Saturday 17 March 2018

Bank sues ex-rugby star Frankie Sheahan’s dad over €2.9m debt

Tim Healy

THE father of former Ireland and Munster rugby player Frankie Sheahan is being sued over a €2.9m debt.

It arises out alleged guarantees given by Frank Sheahan Snr for some loans given by Bank of Ireland to Frankie, and to another son, Joey.

In correspondence with the bank last month, Frank Sheahan Snr had expressed disappointment none of the repayment proposals advanced on behalf of his family were accepted, asked for further talks and argued there would be "no winners" in litigation.

The bank said it had considered Mr Sheahan's proposals but believed it was not appropriate to defer the legal action.

The case was transferred to the Commercial Court today by Mr Justice Peter Kelly who made directions for exchange of legal documents between the sides.

The bank's move comes after what it said was a failure to reach a "mutually acceptable solution"  following lengthy negotiations between it and the Sheahans over repayment of outstanding sums on loans advanced by Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank to buy residential properties for rental purposes.

The bank last year appointed Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton as receiver to 17 residential properties of the Sheahans located in Cork and Greystones, Co Wicklow.

In separate High Court proceedings yet to be heard, Frankie and Joey Sheahan contend the receiver's appointment is invalid and that certain alleged actions of his, including changing locks on properties,  may damage their business.

That action, by the brothers and, of which Frankie Sheahan is a director and employee, is against Bank of Ireland, Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank and Mr McAteer.

In its Commercial Court action, BOI Mortgage Bank is seeking payment of some €2.97m from Frank Sheahan Senior, Uplands House, Shanakiel, Cork,  arising from various alleged guarantees and indemnities allegedly executed by him over loans to his sons made on dates from 2005. It demanded payment of that sum on January 13th last but it remains unpaid.

The bank is also seeking, if necessary, orders rectifying a mistake on the guarantees related to the fact the account numbers to which the guarantees relate was not written into the documents.

It is claimed Mr Sheahan Snr provided a guarantee for a €2.34m loan advanced to Frankie in 2007 and some €1.5m remains outstanding under that loan. The bank also claims Ms Sheahan Senior is liable for further sums of €937,132 under a December 2005 guarantee; for €283,285 under a guarantee of some loans to his son Joey and for €253,782 under a December 2007 guarantee of another loan.

The bank claims there was a pattern of continuous default on the accounts at issue. It said it had accepted interest only repayments on the loans for a period and its switch to seeking principal and interest repayments caused problems in early 2011 for both brothers who asked it to extend the period for interest only repayments.

The bank said it had called in loans of both brothers during 2011 and later appointed a receiver over several properties after rejecting various proposals, including one from Joey Sheahan asking it to accept a sum of €500,000 to address his €3.5m liability. It was also concerned about "a material inaccuracy" in a statement of affairs of Joey Sheahan provided in January 2012 related to ownership of a property at Maryborough Hill, Douglas, Co Cork, it said.

The bank has also claimed Frankie Sheahan had failed to put forward any satisfactory proposals to meet his liabilities.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News