Business Irish

Wednesday 24 January 2018

I can't repay Anglo €86.5m -- broke developer

Limerick developer Michael Daly leaving an earlier High Court hearing in the action taken by Anglo Irish Bank for the recovery of loans totalling €86.5m
Limerick developer Michael Daly leaving an earlier High Court hearing in the action taken by Anglo Irish Bank for the recovery of loans totalling €86.5m

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A DEVELOPER who claimed he had easy access to senior figures at Anglo Irish Bank last night revealed he is broke and cannot repay €86.5m he owes to the lender.

Yesterday, Michael Daly, a former partner at accountancy firm Grant Thornton who led one of the biggest property development firms in the mid-west, consented to the €86.5m judgment.

The judgment is one of the highest granted over an unpaid property loan and the second largest personal judgment ever entered at the Commercial Court.

Mr Daly was, along with four solicitors in Limerick law firm Dermot G O'Donovan, a shareholder in Fordmount Property Group. Its projects included the landmark Riverpoint Development in Limerick as well as the Savoy Hotel and The Park nursing home in Castletroy.

Last night, Mr Daly told the Irish Independent he was fearful for his future. "I have nothing," said Mr Daly, who once earned a coveted slot on the Sunday Times Rich List.

"They [Anglo] know that all my net worth was in Fordmount. They know that I cannot deal with this judgment and I am very worried for my future and for my family home."

In his defence to yesterday's proceedings, Mr Daly had claimed he was regarded by Anglo as a "favoured developer" in the mid-west region with "easy access" to senior figures in the bank, including Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm.

He claimed he was actively encouraged by Anglo in 2006 and 2007 to undertake massive property developments with the assurance that hundreds of millions of euro would be made available.

His companies spent more than €300m on development projects here, plus more than €100m in projects in Germany, Mr Daly said. In 2006 and 2007, Anglo was anxious the group make extra investments in Germany and Mr Drumm made it clear funds of up to €500m were available, he alleged.

Guarantees

Mr Daly, of Dalmin, North Circular Road, Limerick, said he had relied on oral assurances from Anglo executives that personal guarantees provided by him over loans were secondary to security taken by the bank and would never be relied upon.

The bank, however, failed to take proper security and its handling of securities was "a shambles", he said.

Anglo argued the claims about Mr Daly's access to senior executives were not relevant and described as "incredible" his claims relating to the bank's approach to the guarantees.

Last year, the proceedings against Mr Daly were sent to a full hearing after the court ruled Mr Daly had made out an arguable defence.

The hearing was listed for January 11, but Anglo brought an application seeking to strike out Mr Daly's defence on grounds of failure to make discovery of documents.

That motion was due to be dealt with yesterday, but Mr Justice Kelly was told by counsel for Anglo that Mr Daly had emailed Anglo earlier indicating he was consenting to judgment in the sum sought. Mr Justice Kelly entered judgment for €86,543,769 against him.

Third-party proceedings by Mr Daly in which he made claims against a number of Limerick solicitors were also struck out, with costs against Mr Daly, after he said he was not proceeding with those claims.

Irish Independent

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