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O'Reilly in fast-track bid to build 400 homes


Stock Image: Bloomberg

Stock Image: Bloomberg

Stock Image: Bloomberg

A company controlled by developer Joe O'Reilly is looking to build more than 400 homes at a site in Shankill, south Dublin.

The planned development has been notified to An Bord Pleanála under the Housing Act, which is designed to fast-track large housing developments, with consultations now taking place with the planning watchdog.

The plan to build the 428 residential units is being progressed by a company called Aeval, which is owned by Mr O'Reilly and fellow Castlethorn Construction director John Fitzsimons.

The site on which the proposed development is to be built is at Woodbrook in Shankill.

In 2010, Davy wrote to clients who had invested in the site that was to be developed by Aeval, advising them that they should liaise with the Revenue Commissioners to offset losses on their investment in the site against any gains.

The site was determined at the time to have negligible value.

Davy had received advice from KPMG for investors in relation to the site.

Investors were advised at the time to file what is known as a "negligible value claim''. This allows the investors to claim their capital had effectively been wiped out in the deal so the resulting loss could be offset against other gains.

The investors, according to the advice provided to Davy by KPMG, could make the claim even though the site at Woodbrook, hadn't actually been sold.

The investors in the site were told at the time that their investment wouldn't be repaid if the site was sold at that time, and bank loans repaid.

The investors have seen their investment written down to a nominal value of just €0.05.

Aeval has been an unlimited company since 2009 and is a subsidiary of Castlethorn Construction.

However, the final set of accounts for the company that were filed publicly before it became unlimited showed that it controlled 52 acres of residential-zoned land at Woodbrook, as well as just over six acres of residential-zoned land at Shanganagh Castle in Co Dublin. At the end of June 2007, Aeval's sites were valued at €192m.

It owed creditors €216m, including €126m in bank loans at the time.

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AIB, First Active, Ulster Bank, Castlethorn Construction and Davy Property Holdings all held charges over the lands, which had been acquired by Aeval from Sir Henry Marc Sursock Cochrane in 2006.

Mr O'Reilly's firms were among the largest borrowers in Ireland, and his firms owned Dundrum Shopping Centre and the Pavilions Shopping Centre in Swords. Loans from his Castlethorn and Chartered Land vehicles were acquired by Nama in 2010.

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