Tuesday 19 September 2017

'I'm the victim of a media circus,' claims McFeely in latest outburst over debts

Bankrupt builder Tom McFeely outside court.
Bankrupt builder Tom McFeely outside court.

Dearbhail McDonald and Leah McAteer

Former hunger striker claims he's now 'down to his last €1,000'

PRIORY Hall developer Tom McFeely, who is fighting the prospect of jail over his failure to pay a €24,288 debt, claims he has just €1,160 in the bank.

The former IRA hunger striker, who admits his bank debts exceed €200m, has also accused NAMA of "showboating" his eviction from his €10m Ailesbury Road home in Dublin.

Mr McFeely complained that he was the victim of a "media circus" and produced a clipping of an article from the Irish Independent, which contained his photograph, about his eviction from his home at Ailesbury Road that was repossessed by Nama.

The former hunger striker held it up and said: "I cannot remember the Brits, even during the worst years of the Famine in Ireland, show-boating when taking someone's property."

The High Court will hear a challenge to the Ailesbury Road repossession on November 19.

During heated exchanges at the District Court, Mr McFeely hit out at media coverage of his financial dealings since the evacuation of residents from the condemned Priory Hall complex in Donaghmede, Dublin

The bankrupt builder complained he got a "rough time" in the media and denied providing an incorrect statement of his business affairs in a court action brought over an unpaid debt to Dublin recruitment firm MCR Personnel Ltd.

Mr McFeely was cross-examined for an hour and a half about his assets and a statement of his affairs he gave to the courts.

Hidden

Benedict O Floinn, counsel for MCR, told Judge Mary Collins that an order was being sought for Mr McFeely's imprisonment.

Mr McFeely was quizzed on whether he still had links to assets and business interests in the UK and counties Dublin, Derry and Offaly.

He was also questioned on his interests in property investments in London, Portugal and Antigua -- links revealed by the Irish Independent earlier this year but were not detailed on his statement of affairs.

During questioning, the builder denied that he had hidden any assets, insisting he had not received a £2m (€2.47m) payment in relation to the Athena Court apartment complex in London and that he had not collected £120,000 (€148,800) in rent from the same development.

He denied owning property at Shrewsbury Road in Dublin, or in Co Offaly, and insisted that he was not the owner of a house in Derry -- the McFeely family home where Mr McFeely says he lives from time to time.

Mr McFeely was asked about a joint venture in Antigua, and explained that he had an option on a site there "but it is not in my name".

He said it belonged to a company in England, which he did not identify, and he added that he was not one of its directors or shareholders.

He said he no longer had any shareholding in the Rio Plaza Ltd company in Portugal, which he said got into trouble four years ago and has been liquidated.

Irish Independent

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