Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 12 December 2017

NAMA taking court action against widow of farmer who took his own life, PAC hears

Annette De Vere Hunt, PAC chair John McGuinness and Philip and Annette’s daughter Alison. Photo: Tom Burke
Annette De Vere Hunt, PAC chair John McGuinness and Philip and Annette’s daughter Alison. Photo: Tom Burke
Philip De Vere Hunt
PAC chairman John McGuinness

Shane Phelan, Public Affairs Editor

NAMA is pressing ahead with a legal action against the widow of a farmer who took his own life despite previous indications the agency would go into mediation with her.

The move was criticised today by the chairman of the Dail’s spending watchdog.

The Public Accounts Committee heard papers progressing legal proceedings against Annette De Vere Hunt were recently served on her “late at night”.

Last December she gave compelling evidence at a private session of the committee about how her husband Philip De Vere Hunt (64) took his own life in 2012 after a NAMA subsidiary, NALM, took a case against him.

She told the committee her husband was badly treated by NALM, which had taken a case against him and his business partner over a €30m AIB loan to develop a shopping centre in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Mrs De Vere Hunt said her husband took his own life after his dealings with the agency brought him "to the end of his tether".

NAMA launched High Court proceedings against his widow Annette and son Robert which could see them lose the family farm where Philip's ashes are scattered.

PAC chairman John McGuinness said there had been indications NAMA could enter a mediation process with Mrs De Vere Hunt, but did not seem to have happened.

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“Within weeks of that meeting with her, papers were served on her late at night,” he said.

Mr McGuinness said he wished to put his disappointment on record.

“I think it is unacceptable that a state body would behave in this way,” he said.

Mr McGuinness said “nothing but trauma and sadness” was being heaped on Mrs De Vere Hunt.

Another committee member, Gabrielle McFadden, said she was disgusted by the development.

“That is not good enough,” she said.

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