Business Irish

Wednesday 13 December 2017

NAMA and developer's wife in court over Beckett's former home

Tim Healy

THE Dublin home of Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett has become the subject of a court injunction due to a dispute between NAMA and the American wife of Irish property developer John Flynn.

Leona (Lee) Flynn is disputing a demand for repayment of almost €22m issued last month by NAMA over loans made by Anglo Irish Bank to herself, her husband, John Flynn Junior and Elaine Flynn, related to the Belfield Office Park development in Dublin.

The loans were transferred to NAMA in 2010 and, as part of its efforts to secure repayment, NAMA obtained a temporary injunction aimed at protecting the proceeds of sale of the house, 'Cooldrinagh' in Kerrymount Avenue, Foxrock, Dublin.

The house is on the market with an asking price of €3.6m. It was built by Samuel Beckett's father in 1903 and the famous writer, dramatist and poet spent his childhood there.

Mrs Flynn lives with her husband in Palm Beach, Florida, and, the court heard, also has a right of residence for life in Cooldrinagh.

Debt

NAMA claims, while she and her husband previously divided her time between the two properties, she now apparently intended to base herself full-time in the US.

From information available to the agency, it appeared Mrs Flynn might well be "the only significant financial mark" among herself and the co-borrowers, NAMA said.

She was being dealt with as part of a "Flynn connection" which had "significant debt" spread across AIB, IBRC and EBS facilities, it added.

The loans in this case also formed part of the "Kelly connection", related to three other borrower groups as well as the Flynn borrowers, NAMA said. In autumn 2012, NAMA had rejected their business plan.

Last month, Mrs Flynn initiated proceedings against a NAMA company, National Asset Loan Management Ltd, for declarations that she has no beneficial interest in Belfield Office Park following a 2008 deed transferring her 10pc beneficial interest in that property to her husband. She also wants declarations NAMA is not entitled to a statement of her assets.

NAMA opposes those claims and asked Mr Justice Peter Kelly to fast-track Mrs Flynn's proceedings in the Commercial Court.

The judge said he would fast-track the case and grant interim orders, returnable to March 22, restraining alienation or charging of any sale proceeds of Cooldrinagh.

Without such orders, any judgment obtained against Mrs Flynn, a US citizen, could be "rendered hollow", he observed.

Irish Independent

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