Friday 15 December 2017

Property investor Liam Smyth and wife declared bankrupt

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John Mulligan

John Mulligan

One of Ireland's prominent boom-time property investors, Liam Smyth, has been declared bankrupt.

Mr Smyth's assets once included penthouse apartments at an exclusive address in New York, and high-profile commercial property in London and Dublin.

His bankruptcy effectively marks the final disintegration of his empire, which has unravelled over the past few years.

Mr Smyth's wife, Ita, has also been declared bankrupt.

The businessman is the founder of the Unique menswear chain, which he started in the 1970s.

Among his trophy assets were six penthouse apartments at the exclusive Centria building in Manhattan.They commanded views of St Patrick's Cathedral, the Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Plaza. In 2011, AIB seized control of a €100m building owned by Mr Smyth on London's Oxford Street.

AIB also appointed receivers to two Smyth companies that owned office blocks on Lower Leeson Street and Adelaide Road in Dublin. The property owned on Adelaide Road was occupied by the Argentinian embassy.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), the former Anglo Irish Bank, also secured court orders instructing Mr Smyth to repay €28m in unpaid property loans and guarantees.

Last year, Bank of Ireland secured about €30m of judgments against Mr Smyth, as well as a judgment for about €13m against Mrs Smyth.

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