Friday 22 June 2018

Well-known former gynaecologist loses €2.5m Dublin home

Gerry Rafferty Photo: Collins
Gerry Rafferty Photo: Collins

Ray Managh

Former leading obstetrician and gynaecologist Gerry Rafferty, who worked for years in Dublin’s private Mount Carmel Hospital before its collapse in 2014, today lost the plush Dublin 6 Victorian home he bought 10 years ago for €2.5 million.

Barrister John Donnelly told the Circuit Civil Court that Dr Rafferty, of Kenilworth Square, Rathgar, who no longer practices medicine, owed Promontoria (Oyster) dac €2,394,000 on a mortgage which included €428,000 arrears.

Granting Promontoria an order for possession against Rafferty and his second wife, Margot O’Gorman, who was made a notice party to the proceedings, Judge Jacqueline Linnane said he had not paid a penny off the mortgage since September 2012. 

Rafferty had gone in and out of bankruptcy between 2014 and 2016.

Rafferty, who personally represented himself and his wife in court, worked for more than a decade in the Mount Carmel Private Hospital which went into liquidation in January 2014.  He charged €3,000 for his professional services during pregnancy and delivery. His area of special interest was difficulty in conceiving and maintaining pregnancy.

Mr Donnelly, who appeared with Hugh J. Ward Solicitors for Promontoria, told the court that Dr Rafferty had taken out a loan of €2,530,000 with Ulster Bank to buy 10 Kenilworth Square in July 2007 and by February 2015, due to mounting arrears, the bank issued a letter demanding full repayment of an outstanding debt of €2,394,032.

No payments had been made against the mortgage since 2012 and when the bank’s demand had not been met it had issued possession proceedings in July 2015. The mortgage and debt had then been sold to Promontoria (Oyster) which had taken over the legal proceedings.

Mr Donnelly said that despite not making repayments against the mortgage Dr Rafferty offered to give Promontoria €750,000 in full and final settlement of the €2.4million debt. Following rejection of his offer he had increased it first to €800,000 and then to €825,000 but this had also been turned down.

Rafferty told Judge Linnane he faced considerable debts following the break-up of his medical practice. The break-up had been due to high profile court cases with which he had been associated and High Court proceedings involving the Medical Council and his loss of admitting rights to Mount Carmel Hospital. Publicity then surrounding his life had caused him great stress.

He said he had come to court seeking an adjournment of the possession proceedings to allow him more time in which he could negotiate a settlement with Promontoria. It had always been his genuine intention to reach a settlement.

Asked by Judge Linnane where he would get this money from, because no financial institution wold consider giving him a loan, he told the court a member of his family, a cousin, had offered to give him a loan. Later he told Judge Linnane there was still some negotiation to be carried out with his cousin about an advance of funds.

Rafferty told the court his first marriage had broken up and he had re-married and was living with his second wife, Margot, in the Kenilworth Square mid-terrace property which, Mr Donnelly stated, had now been given “a desk top valuation” of between €1.25m and €1.5million.

He told the court he felt he could, if given an adjournment, still reach a settlement with Promontoria. Judge Linnane told him the bank had rejected his offer of €825,000 in full and final settlement of a debt that had now reached just under €2.4 million and rising.

She granted Promontoria an order for possession of the property with a stay of four months to facilitate Mr Rafferty’s possible financing of a future settlement or finding new accommodation. She said the best way of finding out the value of a property was to put it up for sale to see what potential purchasers were prepared to offer for it.

She also awarded Promontoria its legal costs which Rafferty said he had no way of paying.

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