Sunday 19 November 2017

Man whose sister bought his former home still owes €233,000 to Revenue

Seamus Farrelly, pictured (left) with his wife Louise, had his house at Castlepollard, Co Westmeath (below) repossessed.
Seamus Farrelly, pictured (left) with his wife Louise, had his house at Castlepollard, Co Westmeath (below) repossessed.
Mr Farrelly’s sister Orla Mulvey (top) bought the house back at auction this week.

Charlie Weston and Colm Kelpie

A MAN whose sister bought back his repossessed home owes €233,000 to the taxman.

Seamus Farrelly's house was repossessed by GE Money after he was unable to meet mortgage repayments on the loan.

On Tuesday, his sister Orla Mulvey bought the house back for €76,000 at an auction -- where she made an emotional appeal for others not to buy the home in Castlepollard, Co Westmeath.

Estate agents had estimated the value of the house to be about €300,000 at one stage during the boom.

But the Irish Independent has learned that the Revenue Commissioners took Mr Farrelly, who was a property developer at the time, to court over unpaid taxes.

The court judgment obtained by the Revenue in 2008 for €233,000 against Mr Farrelly was just one of 14 debt judgments secured against him for unpaid bills.

Between 2003 and 2009, Mr Farrelly, then of Templanstown, Castlepollard, had a string of judgments registered against him at Mullingar District Court.

At one sitting of the court in 2009, Judge John Neilan was told that the builder was trying to realise assets by selling houses and disposing of €3.3m of assets.

The judgments total €382,368 and are mainly owed to builders' merchants, a search of the credit bureau 'Stubbs Gazette' has revealed.

None of the judgments have been satisfied, according to 'Stubbs'.

Mr Farrelly was also a director of Farmack Construction Ltd but resigned from this position in February 2010, according to Companies Office filings.

It is understood Mr Farrelly is now living in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife Louise.

A number of people in Castlepollard village, which is about 8km from the house, said Mr Farrelly was very well regarded.

One man, who did not wish to be named, said: "He is a very decent guy and very well liked around the town.

"Things got away from him. It is just that sometimes things don't work out. He is a good fella."

Mr Farrelly was the one who had taken out the mortgage on the house in Castlepollard, and not his father as previously reported. He had remortgaged the large Castlepollard home to help finance his house-building activities in Westmeath and Longford.

His father, farmer Michael Farrelly, said yesterday he was not involved in any way in the events in the past few days. But he owns the land around the house, according to his daughter Orla Mulvey.

Approached yesterday by reporters Mr Farrelly senior said he had nothing to do with the property.

When asked if his son Seamus was available for comment, he replied: "You would be doing well to get him."

It is understood that people attempting to view the house ahead of the auction had difficulty gaining access to it due to protests at the house.

Shortfall

The family had made an offer of €20,000 for the property before the auction took place, but this was rejected by GE Money.

GE Money allowed the property to go to auction and will use the €76,000 paid for it at the Merlin auction to settle some of the mortgage debt owed on it.

However, relations between the lender and Seamus Farrelly have broken down to such an extent that the lender intends pursuing him for the shortfall, though to be upwards of €200,000.

The saga began when Mr Farrelly found himself unable to meet the high interest payments charged by the sub-prime lender as the economy collapsed. It is understood Mr Farrelly had to remortgage the property with GE Money, with the intention of using the funds to support his building firm.

Ms Mulvey made an emotional appeal to those at the Merlin Auction in Dublin to be allowed to buy back the property for her family.

The €76,000 sale price was €6,000 above the reserve.

Ms Mulvey said her father, who lives next to the property, was "very happy".

She ended up as the only bidder after another person interested in buying the large house withdrew.

Comment

Irish Independent

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