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Possible €1m transfer to developer's children sparks action

NAMA is concerned about the possible transfer of €1m to the children of a developer and his wife, the Commercial Court heard yesterday.

Thomas and Patricia Joyce, of Summerville House, Rosbeg, Westport, Co Mayo, are being pursued over unpaid property loans of some €50m, and are said to be insolvent.

Earlier this month, AIB, after getting permission from NAMA, secured an interim assets freezing order against the couple, restraining them from dealing with some Stg£900,000 (€1.07m) payable as a result of an investment in London.

The couple had denied the investment was owned by them and claimed it was owned by a partnership, the Summerville Partnership. AIB claimed it was reasonable to infer that partnership comprised the couple and others, including persons related to them.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday continued the freezing order at the request of Jarlath Ryan, for AIB, who said he was concerned about remarks appearing to indicate the €1m investment sum was payable to their children.


Gary McCarthy, for the couple, had earlier said they were prepared to give an undertaking in the terms of the freezing order. The funds at issue were held by AIB Investment Managers and there was no possibility of a dispersal of them.

Mr McCarthy said their case had always been the funds belonged to the Summerville Partnership, not his clients, and AIB had been told in 2004 the monies were going to the partnership which involved his clients' children.

Mr Justice Kelly said the undertaking offered would be binding only on the couple when they themselves had no drawing rights on the €1m sum and such rights appeared to belong to their children.

In those circumstances, the judge said he would continue the freezing order and listed the injunction matter again in two weeks' time.

The injunction proceedings arise in proceedings where AIB is seeking €50.5m judgment orders against the couple, and €9m against their property company, Thomas S Joyce & Sons (Castlebar), with registered offices in Westport, arising from loans issued by the bank but since acquired by NAMA.

The defendants have argued that the loans were in breach of the terms of the Consumer Credit Act, and have also advanced a counter-claim.

The action will be heard in the Commercial Court later this year.

Irish Independent