Sunday 17 December 2017

Bertie's 'dig out' pal to have D4 apartment repossessed

Jim Nugent
Jim Nugent
Hazeldene apartments off Anglesea Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin

Ray Managh and Shane Phelan

Businessman Jim Nugent, who was at the centre of the "dig out" controversy that hastened the fall of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, is to have his upmarket apartment repossessed by a bank.

A court heard that not one payment had been made in respect of a €1.3m loan on the Dublin 4 residence in the past three years.

Mr Nugent and his wife, Mary Nugent, also known as Mary T Monaghan, were sued for repossession by KBC Bank Ireland Plc.

The businessman has an address at Maple 6, Haseldene, Ballsbridge, a plush gated apartment block development off Anglesea Road.

In a brief three-minute hearing yesterday, barrister Rudi Neuman Shanahan told the Circuit Civil Court that the bank was seeking possession of the property.

He said a firm of solicitors for the Nugents was neither consenting nor objecting to the order being made.

"That allows me to agree on behalf of the bank to a six-month stay on the order," he told the court.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane granted the possession order with the agreed stay on execution. She said the €1.3m loan had been taken out for a 10-year period in February 2005 and "not one euro" had been paid against it since 2012.

When the judge said that no sworn affidavit outlining a defence against the bank's application had been entered, a representative of O'Callaghan Kelly, solicitors for the Nugents, told the court that the defendants were neither consenting to nor opposing the application.

Judge Linnane said €1.7m was currently outstanding on the overall debt, which included a secondary loan of €160,000 that the Nugents had taken out in September 2005.

The judge had considered papers in the case revealing that the Nugents had defaulted on repayments and had failed to maintain constructive engagement with the bank.

KBC mounted a demand for possession in March last year.

Mr Nugent is a former acting chief executive of the Central Remedial Clinic and was chairman of CERT, the tourism industry training body, as well as sitting on the board of the Central Bank.

He has faced demands from other banks in the past.

In 2011, Danske Bank, trading as National Irish Bank, sued Mr Nugent for a debt of almost €8.5m in the High Court which, in February 2013, ruled in favour of the bank. Three months later, the Danish lender took out a judgment mortgage against Mr Nugent's home.

Mr Nugent was also sued for almost €300,000 by Bank of Scotland (Ireland). That bank executed a judgment mortgage against him in 2012, according to the website of the Courts Service. It is not clear if Mr Nugent's debts were satisfied at any stage.

Mr Nugent was a key member of the "Drumcondra Mafia" who were close to Mr Ahern.

He told the Mahon Tribunal that he gave Mr Ahern IR£2,500 in December 1993, one of a number of payments the former Fianna Fáil leader claimed to have received from friends.

However, Mr Nugent's testimony was not accepted by the tribunal, which said it was satisfied the "dig out" payments never happened.

Irish Independent

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