Wednesday 23 October 2019

Family in '€25m debt case' refusing to hand over D4 home to bank

Couple refuses to leave house in €25m debt case

Ann Keane and Patrick Halpin, owners of Aberdeen Lodge in Dublin 4 speak to officials from Grant Thornton Photo; Damien Eagers / INM
Ann Keane and Patrick Halpin, owners of Aberdeen Lodge in Dublin 4 speak to officials from Grant Thornton Photo; Damien Eagers / INM

Robin Schiller and Luke Byrne

A US bank is trying to take possession of a property that is both a Dublin couple's home and their business over debts of more than €25m.

Receivers appointed by Goldman Sachs are attempting to take control of Aberdeen Lodge, Park Avenue, Dublin 4.

The owners, Patrick Halpin and Ann Keane, have been in a long-running legal battle with the major global financial institution after falling behind on bank repayments.

The couple, who have two children, have refused to leave. A receiver appointed by the US multinational attempted to carry out a repossession order of the property, which is run as a B&B.

"The debts in this case are over €25m and the property, worth at least €3m, was pledged as security for those debts," a statement from Goldman Sachs said.

"We have extensive experience in working with borrowers in a range of circumstances and every effort has been made over a number of years to find a resolution to this matter.

"We review these matters carefully and have robust processes to ensure our action is appropriate to the circumstances in each individual case."

They have argued the property cannot be seized over a €20m debt from a loan during the boom for a failed hotel project.

The family have offered to pay €1.25m in debt secured on the property but they said Goldman Sachs had refused to deal with them to remedy the situation.

Yesterday, a man and woman arrived to carry out a possession order on behalf of receiver Paul McCann, of Grant Thornton.

However, the family refused to leave, with Mr Halpin saying the ongoing fight for their home and business has nearly put him in the grave.

Patrick Halpin, who said he has ongoing heart issues, told agents acting on behalf of the receiver that the family have no option.

"We have nowhere to go, just to confirm we are paying our mortgage every month. I am in and out of hospital.

"This has nearly brought me into the grave, We have done nothing wrong. We never borrowed a shilling from Goldman Sachs," he said.

Irish Independent

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