Friday 20 September 2019

Developer who fled country after crash dies abroad

Died: Greg Coughlan never returned to Ireland after fleeing the country in 2010. Photo: Courtpix
Died: Greg Coughlan never returned to Ireland after fleeing the country in 2010. Photo: Courtpix
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Cork property developer Greg Coughlan, who fled the country after the financial crash, has died having never returned to Ireland.

Mr Coughlan, founder of the Howard Holdings property development company, went abroad in 2010 after failing to disclose his assets in accordance with a court order.

He had a judgment of €28m made against him but flew to Portugal without complying with the High Court order.

He was subsequently found to be in contempt of court and an arrest warrant was issued.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly accused the developer of "playing cat and mouse" with the High Court. However, because the arrest warrant related to a contempt of court issue in Ireland, it could not be enforced in any other jurisdiction.

News of Mr Coughlan's death began to filter through the town of Ballydehob in Cork yesterday morning.

He was born in the town but had built a luxury house in Kinsale before he left the country.

In 2013, the house, named Fastnet House, was sold for more than €3m.

At the time Mr Coughlan went abroad, his lawyers testified in court that he had been having "a feeling of impending doom" and that he "needed to spend some time away from it all".

Gardaí later found him missing when they called at his home in March 2010, and he was later spotted in London and Portugal.

Mr Coughlan was the only one of three Howard Holdings officials who failed to supply a statement of assets to the High Court sought by Loparco SA, a Luxembourg-registered company through which investors provided some €20m for Polish land deals.

Irish Independent

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