Thursday 29 June 2017

From Mahon Tribunal to Menolly Homes, Ross has been plagued by woes

HE was once one of Ireland's most prolific homebuilders but like many of the boom time developers, Seamus Ross is nursing heavy losses from his investments.

The Longford native is the latest Irishman to run into trouble down on the southern Adriatic coast.

In 2006 Menolly Homes expanded its international outlook, snapping up two prime sites in the UNESCO World Heritage-protected Kotor Bay in Montenegro.

But the sites are now under threat of bankruptcy as Mr Ross, whose loans have been transferred to NAMA, battles to hold on to his €38m dream there.

It has been a rough few years for Mr Ross.

Menolly Homes was involved in one of the longest High Court actions after hundreds of homeowners complained that their new houses in Dublin were blighted with cracks. This was allegedly caused by pyrite, an in-fill substance that can cause cracks in floors and walls.

Before the action was settled, Menolly revealed that the litigation could affect its Montenegrin investments, which had been pledged as security to Anglo Irish Bank for the group's loans.

Mr Ross has also played a walk-on role in the Mahon Tribunal, whose report is imminent.

He memorably told the planning inquiry that he had been "plagued" for money by the late Fianna Fail TD Liam Lawlor.

On October 8, 2003, Mr Ross told the Mahon Tribunal that he paid Mr Lawlor over £40,000 to get the postal address of a housing estate changed from Clondalkin to Lucan.

Irish Independent

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