the fraud "didn't involved hundreds of thousands of euro transported offshore" and said Killally had been under genuinely severe financial stress.

Irish Independent

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