BERNARD McNamara may have thrown in the towel here and gone bankrupt in the UK with his companies owing Nama and the banks over €1.5bn, but that doesn't mean he or his wife hadn't been busy dealing in Irish property in the run-up to this decision.
An investigation carried out by the Sunday Independent in the wake of Mr McNamara's adjudication as a bankrupt three weeks ago can reveal that he and his wife, Moira, sold nearly €2m worth of personal property assets in Dublin alone in the last 12 months.
Records filed at the Registry of Deeds show that Mr and Mrs McNamara sold another of their former family homes and three apartments in the capital, bringing in a total of €1.984m in the process.
While news of the Clare-born developer's sale for €10m of his family's palatial home on Ailesbury Road to JP McManus's wife Noreen hit the headlines in October of last year, the Sunday Independent can now reveal how he and his wife sold another house in Mount Merrion just three weeks later for €1.35m. Before moving to the heart of Dublin's embassy belt at the turn of the last decade, the McNamaras had been using the house known as Woodview as their family home.
Notwithstanding the sale of the Mount Merrion property on November 21, 2011, to a third party whose details are recorded at the Registry of Deeds, the Sunday Independent has confirmed from several sources that Mrs McNamara has stayed at the house on a number of subsequent visits to Dublin.
Inquiries to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) by this newspaper show that the Mount Merrion house was recorded as being 'tenanted' on November 22, 2011, just a day after it was sold. While Mr McNamara returned a call to the Sunday Independent yesterday, efforts to discuss the matter with him were unsuccessful.
Mr McNamara, for his part, is said to be at the south Dublin property less frequently and is understood to be busy travelling back and forth for work between his new base in London and West Africa. Despite being declared a bankrupt, the 62-year-old has been putting his 40 years of experience in the construction industry to good use and is already working as a property consultant with his son, Michael.
Back here at home meanwhile, records filed at the Registry of Deeds show how Mrs McNamara sold three apartments at Charlotte Quay Dock in the period between February and June of this year.
The first of the three sales took place on February 24 last and saw Mrs McNamara sell an apartment and car parking space for €220,000. Details of the price were recorded on the Property Price Register.
On May 22 last, Mrs McNamara sold a second apartment and car parking space at Charlotte Quay Dock for €122,000.
Just over a month later on June 27 last, Mrs McNamara sold a third apartment and car parking space at Charlotte Quay Dock. Details of the sale recorded on the Property Price Register show that the purchaser of this property paid €192,500 for it.
Separately, the Sunday Independent can reveal that Nama only learned that Mr McNamara had been declared bankrupt in the UK four days after it had happened.
Responding to a specific question on the matter yesterday, a spokesman for the agency confirmed that Nama had been notified of the move on November 6 last. This was despite the fact that Mr McNamara had been adjudicated bankrupt in London's High Court of Justice on November 2 last.
The timing of the developer's move and Nama's awareness of it is especially relevant in the light of legal proceedings that were being pursued by the agency against him in the Commercial Court here.
Last Monday, lawyers for National Asset Loan Management, a subsidiary company of Nama, told Mr Justice Peter Kelly that they had decided to discontinue summary judgement proceedings against Mr McNamara for €27.5m having learned on November 6 that he had been declared bankrupt – the same day that they had filed a motion looking for the case to be fast-tracked in the Commercial Court.