Wednesday 13 December 2017

Businessman Anthony O'Reilly fails to overturn High Court order that he provide additional information to bank about assets

Dr Anthony O'Reilly
Dr Anthony O'Reilly

Tim Healy

BUSINESSMAN Dr Anthony O'Reilly has failed to overturn a High Court order that he provide additional information to a bank about his assets.

A three-judge Court of Appeal has unanimously dismissed his bid to overturn a June order requiring him to disclose the information in aid of AIB's efforts to execute a judgment for around €22.5m the bank obtained against him last year.  His total indebtedness now stands at around €15m.

Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geogeghan, on behalf of the appeal court, said it had been open to AIB to seek to cross-examine Dr O'Reilly about his assets once that judgment was obtained.

The bank did not seek that straight away because of Dr O'Reilly's health - he had undergone major back surgery earlier this year in New York and was on round-the-clock painkillers, the court heard.

Anthony O’Reilly and his wife Chryss Goulandris
Anthony O’Reilly and his wife Chryss Goulandris

The bank was later not satisfied with the nature of the information he did provide in relation to his assets, Ms Justice Finlay Geogeghan said.

She said the High Court order was correct. The Court of Appeal was giving Dr O'Reilly until November 3 to provide the discovery of documents sought by the bank.

Bernard Dunleavy SC asked for six weeks to provide the information because of his 79-year-old client's continuing health position which the court heard remained unchanged. While the documentation would be prepared by others, Dr O'Reilly would have to review it before it was provided to the bank, counsel said.

A medical report provided to the court indicated Dr O'Reilly - who was once Ireland's richest man - could concentrate "but only in short bursts of time", counsel said.

AIB objected to six weeks as it would mean the information would only be available at the same time as a court hearing is due to take place in the Bahamas, where Dr O'Reilly is resident, in relation to a personal insolvency process he has engaged in there.

Court of Appeal president Mr Justice Sean Ryan said he could have four weeks given he must have known there was a possibility the appeal would fail.

In his appeal, it was argued that AIB has been advised Dr O'Reilly had €13.5m in unencumbered assets which the bank could move against to satisfy the outstanding debt but which it had failed to do.

AIB denied the claims or that the application was part of a collateral attempt to embarrass him. It said seeking further information was a normal part of the the judgment process.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

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

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News