Sunday 21 October 2018

Judge calls claims of activist in €51.4m case 'nonsense'

Tim Healy

A JUDGE has described as "nonsense" claims being made by anti-eviction campaigner Charles Allen in a case in which a bank is seeking to recover €51.4m from a couple.

AIB is seeking summary judgment against Gary and Amanda Smith, of The Paddocks, Castledillon, Straffan, Co Kildare, over a €50m loan advanced to them in 2007, mainly to buy a Dublin shopping centre.

Loans were given to assist the purchase of the Ashleaf Shopping Centre and attached Submarine Bar in Crumlin. They were also given a €1m loan to buy 33 acres at Callighstown, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

As a result of failure to repay, a receiver was appointed by AIB over their assets last February.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said yesterday that he was transferring the case to the Commercial Court list after hearing there was no appearance on behalf of Mr Smith, but there was for Mrs Smith whose counsel said she knew nothing about Mr Allen's involvement in the case.

The judge described as "a piece of nonsense" correspondence sent to the bank in relation to the case by Mr Allen.

Mr Allen is a leading figure behind the Rodolphus Allen Family Private Trust, a group set up with the aim of putting assets beyond the reach of banks seeking repossession.

The court also heard that Mr Allen had a warrant issued for his arrest last September in relation to his alleged illegal occupation of a Kildare stud farm.

Kelley Smith BL, for AIB, told the judge that from 2010 the Smiths had co-operated with the bank. But Ms Smith said that last September the "landscape changed" when the bank, its solicitors and the receiver, received a letter from "anti-eviction lobbyist" Mr Allen.

Mr Justice Kelly transferred the case to the Commercial list for hearing on January 15.

Irish Independent

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