PROPERTY developer Danny Grehan (47) has been declared bankrupt in the UK a week after his brother Ray.
The brothers, who have been living in London since last year, each owe NAMA more than €300m. Ray Grehan was declared bankrupt at the end of December.
Slough County Court issued a bankruptcy order against his brother, who has an address at High Street, Uxbridge, London, on January 6. He will be automatically discharged from bankruptcy on January 6, 2013, according to the court documents. This means they will both be able to go back into business early next year rather than having to wait 12 years if they filed for bankruptcy in Ireland.
Cork property developer John Fleming has already come through the UK bankruptcy process and has gone back into business.
The Galway-born Grehans, who owned the Glenkerrin Group, which was a major house builder in Ireland over the past 15 years, have been involved in developing property in the UK for many years.
The brothers moved to London in the middle of 2011 and have satisfied the court that their main business is there. Ireland's once-richest man, Sean Quinn, failed to win his case to be made bankrupt in Northern Ireland and will face bankruptcy proceedings in the High Court in Dublin on Monday.
Over the years the Grehans had built up a portfolio of properties in Ireland and the UK, including a new tower next to Canary Wharf.
Over the next year the brothers' assets will be distributed by an official appointed by the court amongst the people they own money to, including Nama.
They will be freed from their debts at the end of that process. Nama can challenge their application to be released from bankruptcy at the end of next year and can also try to make a claim on their pensions that are not included in the bankruptcy.
Danny Grehan, who also gave an address to the court of Crinstown, Maynooth, Co Kildare, has been working as a project manager in the UK.
He has his own company, Danny Grehan Project Management, based at Uxbridge, according to court documents.
The brothers paid €171m, or a record €84m an acre, for the former Veterinary College in Ballsbridge, Dublin, at the height of the boom in 2005.
Ray Grehan has said that going through the UK bankruptcy process would leave him in a better position to rebuild his business, rather than staying in Ireland and allowing "NAMA to prolong that agony with a noose around my neck over several years".
He has said the brothers don't have the more than €600m that they owe to NAMA.
The Grehans claim that NAMA made it impossible for them to continue working with the agency. When they failed to agree a business plan with NAMA, it put their company into liquidation.
Some insolvency experts estimate that hundreds of millions worth of debts owed by Irish people have already been wiped out in the British courts as more people opt for the more lenient UK bankruptcy arrangements.