Judge rules vulture fund can take Pamela Flood and Ronan Ryan's €900,000 house immediately
There was a deliberate move by former Miss Ireland Pamela Flood's husband, Ronan Ryan, to frustrate and obstruct the implementation of a court order handing their home back to a vulture fund, a judge has said.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane added there was also a conscious decision by him not to disclose in separate insolvency proceedings the existence of a consent court order granting Tanager Bank possession of the couple's home.
She granted Tanager leave to execute the consent order for possession, made on March 8, against Mr Ryan.
The insolvency proceedings did not involve Ms Flood, who remains under an obligation to immediately vacate her family home at Mount Prospect Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3, with Mr Ryan and their four children.
Judge Linnane's judgment means Tanager, through the Sheriff, can take immediate possession of the property and put the family on the street.
Judge Linnane refused the couple a seven-day stay to facilitate consideration of an appeal of her decision to the High Court. She said when they both, with legal advice, signed an undertaking to hand over the home and leave it on or before July 9 they were granted a four-month stay allowing them to find alternative accommodation.
In the insolvency proceedings, which Judge Linnane said took a number of people by surprise, Mr Ryan had been granted a 70-day Protective Certificate fencing him off from all creditors, including Tanager.
Read more here: Pamela and husband could face threat of prison in home row
"The granting of the Protective Certificate resulted in the implementation of the consent order made by this court being frustrated and undermined," Judge Linnane said in a reserved judgment in the Circuit Civil Court yesterday.
Judge Linnane said the purpose of the insolvency legislation was not to assist persons behaving in this manner.
"That would not be in the public interest. Judges depend on a daily basis on full disclosure being made to them and often set aside ex-parte orders if it later transpires there was non-disclosure of any material information," she said.
The judge said the consent order, signed by the couple, was still in full force and binding on Ms Flood.
Mr Ryan's application for continuing protection under his insolvency proceedings had not affected her obligation to get out of the family home by July 9 as had been undertaken by both of them.
Judge Linnane said she did not accept Mr Ryan's excuse that he had not considered the existence of the consent repossession order as material to his application for protection under the insolvency legislation.
It had not been up to him to decide or to be the judge of what was material or not.
The judge said on March 8 the court was informed at the instigation of Mr Ryan and Ms Flood they and Tanager agreed to a consent order with a four-month stay.
At that stage, the debt had risen to €1.25m and it seemed the estimated value of the property was €900,000.
The couple had not made any repayments on the mortgage for almost nine years.
All legal costs were awarded against the couple.
Tanager had agreed to limit the debt to the net proceeds of sale of the house, effectively writing off more than €300,000.