Sunday 19 November 2017

Publican's bid to have AIB wound up over alleged debt dismissed by High Court

Tim Healy

A PUBLICAN'S bid to have Allied Irish Banks (AIB) wound up over non-payment of an alleged €40,380 debt has been dismissed by the High Court as an abuse of process.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said he was "quite satisfied" to strike out an application by Eddie O'Leary, Main Street, Charleville, Co Cork, to have the State-owned bank liquidated.

The application was "an abuse of process," and an "attempt by Mr O'Leary to embarrass the bank," the judge said.

Mr O'Leary claimed he is owed some €40,380 by AIB. He alleged he was overcharged interest on his bank accounts on dates in the early 1990's, and between 2001 and 2003.

Late last year, Mr O'Leary made a demand on AIB for payment of the money. When that demand was not satisfied he petitioned the High Court to wind up AIB on the basis it was insolvent and unable to pay its debts.

Yesterday, AIB asked that the application be struck out.

As well as arguing it was an abuse of process, the bank disputes the debt claimed by Mr O'Leary, AIB's counsel Paul Fogarty said.

Mr O'Leary's claim for €40,000 against AIB was neither "accepted nor admitted", he said.

In relation to the overcharging claim, it had taken a commercial decision to offer Mr O'Leary a sum of €8,500, counsel said.

Mr O'Leary was not a creditor to the bank and owes it €420,000 for loans given to him.

Mr O'Leary who represented himself, told the court: "I am owed the money."

Mr Justice Gilligan said he was satisfied Mr O'Leary "was not a creditor of AIB," given that he owed the bank in excess of €400,000. No evidence had been provided that would allow the court to make an order winding up AIB.

As well as striking out the matter, the judge said Mr O'Leary could not bring any further petitions to wind up AIB except with permission of the court.

He also awarded AIB its legal costs against Mr O'Leary.

Irish Independent

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