Sunday 17 December 2017

Bank of Scotland secures judgement for over €6.9m against Kildare farmer

Mary Carolan

BANK of Scotland has secured judgment orders for around €6.9m in the Commercial Court against a farmer in Co Kildare.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday entered judgment for €6,971,856 against Eugene McDermott, Kennycourt Stud, Brannockstown, Co Kildare, who was called twice but was not in court and not represented.

The judge told Andrew Fitzpatrick BL, for the bank, he was satisfied the bank had effected good and sufficient service of the proceedings on Mr McDermott.

The bank sought the judgment arising from loans dating back to 2005 advanced for purposes including refinancing other loans, to acquire bloodstock and for stud developments.

In June 2012, the bank issued repayment demands under the various facilities, plus interest and fees.  When repayment was not made, it appointed a receiver over certain lands of Mr McDermott at Kennycourt, Brannockstown, mortgaged to the bank under a 1996 mortgage.

Before appointing the receiver, the bank said it had held various meetings with Mr McDermott who indicated he hoped to source an investor and get monies from the sale of bloodstock.  It had also engaged with advisers of Mr McDermott.

In January last, Mr McDermott had issued a notice to the receiver alleging he (the receiver) would be liable to Mr McDermott for some €10m if he persisted in "illegal and unlawful activities". 

In all the circumstances, the bank had acted appropriately and was entitled to judgment, it argued.

Mr McDermott has initiated separate proceedings in which he describes himself as "one of the people of Eire" and makes various claims, including the bank fraudulently misrepresented information at the inception of contracts in relation to Mr McDermott's accounts.

The bank has insisted Mr McDermott has no bona fide claims against it and alleges Mr McDermott had initiated those, but failed to progress them since, as part of efforts to frustrate the receiver appointed by it.

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