Saturday 20 January 2018

IBRC officials bid to quash 'frivolous, vexatious' case

Tim Healy

TWO officials at Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC) have asked the High Court to release them from summonses to attend what they describe as a "frivolous and vexatious" case being brought by a client of the nationalised bank.

Declan Buckley, who has since left IBRC, and Mary Kelly were summoned to appear before Dublin District Court next Monday on foot of a prosecution brought by company director Patrick Halpin.

Mr Halpin alleges that Ms Kelly and Mr Buckley by deception falsely represented that IBRC (formerly Anglo) was prepared to engage in a process that would allow his company, Elektron, to trade normally.

Yesterday, Brian Murray, for the bank officials, said the action against his clients was "frivolous and vexatious" and said the case was being brought because of Mr Halpin's grievance over IBRC's decision to have appointed receivers to two companies of which he is a director.

The bankers say the allegations against them are "without foundation". Ms Kelly is a case manager with the bank's recovery management division, while Mr Buckley was previously its director of banking -- up until the end of last March.

Counsel said that on February 17 last Mr Halpin -- whose companies the court heard owe a significant debt to IBRC -- and an accountant with Elektron met the two bankers.

The bank says it made a demand for payment of the monies it claims it is owed in respect of loans advanced and guaranteed by the companies.

Receiver

Following the meeting, the bank appointed a receiver to both the companies, which are involved in the hotel business including the Merrion Hall boutique hotel/guesthouse in Dublin 4. Mr Halpin, counsel said, seemed to be under the impression that after that meeting there would be further discussions.

In his complaint, Mr Halpin alleges that a decision had already been taken by the bank to appoint a receiver and it had deliberately concealed this information from him.

Counsel said that at no stage was it ever denied at that meeting that a receiver would not have been appointed.

It was made clear to him by IBRC that the appointment of a receiver to the companies was an option it was considering.

"This summons should never have been issued against them", and is "an abuse of process", counsel said.

Counsel said that by signing the summonses, the judge had erred in law.

Information sworn by Mr Halpin failed to disclose the existence of any offence on the parts of his clients, counsel added.

Irish Independent

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