Tuesday 20 March 2018

Another €60,000 found in McFeely's bathroom

GARDAI have uncovered a further haul of cash concealed in the bathroom of the former home of bankrupt developer and IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely.

Officers found €60,000 yesterday as they searched the mansion in Ailesbury Road on the south side of Dublin.

A fingertip search was ordered by the Criminal Assets Bureau after the discovery of €140,000 by a plumber during renovation work on the recently sold house.

The first sum was found under the bath on Friday and NAMA, which put the property up for sale, was immediately informed.

Its officials notified the bureau, and an investigation into the source of the cash was launched.

A search covering the entire property, including the grounds, was initiated yesterday in an effort to establish if more cash had been hidden there.

Gardai vehicles parked at Tom McFeely's former home
Gardai vehicles parked at Tom McFeely's former home
Gardai vehicles parked at Tom McFeely's former home
Gardai at Tom McFeely's former home
The mansion on Ailesbury Road, once owned by McFeely
Developer Tom McFeely
Tom McFeely. Photo: Courtpix

Shortly after the search began, the second find was made in the bathroom. This haul was also made up of €50 notes wrapped in rubber bands and placed in plastic bags.

Gardai said an initial examination suggested the two sums were linked and had been been concealed there at about the same time.

It is not clear if the money was left by Mr McFeely, and bureau officers are not likely to seek to interview him until further inquiries have been completed.

Until a legitimate owner has been identified, the money will remain in a bank account under the control of an official assignee appointed by the High Court to oversee the disposal of the assets of the bust developer.

NAMA seized the property, named Coolbawn, after Mr McFeely was declared bankrupt, and put it up for sale earlier this year for €3m – it was worth €15m at the height of the boom.

The house was subsequently bought by Hilary Hynes, the wife of PR adviser and former Irish editor of 'The Sunday Times', Rory Godson.

If Mr McFeely is established as the legitimate owner of the cash, it will remain with the official assignee for disposal.

Mr McFeely, who admits his bank debts exceed €200m, told a court hearing less than a year ago that he had only €1,160 in the bank and denied he had any hidden assets.

While the investigation into the cash is being carried out, the former residents of Priory Hall – the housing complex built by Mr McFeely which was declared a firetrap – are still waiting for their problems to be sorted out.

Last month, one resident, mother-of-two Stephanie Meehan, revealed how the stress of dealing with their Priory Hall difficulties had driven her partner, Fiachra Daly, to suicide.

This occurred a week after he had received payment demands from his bank.

Searches continued at the developers house today

By Tom Brady Security Editor

Irish Independent

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