Thursday 19 April 2018

Court told Murtagh insolvent as investors pursue €28.1m

Brendan Murtagh: his net worth has plunged since 2007
Brendan Murtagh: his net worth has plunged since 2007

Tim Healy

WELL-known businessman Brendan Murtagh is insolvent, the Commercial Court heard yesterday.

Mr Murtagh and two other businessmen are being pursued for €28.1m by investors related to Polish property deals and all three have had total judgments for more than €60m entered against them.

It includes a €28.1m judgment secured last month by Loparco SA, a Luxembourg-registered company through which a number of investors put €20m into four Polish companies to be managed by the Howard Holdings property group.

Loparco secured the €28.1m judgment last November after claiming one of the other businessmen, Greg Coughlan, had failed to adhere to agreements relating to the investment.

Mr Coughlan, Mr Murtagh and Mr Brian Madden had all guaranteed the performance by Mr Coughlan of his obligations and judgment for €28.1m was obtained against all three.

That order increased to €60m the total judgment orders against them, after the EBS secured judgment for €33m against them three days earlier.

Loparco is now seeking to recover its judgment and wants to establish the assets and liabilities of all three men.

Yesterday, Gary McCarthy, for Mr Murtagh, of Dunheeda, Kingscourt, Co Cavan, said his client was insolvent and was seeking more time to provide a sworn statement of the assets and liabilities, including assets held by him in 41 companies in the Howard Holdings group.

Similar statements of affairs are sought from Mr Coughlan, of Fastnet House, Kinsale, Co Cork, and Mr Madden, of Well Road, Douglas, Cork.


Mr Justice Kelly said he would allow until Tuesday next for the three to provide statements of affairs related to their personal assets and until Friday next to provide statements related to assets in Howard Holdings, the structure of which was akin to a "spider's web".

Noting the statements of affairs should have been put in yesterday, the judge added he was suspicious that both Mr Coughlan and Mr Murtagh had just changed their legal teams and were now arguing this necessitated having more time to put in the statements of affairs.

Mr Madden, representing himself, said he had worked until midnight over the past three weeks to establish the facts relating to the Howard Holdings companies and was almost finished. He added he would provide the material sought on those companies to Mr Murtagh and Mr Coughlan.

The court heard previously that Mr Murtagh's net worth, put at €200m in February 2007, had been calculated by Laparco at €3.5m in January last year.

Irish Independent

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