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McFeely's home goes on sale for €3m as NAMA appeal fails

THE former Dublin 4 home of bankrupt developer Tom McFeely, at one time valued at €15m, has been placed on the market for just a fifth of what it was once worth.

Within hours of the former IRA hunger striker losing his High Court battle against a NAMA company to save his upmarket home, the property was placed on the market with a €3m price tag.

The sale of 'Coolbawn', No 2 Ailesbury Rd, is being handled by Colliers International.

The imposing red-brick building, formerly home to the German Embassy, was once valued at €15m but is being marketed for just a fifth of that by Colliers.

NAMA subsidiary National Asset Loan Management Ltd (NALM) seized the property after Mr McFeely defaulted on a €9.5m mortgage taken out in 2005. The Priory Hall builder has debts in excess of €200m.

"The property will require some modernisation and presents an ideal opportunity to create a home of distinction in one of Dublin 4's finest residential roads," says Colliers' brochure.

"All of this within easy reach of a number of Dublin's top schools and within striking distance of the city centre."

The High Court yesterday dismissed an appeal that Mr McFeely and his wife Nina brought against legal proceedings by a NAMA subsidiary which led to the possession of the house on August 11.

"I appreciate the circumstances here are terrible but there isn't anything I can do", said Mr Justice John Hedigan.

The judge said there was no basis for the McFeelys' appeal against a Circuit Court ruling in which NALM obtained orders that ultimately led to the repossession.

The case appeared to be "open and shut", Mr Justice Hedigan said. He was satisfied the judgment obtained over a €9.5m mortgage had been well-charged and there was nothing wrong with the Circuit Court order.

The judge said he was conscious this was a family home and it was a sad thing when someone was put out of their home. But this was unfortunately part of the situation that had befallen the country.

Mr McFeely's company, Coalport, developed the Priory Hall complex in Donaghmede, which was closed last year by order of the High Court due to fire safety concerns.

The developer, who was in court, had previously complained that his family were "living on the side of the street" as a result of what he alleged were lies having been told at a repossession hearing.

The McFeelys' counsel, James Salafia, said his clients were unhappy they had been put out of their house after a court had been told by NALM that there was alternative accommodation available to them.

Mr McFeely had also "complained bitterly" about the publicity given to the repossession. However, Mr Salafia accepted that was all now "water under the bridge".

Mr Salafia also said Mr McFeely was challenging the order on the basis that he may not have been the proper person to have been before the repossession court – because he was at the time a declared bankrupt.

There was a question as to whether the court-appointed official dealing with his bankruptcy, the official assignee, was the proper person to have before the court, counsel said.

It was also their case that because the original mortgage was taken out to pay off existing loans, the house was not liable as security.

Counsel for NALM, Michael McDowell, said there was no basis for reversing the Circuit Court order.

The orders obtained would not have been affected by Mr McFeely's bankruptcy because the security he provided for the mortgage was not affected by that.

Mrs McFeely had also brought proceedings in her own right against the repossession and these matters had been fully heard and ruled on, he said.

Irish Independent