It costs €16,000 a month to run my home, says tearful poll ally of Cowen
IT'S the house that costs €16,000 a month to run and it brought its owner to tears in a court yesterday.
A former general election running mate of Taoiseach Brian Cowen who has admitted making secret profits from land deals wept as he detailed to a judge how great his household expenses are.
Ger Killally, a councillor from Edenderry, Co Offaly, said the bills include €1,500 a month for electricity costs and €42,000 a year for health and life insurance policies for him and his wife.
Mr Killally, an accountant-turned-auctioneer, pleaded with Mr Justice Peter Kelly to unfreeze his assets so he can meet his bills. He was ordered by the Commercial Court not to reduce his assets below €8m in February. He sobbed as he told the judge that he needs €4,000 a week to meet household expenses.
When asked if his outgoings, amounting to some €384,000 a year, were high, Mr Killally cited the "crazy situation" in relation to huge electricity bills because of burst pipes, problems with underfloor heating and failed efforts to repair his nine-bedroom Edenderry home.
He also talked about the expense of raising two small children, with another child on the way, and said that he was "in between" cars, as his 2008 Audi Q7 SUV had been damaged in a traffic accident and he could not afford to have it repaired.
The Fianna Fail councillor, who denied he had ever held foreign bank accounts, was a man who "enjoyed the good life when times were better", said his lawyer.
"I'm here telling the truth, everything," said Mr Killally, who is asking the court to change an order preventing him from reducing the balance of his bank accounts below €8m. "It's my word here, I'm not lying."
Mr Killally, who has admitted to making secret profits from land deals, claimed his business and political aspirations at a national level had been decimated by the economic downturn and court proceedings.
He also revealed that he has had to put in place security arrangements at his home after he received numerous threatening and abusive phone calls, texts and emails.
The toll that has been wrought on Mr Killally and his wife Naomi, whose furniture business was shut down last year, were outlined during an emotive two-hour hearing.
Mr Killally said the couple, who borrowed almost €11m to buy various properties, had had their mobile phones cut off because they could not pay their bills. He has had to borrow €40,000 from his own family and borrowed up to €80,000 from his wife's parents because his business has collapsed.
Mr Killally wants to make repayments on properties he and his wife had borrowed to buy.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he would give his decision on the matter on Friday.
Mr Killally, of Shean, Edenderry, Co Offaly, is subject to a High Court order prohibiting him from reducing his bank accounts below €8m in circumstances where he and former Offaly football manager Richie Connor face proceedings over land deals for damages, including for alleged negligence, misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.
Last month, the judge made the freezing order on the application on behalf of three businessmen -- Adrian Daly, Racefield House, Cappincur, Tullamore, Co Offaly; Declan Guing, Carrick Road, Edenderry, Co Offaly; and Frank Lawlor, Clonmullen Lodge, Edenderry -- who brought the case over partnerships formed to acquire and deal in lands.
Mr Killally and Mr Connor, who practised as Gerard Killally Auctioneers, had previously admitted in court to making secret profits from the land deals.
It was claimed both men introduced the respective partnerships to deals, acted as negotiators and agents for the partnerships and made secret profits.
In a sworn statement to court yesterday, Mr Killally said the the freezing order meant he could not deal with rental income from a number of properties and it would be in the interests of all parties that the order be varied to allow him pay mortgages and charges on those properties.
He also proposes to sell a number of properties in Edenderry to pay his legal fees and the balance towards his domestic expenditure.