Beacon builder to start over debt free
HIS unfinished work at the Beacon in south Dublin still serves as an ugly reminder of the boom and the bust that followed, while his companies' multi-million euro debts have had to be picked up by the taxpayer after they were transferred to Nama.
This Wednesday, however, will mark a new and debt-free beginning for developer Paddy Shovlin, when he receives an automatic discharge from bankruptcy in the UK.
In coming out the other end of the UK's more benign insolvency regime, Mr Shovlin joins a number of major Irish developers, including Ray Grehan of Glenkerrin Homes, and Fleming Construction boss John Fleming, in securing a clean bill of financial health in the face of overwhelming debt.
Where Mr Grehan and Mr Fleming's overall liabilities came to some €300m and €1bn respectively, prior to their decision to relocate to London and declare themselves personally insolvent, in the case of Mr Shovlin, the amount – which is owed to Nama principally – came to hundreds of million of euro and arose mainly from his company's ill-timed €500m plans for the Beacon development.
Conceived at the height of the boom, the hugely-ambitious project had been intended by Mr Shovlin and his fellow Landmark Enterprise directors, brothers Tony and Pat Fitzpatrick, to be a "world showcase nationally and internationally".
Nama has recently taken on responsibility for finishing off the development, which has stood out as a concrete skeleton on the Sandyford skyline.