House money used to fund golf courses, court hears
A COUPLE are suing a building firm after claiming that the money they paid to build a high-quality house was instead used to fund two expensive golf courses in which the firm was also involved.
Joseph and Katherine Corcoran signed up to buy one of nine high-specification homes in Glenair Manor, Delgany, in Wicklow, after selling their home in Blackrock for €1.9m Under the terms, they agreed to pay €500,000 for the Glenair site in August 2005, and a further €1.35m for the building work.
But the Corcorans were in the High Court yesterday, claiming that EASSDA Ireland Limited had failed to complete the house within the 24-month contract period.
The court heard yesterday that after the two-year period had expired and work had still not been completed, it was learned that EASSDA's agent, Willow Court Homes, the firm carrying out the work, were not being directly funded by EASSDA.
EASSDA-related companies, Moyvalley and New Forest, were involved in two "significant and costly golf courses in the midlands". These companies received "massive tranches of monies from EASSDA", counsel for the couple said.
"The directors of EASSDA were effectively funding those projects down the country with the collected deposits from the Glenair site," he added.
The couple paid a €185,000 deposit and work began in 2005. They kept a close eye on construction and also made payments for extra features, like the geo-thermal heating system, the court was told.
However, a number of problems arose in 2007, in particular an issue over the location of the boundary fence beside a neighbouring house.
The builders told the Corcorans they would have to demolish their garage as a result but this problem was later resolved.
In their statement of claim, the Corcorans said they have been put through stress and upset as a result of the delay in completion. The threat to demolish the garage was made while they were on holidays in the US and this caused them great upset, they said.
The Corcorans claim EASSDA Ireland Limited and its principal, Alastair Jackson, both of Antrim Road, Templepatrick, Antrim, failed to complete within a 24-month period.
They claim that as a result of the delay, they suffered losses of nearly €300,000, including €106,000 allegedly provided by them for extras like geo-thermal heating and solar panelling.
The claim also includes the cost of alternative accommodation and loss of an opportunity to get a tracker mortgage.
The case continues.