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Tuesday 30 May 2017

From drinks with Bill Clinton to struggling with a €6m mortgage

AN IRISHWOMAN'S CASTLE: Ann Cassidy told a court last week that the mortgage on her castellated home in Dublin's exclusive Foxrock suburb is €6m
AN IRISHWOMAN'S CASTLE: Ann Cassidy told a court last week that the mortgage on her castellated home in Dublin's exclusive Foxrock suburb is €6m
Jerome Reilly

Jerome Reilly

It was a photo opportunity in Ireland that had the White House press corps in raptures.

President Bill Clinton enjoying a pint of stout in a traditional Irish pub, Cassidy's of Camden Street, which was owned by former Dublin footballer Fran Ryder.

Mr Clinton's mother was Virginia Dell Cassidy and members of the Cassidy clan from all over Ireland had been invited to meet her famous son in the Dublin pub during his visit to Ireland in 1995.

On the guest list were well-known publican Noel Cassidy and his wife Ann, who presented President Clinton with gifts.

Mr Cassidy, a respected businessman, has since died but the letter of thanks sent to the couple from the Oval Office still has pride of place on the website of another pub called Cassidy's -- this time on Westmoreland Street, Dublin.

"Hillary and I were delighted to to spend some time with you during our visit to Dublin," wrote Mr Clinton. Mr Cassidy owned a number of pubs during a long career in the licensing business, including Cassidy's Roost in Maynooth, Co Kildare, which he sold to Louis Fitzgerald for £1.35m in 1996.

But following the death of her husband a few years ago times have become a lot tougher for Ann Cassidy.

She is now a widow with a €6m mortgage and fears that she may lose her luxury home in one of Dublin's most exclusive addresses. Mrs Cassidy said in the Circuit Civil Court last week that her castellated home -- Setauket, at the Birches, Foxrock -- was worth "a lot of money" about two years ago.

"At the moment my house is in danger of being repossessed, my business is virtually gone, and I don't have the money to pay legal advisers to support me," she told Judge Jacqueline Linnane.

Mrs Cassidy was in court seeking to resist an application by Spencer Dock Development Company Ltd for an order directing her to complete the purchase of an apartment. When the property market was at its peak she paid a deposit of €100,000 and signed a contract for a €320,000 mortgage to buy the apartment in Kirkpatrick House, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin.

Dozens of investors have paid deposits for the Spencer Dock properties before banks reneged on promises to provide mortgages to complete the deals.

"I have tried everywhere but I cannot raise a mortgage on the apartment. I already have a €6m mortgage and I do have a house that was worth a lot of money two years ago.

"At the moment I'm trying to get rid of the house," she told Judge Linnane.

Counsel for the Spencer Dock Development Company said Mrs Cassidy had been served with legal proceedings in July last year seeking specific performance to complete the sale.

She had not responded and the company was seeking judgment in default of appearance. Judge Linnane told Mrs Cassidy that the company had to seek an order for substituted ordinary post service because it thought she was evading service of the proceedings. The court could not continuously adjourn the matter. Mrs Cassidy said her husband had died since the "whole Spencer Dock thing" started five years ago.

The company still had €100,000 of her money but she was unable to raise a mortgage anywhere.

Judge Linnane adjourned the application for three weeks to allow Mrs Cassidy to clearly set out all her details in an affidavit.

Sunday Independent

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