Monday 16 September 2019

Former Ireland rugby international Slattery can maintain legal challenge to site sale, court rules

Icon: Fergus Slattery in action for the British and Irish Lions during his rugby playing days. Photo: Getty
Icon: Fergus Slattery in action for the British and Irish Lions during his rugby playing days. Photo: Getty

Tim Healy

Former Ireland rugby international Fergus Slattery can maintain a legal question mark over the sale of a south Dublin house site which is part of a dispute between him and his former financial adviser, Gerry McCoy, following a High Court ruling.

Mr McCoy's wife, Deborah, had claimed Mr Slattery did not have a proper claim over a site next to her family home at Taney Park, Dundrum, which could justify his registering of the legal question mark called a "lis pendens". This warns prospective purchasers of the site of a legal claim over the land. She wanted the court to order that the lis pendens be vacated so the site could be sold.

Mr Justice Tony O'Connor dismissed Ms McCoy's application yesterday.

The case centred on part of the land forming what was originally the full McCoy home property at Taney Park. Half of the land, which has planning permission for another house, was used as part-security for an Ulster Bank loan which became part of a deal between Mr Slattery and Mr McCoy to buy an investment property in Mount Merrion in 2007.

This property was Owenstown House, which was leased to Mr McCoy's failed investment firm, Asset Management Trust.

The €686,500 purchase price for Owenstown was funded by a loan from Ulster Bank, €200,000 from Mr Slattery, and €40,000 from Mr McCoy, who provided Taney Park as part security, Gavin Mooney SC, for Ms McCoy, told the court.

Mr Slattery claimed the €200,000 was a loan. Mr Mooney said this was, in fact, an equity investment.

It was Ms McCoy's case that Mr Slattery could not assert an interest in the Taney Park site which was amenable to the registering of a lis pendens because he did not have an interest in the site, counsel said.

Gavin Ralston SC with Ben O'Floinn SC, for Mr Slattery, urged the court to reject the application. Counsel said that it was only after Mr Slattery registered the lis pendens against Taney Park that Mr McCoy transferred an interest in the site to his wife.

Mr Justice O'Connor said Mr Slattery's proceedings against Mr McCoy have not been discontinued and he was satisfied there was no unreasonable delay in prosecuting them.

Irish Independent

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