Developer with stress treated in psychiatric clinic
Published 12/10/2010 | 05:00
A NAMA-bound developer, who is believed to be amongst the top 150 borrowers destined for the toxic loans agency, has been admitted to a psychiatric facility.
The Irish Independent has learned that the developer is receiving treatment for a stress-related illness.
Although he is living in the facility, the developer is free to leave the premises to attend to business-related activities and has done so in recent weeks.
The property industry is already reeling from the suicides of at least 29 developers which the Irish Property Council (IPC), an organisation that has campaigned for reform of Ireland's debt laws, says can be directly linked to the recession.
The deaths include that of Galway-based developer John O'Dolan, who took his own life last year after receiving psychiatric help just a day before his death.
Mr O'Dolan, a property tycoon who was part of a consortium that snapped up the islands of Ireland and England on the The World project in Dubai, had complained to family and friends prior to his death that he was struggling to deal with the debt-recovery process. Last night solicitor Patrick White, secretary of the IPC, said that NAMA-bound developers and small contractors were being subjected to a reign of "terror" from banks deploying "aggressive" debt-recovery tactics.
"They are literally being hounded by banks who were fawning over them for business just four years ago," he said.
The IPC has called for a reform of bankruptcy, insolvency and family home protection measures as well as a code of practice for debt collection.
News of the developer's illness emerged as the Government launched a robust defence of NAMA in the Commercial Court. Last week, Attorney General Paul Gallagher told the Divisional Court that NAMA was set up in the context of an unprecedented intervention by the State in private financial institutions.
Mr Gallagher, who said that property investor Paddy McKillen was not entitled to any "special" treatment to prevent his €2.1bn loans being transferred to NAMA, said if the banking system had failed it would have had disastrous effects on the economy.
The case continues today.