Funds freeze cuts no ice with bank blunder man
David Hickey last night promised to fight on after the Bank of Ireland froze the Spanish bank account it mistakenly credited with £250,000.
Mr Hickey (49) from Tallaght said whatever happened he and his wife intended to enjoy Christmas in the sun at his new Salou resort home in northern Spain.
"We're very happy and looking forward to Christmas. We're not upset or perturbed by this at all. You don't need much to live on here, we were always going to make this our home, and you don't need much for your upkeep," he said.
The dispute arose after the Bank of Ireland's Inchicore branch mistakenly transferred 316,900 instead of 316,900 pesetas into Mr Hickey's account. The transfer was worth £250,000 instead of £1,500.
Last night Mr Hickey said he had received no notification from the bank that his Spanish bank account had been frozen.
He said he would check today if he could access his funds. If the money had been frozen he would see his solicitor and set about trying to "reverse the decision" immediately as he had no intention of handing the money back.
Mr Hickey would not comment on whether he had more than one Spanish bank account or how much of the disputed funds he had already accessed.
A Bank of Ireland spokesperson said yesterday they had obtained a court order in Spain to freeze Mr Hickey's account and were now "going the legal route" to recover the money they had mistakenly transferred to his account.
With the account frozen Mr Hickey would not be able to access the disputed funds and the bank intended pursuing the return of the full amount, the spokesperson said.
Mr Hickey said he was very angry at the way the bank had handled the mistaken transfer, particularly in having gardai sent to his former home in Tallaght.
"I'm not giving up. They have tackled this the wrong way from the start. They put me in this situation," he said. Mr Hickey said he was convinced the matter was going to end up in some sort of civil issue between him and the Bank of Ireland.
His Spanish solicitor remained confident that the bank's whole case was "hogwash" because of a piece of paper they had issued stating that mistakes were not their responsibility.
Mr Hickey said he was still receiving great support from the public, particularly after his appearance on Richard and Judy's TV show in Britain last week, but was mindful "all my supporters cannot go to jail with me".