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Thursday 22 February 2018

Former executive in constitutional challenge to bankruptcy act

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A FORMER senior executive with Anglo Irish Bank is fighting bankruptcy on foot of a debt owed to a company controlled by businessman Donal Kinsella.

Darina Heavey, a former senior investment manager with Anglo Irish Bank (Private Banking), has also launched an unprecedented constitutional challenge to Ireland's bankruptcy act.

Last year, Irish Edible Oils, controlled by Mr Kinsella, obtained a €1.2m High Court judgment against Sorrento Structuring, a company founded by three former stockbrokers, including Ms Heavey, who all worked for Anglo.

Mr Kinsella was awarded €10m in damages last year after he sued his former employer Kenmare Resources for libel.

The Co Louth businessman took the libel action against Kenmare after an incident in which he sleepwalked naked during a business trip.

Months before the libel award Mr Kinsella's company, Irish Edible Oils, obtained the judgment against Sorrento Structuring which is owned by Ms Heavey, Bryan Turley, John Ryan and Ken Healy.

All four gave personal guarantees and are joint and severally liable for the debt.

Ms Heavey, the first ever female president of the Securities Institute in Ireland, had made proposals to Irish Edible Oils, which is controlled by Mr Kinsella. But the Irish Independent has learned that because many of the assets could not be realised until 2015, Irish Edible Oils rejected her proposals.

Yesterday High Court judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne heard that the parents of Mr Healy had offered to pay €150,000 in a bid to meet their son's part of the debt and to avoid bankruptcy proceedings being taken against him.

But the judge would not allow Mr and Mrs Healy to lodge the funds pending the outcome of further discussions between the parties.

Yesterday Ms Heavey, who was described in court as a single mother, lodged a constitutional challenge against Ireland and the Attorney General challenging two key sections of the 1988 Bankruptcy Act.

The grounds will include that the restrictions placed on those declared bankrupt were disproportionate.

Irish Independent

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