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Saturday 18 November 2017

Man hired 'Viper' to collect disputed debt, court told

Aodhan O'Faolain

A COMPANY director claims a builder is using Dublin criminal Martin 'The Viper' Foley to try to collect a disputed debt from him of more than €200,000.

Martin Sweeney has brought a High Court action against Daniel Lannon, who, he claims, has engaged the services of the debt collection agency run by Foley in an attempt to be paid for works allegedly done more than three years ago.

Mr Sweeney, who denies he owes the money, has claimed Mr Lannon has been harassing him through text messages accusing him of lying and stealing, phone calls to his home, workplace and his children's school as well as calling to his home.

He claims these actions have blackened his reputation, and have caused stress and distress to both him and his family.

Yesterday, the President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, made interim orders against Mr Lannon, including that he not harass Mr Sweeney and his family, trespass on his property or contact him or his family.

The court further prohibited Mr Lannon or his agents from watching or besetting Mr Sweeney's home or the school attended by his children. The orders were granted on an ex-parte basis, where only one party was present in court. The injunction was made returnable to next week.

Lawyers for Mr Sweeney, of Woodley Park, Stillorgan, Dublin, told the court the dispute dates back to 2009 when it is alleged that he did not pay Mr Lannon, of Burnell Square, Malahide Road, Dublin, for works done at two Dublin properties between August 2008 and April 2009.

High Court proceedings were brought. In an affidavit, Mr Sweeney said he recently received an email from Mr Lannon stating he was no longer pursuing him through the courts, but through a debt collection agency.

Another text message said his agent would collect his money, that he would get paid every cent he was owed and that he (Mr Sweeney) "destroyed his life with your lies".

Mr Sweeney said that last month an agent of Viper Debt Recovery and Repossession Services called to his house and gave him a letter, signed by Martin Foley, which said it acted for Mr Lannon and sought payment of almost €250,000.

Mr Sweeney also said that Mr Lannon came to his home. The gardai were called and spoke to Mr Lannon.

On another occasion Mr Lannon rang and told him that he was at a school attended by Mr Sweeney's children.

Mr Sweeney said that shortly afterwards his wife rang him to say that someone called Lannon had spoken to the principal and had asked that his (Lannon's) name and phone number be passed on to her.

Irish Independent

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