Wednesday 16 January 2019

€353m debtor Murtagh: 'I do not feel one bit responsible for borrowings'

PERSONAL: Brendan Murtagh
PERSONAL: Brendan Murtagh

Shane Ross

Brendan Murtagh, the Kingspan founder and director with liabilities of over €353m, has hit out at the bankers and developers who landed him in his precarious financial position.

Mr Murtagh says that he "never approached the banks about lending in the Howard Holdings case. I was not involved in any of the negotiations but as a shareholder gave personal guarantees. This was normal". Howard Holdings is a Cork property company whose UK subsidiary was put into liquidation last year. Mr Murtagh was a large shareholder and non-executive director.

Howard Holdings owes Anglo Irish close to €500m .

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Murtagh insisted: "The enforcement of personal guarantees will make a nonsense out of Nama as the State asset management agency will be pursuing people who are financially dead."

Last week, he was refused permission by the Commercial Court to retain shares and a pension fund valued at €1.2m towards living expenses.

Mr Murtagh was once worth nearly €300m . To date, total judgment orders of €60m have been ordered against him. But the Cavan entrepreneur was not lying down: "I do not feel one bit responsible for the borrowings. It was a routine at Howard that directors sign personal guarantees."

Commenting on the court case which refused him the right to retain his personal pension fund, Mr Murtagh insisted that he was now "liberated to get on with other things" though he would not elaborate on future plans.

He is due to retire from the board of publicly quoted Cavan company Kingspan at the AGM next month as he has reached the age of 65.

Sunday Independent

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