Sunday 18 February 2018

Priory Hall developer loses €6m luxury home

Laurence O'Mahony
Laurence O'Mahony

By Ray Managh

LAURENCE O’Mahony and his wife, Christine Connolly, have lost their €6 million luxury home at what a judge described as the best known address in the country.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane today granted National Asset Loan Management Ltd an order for possession of No 7 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, where Ms Connolly lives with the couple’s three children.


Michael McDowell, S.C., who appeared with Robert Fitzpatrick for the debt recovery agency, told the Circuit Civil Court there were four loans initially granted by Irish Nationwide Building Society totalling €6.75m still outstanding against the property.


Seamus Breen, counsel for O’Mahony, asked the court to grant the family up to January next year to regulate their affairs and move out of the house in an orderly fashion.  The children would have to undergo major upheaval, stress and inconvenience to their lives.


Frank Beatty, who appeared for Ms Connolly, asked Judge Linnane to allow the family remain in the house until the end of the school term in June next year so as not to seriously disturb their education.


O’Mahony was a partner with Tom McFeely in the development of Priory Hall which turned into a safety issues disaster for residents.  He declared himself bankrupt in the UK in April 2012 and claimed that when he had been discharged from bankruptcy in April of this year he had been cleared of all bankruptcy debt.


Mr McDowell had told the court the debt recovery agency had received a letter from the UK Trustee in Bankruptcy stating he had no interest in the Shrewsbury Road property and would not oppose any application for possession.


Christine Connolly had told the court she had resided in No 7 since December 1999 and had married O’Mahony in June 2004.  She had spent personal savings on home improvements.


Ms Connolly alleged her consent had been “procured” for reckless loans by Irish Nationwide for gambling on property development investment. Although the house had been used as security for the loans none of them had been used as a mortgage to buy the property.


Mr McDowell said that if it was not the intention of the parties to appeal possession of the house to the High Court the agency would be prepared to agree to a three months stay on the order to facilitate the family moving.


Judge Linnane said not a penny had been paid off the loans since December 2010 and a debt of €6.75 million remained unpaid.  She put the question of a stay on her order into the court list for mention next week.

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