Saturday 24 March 2018

McFeely tells UK courts he has less than €6,000 in cash

Developer Tom McFeely
Developer Tom McFeely

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

DEVELOPER Tom McFeely says he owes the Revenue Commissioners more than €500,000 -- but has less than €6,000 in hard cash to pay his creditors back.

The massive debt owed to the Revenue by the Priory Hall builder is contained in a statement of affairs filed in the High Court in London.

Mr McFeely is trying to be made a bankrupt in the UK, and in the statement says he has only £1,000 (€1,247) in cash.

He also says he has £600 in an AIB bank account in London; £3,000 in an RBS bank account in Birmingham; and £300 in a Halifax bank account in Edinburgh. Mr McFeely claims he has no pension, no car and no savings.

The former Maze hunger striker says he owes around €560,000 to the "Inland Revenue" in Dublin, €2.62m in property loans to a man in London as well as €5m to "others" for "sundry loans" and other costs between 2000 to 2011.

The "others" are not identified by Mr McFeely.

The statement, seen by the Irish Independent, reveals that Mr McFeely claims to earn about £4,000 a month, but has no pension or savings.

He stopped paying his £40,000 (€49,853) monthly mortgage on his €10m Ailesbury Road home three years ago. The house was recently repossessed by NAMA.

In papers setting out the grounds for his UK bankruptcy application, Mr McFeely said that he had sold more than 100 apartments at the condemned Priory Hall complex in Dublin between 2006 and 2007 -- but claimed he did not make any money from the venture, which has left hundreds of residents stranded due to fire safety concerns.

Yesterday, the High Court in Dublin heard that a British court official, who was handling Mr McFeely's bankruptcy before it was rescinded last month, wants it reinstated and "stayed" (postponed) so he can investigate Mr McFeely's finances.

The authorities there believe "certain bankruptcy offences" were committed by Mr McFeely during his now-lapsed UK bankruptcy and they want to investigate a number of financial transactions.

A court-appointed bankruptcy trustee in the UK has spent an estimated £150,000 investigating Mr McFeely's affairs since last January.

It is understood the trustee is looking into a number of issues including the ownership of rents from a prominent London apartment block that were at the centre of another High Court action in the UK this year.


The Revenue Commissioners, which maintained a watching brief over yesterday's brief hearing, told High Court judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne that it was "an interested party".

The Revenue petitioned the High Court last year to place Mr McFeely's Coalport Building Company Limited -- which built Priory Hall -- into bankruptcy for failure to pay PAYE, PRSI and relevant contracts tax.

Yesterday, Judge Dunne was told the issue of whether Ireland or the UK is Mr McFeely's centre of main interest will have to be dealt with before the petition for bankruptcy can proceed.

Mr McFeely was declared bankrupt in the UK earlier this year, but last month a London court rescinded that order.

This happened after it was discovered he had failed to disclose Irish bankruptcy proceedings when he filed papers there.

Ms Justice Sandra Proudman, in the London High Court, ordered the bankruptcy proceedings to be re-heard in light of this.

Irish Independent

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