MUSICIAN Jim Corr yesterday accused ACC Bank of targeting him because he was "a headline-grabbing figure", in ongoing proceedings over a land deal that went wrong.
The guitarist with the band the Corrs agreed to the bank's application for a judgment order against him over the loan to buy 97 acres of land in Co Kilkenny. The Commercial Court on Friday was told he had consented to the €1.4m summary judgment in favour of ACC Bank over an unpaid loan advanced to him and others in 2004 to buy the non-residential land at Goresbridge.
Mr Corr, who was not in court, had earlier thanked people on his Facebook page for their support as he had to "endure a bankster attack". Yesterday he went further, with a statement on his website saying he was obviously disappointed "that ACC Bank chose not to allow the pending sale of the land to complete without recourse to the courts, but chose instead to press for a judgment at a headline-grabbing figure now."
He went on: "I guess if you are a bank like ACC and you want to scare everyone that owes you money into paying it back, the hanging of a public figure is an attractive opportunity not to be missed.
"Once the sale of the land is completed, the loan balance remaining would not even move the needle compared to the staggering figures you see in the newspapers every day, so it was now or never if they wanted to leverage their opportunity."
He said his involvement in the transaction "was as the financier of a partnership with Philip Marks, with whom I originally purchased some of the relevant land (25 per cent each) along with his father Liam who purchased 50 per cent of the land. I freely admit that I am better at writing songs than at business."
He said the other point he wanted to address was "that I have not been living in the Republic for some considerable time, so the suggestion that my absence from the country was for the purpose of evading service is just another headline-grabbing exercise.
"The first I heard about the proceedings was from the RTE website. I was happy to pay ACC what I might allegedly owe."
The court heard Mr Corr would not be seeking to defend the bank's claim and was consenting to summary judgment of €1,442,922, plus costs. The case arises from a €1.2m loan advanced to Mr Corr, of Sharman House, Old Windmill Road, Crawfordsburn, Bangor, Co Down, and another man, Liam Marks, The Coach House, Sandymount, Blackrock, Dundalk, in November 2004 to assist in purchasing the land at Goresbridge. Earlier this week, ACC also secured summary judgment for €1.4m on consent against Mr Marks arising from the same loan. The bank also said it intended to bring proceedings against Philip Marks, son of Liam Marks, who was also a party to the letter of loan sanction.
It had heard reports that Mr Marks was living in Hong Kong and would bring the proceedings once it had established his precise whereabouts. Mr Corr and his business partners in the deal are still trying to sell the landholding at the centre of the High Court dispute.